What an odd world we live in.
A few weeks ago a new acquaintance announced to me that a car was absolutely essential in England. She based this upon her (and I think only) trip to London. I have never been to London, but I have been to Liverpool and Hull. Somehow, I managed just fine by walking.
Understand that both of those towns can be a bit rough. In fact, I had to rely upon my mother’s advice as to how to walk through a bad neighborhood, something she had to do as a child of the depression. “Walk straight ahead. Don’t slow down. Don’t look to the left or to the right and just step over the drunks sleeping on the sidewalk. Don’t stop and talk even if someone wants to to talk to you.”
Yes, i have been scared walking through awful neighborhoods and I have seen many strange things, particularly in developing countries. But somehow, I didn’t think that was the problem for my new acquaintance in London.
All became clear the other night when I actually walked (WALKED!) home.
There was a meeting at City Hall and my neighbor asked me to attend. He drove us up there and after a couple of hours, I realized that whatever I had to say wouldn’t make a difference, so I wanted to go home. He didn’t want to leave, so I walked home on a perfectly gorgeous evening, temperature about 65 degrees before dark. A distance just shy of two miles, it took me about twenty five minutes.
When I got there, the new acquaintance was there visiting with my wife. I walked up the street and came in the house, surprising everyone, including the dog, since there was no noise upon my arrival. Marveling ensued. How could anyone do that? Etc.
So I suppose that if someone minds walking a few miles to catch a train or a bus, a car would be necessary in London. But I would say, “No thanks. I’d rather walk.”
And isn’t it odd how distances for walking or cycling become SO FAR, when one drives all the time.