Living in some places makes it impossible not to have a car. I was always stuck needing a reliable vehicle to get me places until recently. Now carless, I see there are certain stresses I no longer have to deal with that drivers still do.
One of the biggest annoyances with having a car is when you are done using it you need to find a place to keep it. Parking lots can get full in highly populated areas and in cities it can be outrageously expensive. And of course there is the dreaded parallel park that I no longer have to remember how to do. Now my only worry is whether or not I can fit my own body in places. Thanks to delicious food, this is not always easy.
Parking violations, speeding, or any of the other infractions one can do while behind the wheel of a car are no longer on my mind. Police officers are not out to fill a quota with me. I no longer have those gasping moments where my heart speeds up and my eyes shift to the dashboard to check my speed. In fact, as a pedestrian the police officers working to control traffic sometimes tell me to speed it up. Will they ever make up their mind?
Like death, taxes, and pirates, a unanimous vote by society goes toward hatred of traffic. When the supply of road does not meet the demand of cars, things get crowded. While being a permanent pedestrian anywhere I go now still means having to deal with foot traffic, the much tamer and easier to push out of the way version, I am thankful to never get stuck somewhere for an hour only to find out it was because people do not know how to merge.
No car means a heavier wallet. One way you will save lots of money is by not having to pay for insurance. Car insurance is pretty silly when you think about it. The only reason it’s needed is due to financial carelessness on your own part and anyone you might get in an accident with. Sadly I spent a few thousand in my life on car insurance without ever getting into an accident. Unlike social security, this will not be paid back to me when I am 90 years old; or so they tell me I will get it back, but I won’t hold my breath.
Keeping a car clean is a lot harder and more annoying than it seems. The general dust, dead-skin, food scraps, and other disgusting particles build up fast on the inside. On the outside you have to deal with the elements like acid rain and birds using your windshield as a toilet. Carless, I only have to worry about making sure the food doesn’t get stuck to my shirt and that a bird doesn’t force me to get an early haircut after dropping its lunch on my head.
Car accidents are a pain for lots of reasons. From inconvenience to serious injury, a car accident is never welcomed. Now that I am no longer driving I do not have to worry about anything serious happening whenever I slam into another person. Whenever a pedestrian bumps into another pedestrian we only exchange swear words and a quick verbal insult, not insurance information. Plus the physical contact that happens when you bump shoulders with another person can be needed on a rough day, even if it’s done by accident and with swift anger.
When it comes to the subject of cars I usually get lost pretty fast. I have more to offer in a conversation about the impact the different Russian Czars have had on modern Eastern European culture than I would about automobiles. Trips to the mechanic for me were like being stranded in a foreign country and having to figure out how to get home. A trip to the auto shop was a good one if the end total was below $500. Often times my car would have more wrong with it than I even knew. The only equivalence to this that I have to deal with now would be going to the doctor for a foot problem and ending up with facial reconstruction surgery scheduled for the next week.