I heard that this morning, that China is the largest market for autos in the world and all of the talk about hybrids, electric, the Chinese skipping the pitfalls of the internal combustion engine to advance to cleaner technologies was all pie-in-the-sky dreaming. Same with India. They want cars. They want them now. They want them cheap. They don't care about pollution. They don't care about congestion. The car is so human an animal. In the way dogs are the perfect pet, so attuned to our whims, so is the car the perfect mode of human transport and it will make the problems we have to face in the near future that much more difficult.
I don't have a car and when I look back on my life I wish I never did. Cars were awful for me. Expensive, worrisome, complicated, and I love the bike, my sole means of transport for the last three years, but yesterday, feeling tired, having to get on the bike to travel to where I needed to go, I pined for a car as they roared past me. Oh to only have to turn a key and push a pedal to get to the library, not to have to climb all of those hills, and sweat bullets. Not to have to plan what to take with me, but to throw it all into the car and go. I felt exhausted.
But then I stumbled upon a box of clothes, and in those clothes were a pair of blue jeans that fit me like a glove, and shirts with the initials of my old painting company on them, ESP, Emery Smith Painting, and I had a good laugh on a slow ride with my backpack full of acquisitions. And today as I rode through the park, I stumbled upon a bag of buds, choice stuff that some kid must have dropped last night in the dark.
Yeah, I love the rides on empty streets when traffic dies away. I love the cart I've built and the bike I have to repair just about constantly. I love all of the stuff I find. But mostly I love the fact that I'm not contributing to the insanity of the car culture, a drive until we drown mentality promoted by the status quo. I never saw the car as a rite of adulthood. It struck me as immature and self-defeating. I don't like listening to music all day as if the world needs to be watered down by the thumpa-thumpa of a band. I like the world too much to not want to hear what it has to say. I like the world too much not to give it some of my sweat and my time.