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 possibly 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?