So lately I've found myself a bit discouraged on the no-car front.
I've been without a car for the last five years. It's not been too bad of an experience. I have a life. I've acquired and maintained professional, romantic, and platonic relationships. I get intense workouts. I'm able to go to movies, to the store, to clubs and all else. As long as I allow myself enough time, I can get around and about with almost no fuss.
That said, I am finding it hard to work the car-less angle in some areas of Los Angeles. At times it is simply difficult to function without a car. I feel badly because the purpose of this blog was to show that it is possible to exist without one here, but I've found that it's not really possible unless you have the patience of a saint. Someone actually told me that the other day - that I have the patience of a saint.
I just came back from Trader Joe's and the girl at the register was making all these seemingly positive comments but it felt like she was talking down at me, like I wasn't from this planet since I was - gasp! - actually taking my groceries home by bicycle. Perish the thought, right? Interestingly, riding back was a bit uncomfortable and I found myself a bit self-conscious. For the first time I felt off-balance and hoped to God that my left shoulder wouldn't pop out of its socket thanks to my packed-heavy canvas bag. Although admittedly I bought a lot of groceries, so that feeling was my fault... I'll make a personal note to hit TJs a little more often than every three weeks now that I'm in better spirits.
In addition, I've been getting around lately - mainly press screenings, art showings, other events and other such mingling/milling-about outlets. I've needed to get out anyway, as much as social situations make me nervous. But it goes without saying how much I appreciate my friends, as sometimes I'm offered a lift home when most local bus lines near my place have stopped running. I always make sure to have a roll of bills set aside specifically for contributing to gas; besides - as friends have also said of the company - it's nice having someone to talk to. Still, I can't help but feel like an inconvenience at times, as others seem to think I'm incapable of functioning since I don't have a car. That and strangers' remarks lately have been getting under my skin concerning this, quite like Register Girl this afternoon. The statement "I don't know how you get along without a car!" in particular has been grating my nerves. Sometimes I feel like saying something to the effect of "You know, I don't know how I get along being Black and a woman either, but I manage to do just fine!" But I'm a nice person.
In recent light of Metro's fares increasing, DASH's fares also increasing and cuts for the Commuter Express (more information here), it's getting more than a fair share of annoying in thinking about how the powers that be don't seem to care about the ridiculousness of their actions.
And as much as the thought of gas, insurance, and a down payment unnerves me at this moment where unexpected funds are already a nightmare, it's becoming a bigger thought every day something like this happens. And like most other situations, there's little I can do other than sit back and watch it all unfurl.
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