Day 182. You Drive

I got rid of my car a few years back. Didn’t need it. I live in the city, with busses and subways right at my doorstep. I am a short walk away from everything I could trafficpossibly need or want. So one day, I just packed it in. My lease was up and that was that. No more car.

And if I wasn’t sure what a great decision it was, until now, let me tell you, there’s certainly no doubt in my mind after today.

Driving is a pain in the ass. And very stressful. At least in this city. End of story.

On the odd occasion when I do need a car, I rent a Zipcar. Wondering what the hell a Zipcar is? Well, they’re cars you can rent by the hour. You pay a nominal annual fee, to become a member. There are Zipcars available in hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of locations, all around the city.

Hourly rates vary, depending on the make of car. Insurance is included and there’s even a credit card to cover the cost of gas, should you need a fill-up.

Just go to the Zipcar website and indicate when, and for how long, you want a set of wheels. Based on your location,

you get a list of all the available cars, within a certain radius of where you are. Confirm the reservation and you’re done.

Go get your car.

It is the perfect solution for city dwellers like me.

So yesterday I had to pick up some stuff in an area called Thornhill. It’s northwest of the city, and it’s usually between a forty and sixty minute drive from where I live. On weekends, when there tends to be less traffic, I’ve been known to do it in thirty minutes. Not yesterday, though.

For some reason the traffic sucked. Don’t know why, either. The roads were clear. No snow or rain. No new construction. No new road closures. Given it was Super Bowl Sunday, I was sure it would have been clear sailing. Figured everyone would be home cooking, in preparation for the game. Plus, this is a time of year when folks are away, too. So I was sure I’d have the roads to myself.

Was I wrong!!

Right off the bat I was stressed. You don’t want bumper to bumper traffic on a Sunday. Especially when some imbecile called your house three times, in the middle of the night looking for Trish. Yeah, you heard me. First call was at 2 a.m. Next was at 2:30. Next was at 3:00. He finally stopped after I screeched and told him if he called one more time I’d give his name and phone number to the cops.

But by then, falling back asleep was no longer an option for me.

Yeah. I was tired and cranky. Traffic was the last thing I needed. Especially when there was no reason for it.

Other than lousy drivers. Which we have plenty of here, in Toronto. Seriously. They are the world’s worst. Right off the top, what really pisses me off is, they rarely stop fully at stop signs. They do ‘rolling’ stops. Very dangerous. Especially at four-way intersections. The other thing that drives me insane is, when the driver in front of you wants to make a left turn. Into oncoming traffic.

You know where I’m going with this, don’t you?

They don’t ‘inch’ slowly into the turn, which would give the driver behind them the ability to get past them easily. No. They stay exactly where they are. Half the time they don’t use their indicator lights, either. So no one knows what they’re trying to do. The problem with this is, they can be stuck there, just sitting, for five or ten minutes, not going anywhere.

Because the drivers going the other way don’t let them in. Just on principle. Know what I’m saying? Because that’s the other thing we’re short of here, in Toronto. Courteous drivers. So there you are. Stuck behind this numb nut who’s not going anywhere. And of course, by now, there’s a long line of other cars behind you. Also stuck. Now no one can move in either direction.

Jeez, Louise! Do us all a favour. Take a taxi!!!

So here’s the deal. Next time I need a car, how about if you drive?

19 thoughts on “Day 182. You Drive

  1. So finally you have joined our club. Our car has been tucked away in the shed for the past three months. The traffic is hectic here and there is lunatic drivers all over the streets. It’s better to sit in the back and let the driver worry about the road and his car. Gives you peace of mind.

  2. I wish I could drive. I mean I can, but I can’t afford the test. Grr. But to be honest I’m lucky enough to not really need to right now either. And you’re right, crazy drivers are annoying – even to those not at the steering wheel of a car! I’m so fed up of people not indicating, or running red lights and so on. Paris is the maddest place I ever went though. There’s a roundabout there literally without rules. I felt I was taking my life in my hands just being in a vehicle driving round that thing.
    Seriously. If you’re ever in Paris check it out!

  3. I do think the French (at least outside of Paris) are very courteous drivers, I’ve seen lots of patience, lots of giving way and nil roadrage (something unfortunately very common and frightening in Australia now). I also love living in a village with everything in walking distance – we often forget where we parked our car in the village if we haven’t used it for a week! šŸ˜€

    • Having everything within walking distance is perfect. Makes life so much easier and pleasant. In big cities with a lot of traffic, constant road closures and construction, exhorbitant charges for gasoline, insurance and parking, fewer and fewer places to park and good public transit I don’t understand why people insist on driving.

  4. My dad worked in Saudi Arabia (Rihadh–pardon spelling) when I was young. He said they had the cornerstone on bad driving. The driver puts his hand on the wheel and drives at his rate of speed, not looking to the right or the left. Everyone has right of way. There are lines of crashes all along the road with people shouting at each other, goats running around. He said he would have given anything to have been able to video the insanity. Of course, that’s wasn’t allowed! Hoping driving is more humane for them now!

    • God! Maybe they should have stuck to camels :). I’ll bet the driving is as bad as it ever was. It is in India. And the Italians are mad on the road. Some things never change.

  5. Driving for me isn’t too terrible. I don’t live in the downtown city area, so I rarely have to worry about traffic. Lucky for me the main time for me to drive is to and from school. Everyone at my school is really nice in the parking lot (letting other people go before them, being patient while others get out of their parking spots, not honking their horns when the traffic gets terrible,etc.), but once they hit the road all bets are off. I told a friend that I feel like before driving everyone is a great driver, then once you start driving everyone is a terrible driver. I’m not saying I’m the greatest driver in the world, but some people should not be on the road. I have to agree with you on turning signals. The lack of use of turning signals resulted in changing the driving test. No signals= points deducted. Sometimes I forget to turn on my signal if I’m driving somewhere new, but for everyday driving I know where I’m going so turn signals is a part of the habit.

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