Tag Archives: car

When will it sink in?

23 Jun

Yesterday a friend posted a Facebook status about the high price of her grocery shop this week. Someone posted a reply saying ‘It’s gonna get worse apparently’.

I can’t help but wonder exactly what they are thinking; they and all the other people who complain about the cost of food and fuel and go on living their life the same way they’ve always done. Albeit with more grumbling and probably more debt. Do they not wonder why? Why it is that in the 50’s families could live comfortably off one income, and now it’s a struggle on two? Why food prices get higher and higher on a monthly basis, when wages just aren’t creeping up to match? Is it all attributed to normal inflation?

I want to know when people will realise that there is something more going on. That we aren’t just in a ‘little recession’ and things will go back to normal in a couple of years. That the landfills are filling up and now they’re even building toxic houses on them. That our society is unsustainable and therefore will not be sustained.

When will I stop feeling like the slightly mad one who is given to hippy-ish flights of fancy about the end of the world as we know it? When will everyone else stop feeling a bit ‘put upon’ and realise it’s time to take responsibility? I feel sometimes as if I’m walking round in a bubble, where I can see things with clarity from somewhere else, and yet I can’t escape them. I am doing my best, but it’s not enough. Or am I? I reduce, reuse, recycle. I live in an upstairs flat but I am growing brassicas in the middle of winter in pots on my steps. I am learning how to make things from scratch. I am networking. I am raising a beautiful child with all the goodness and consciousness in me. But at the end of the day, I’m still dependent on my car, the supermarket, and the government benefit that gets paid into my account each week.

‘It’ has sunk in, but I haven’t climbed out yet, to be terribly metaphorical about it all.

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I really like my car

8 Jun

Today I had a busy out-and-about-day which involved a job interview for a part time nanny position, grocery shopping, taking a meal to a sick friend with a sick baby, dropping my son off to a friend for babysitting, going to an info evening about Home for Life, and picking my son up and taking him home well after his bedtime. I am so grateful for my car. I could not have done all that with a toddler on board if I had to use public transport.

I didn’t get my license until I decided I wanted a baby. I had driving lessons with a rather large bump, and sat my test while a friend took my 4 week old newborn for a walk. So it’s been less than two years that I have been independently driving. For many years I walked, cycled, used public transport, or got lifts from friends. It was fine, because it was all I knew, but once I started driving life became a lot easier.

The day after I got my license, this is what I did, with my newborn son in the backseat, while parking at the library.

(The numberplate wasn’t mooshed. I photoshopped that bit.)

I got a hell of a fright. My baby didn’t even wake up. So much for acing my test; I crashed the car while parking, for goodness’ sakes. Why did I press the accelerator instead of the brake? I don’t know. I had freedom and mobility for a whole day, and then it was back to being stuck at home because the Auckland public transport isn’t even worth bothering with. $750, a wrangle with our insurance company, and a few weeks later, my car was restored.

It’s a good car. Getting a bit old, but it does the job nicely. I’m going to be sad when I can’t use it any more. I almost wish I didn’t get my license, because then I wouldn’t know what I was missing out on in the future when I can’t afford to use it anymore. I know that I should be taking more steps to reduce my dependence on my car, but it’s hard! I know I should reduce my carbon emissions, but I feel like I am being forced to restrict my driving anyway due to petrol prices, and I shouldn’t have to reduce it even more. I’m entitled, right? Isn’t that what my generation expects? I live in a city. Many of my friends are far away. I have a toddler. I can’t give up on my car yet. But I hope I am ready by the time I have to.