I sold my car yesterday. It was coming down to the wire and I needed to make a deal. It was either sell it or store it for a few years while my husband and I are away in the UK. It didn’t seem to make much sense to pay for storage fees, and to let the car depreciate in value over the next eighteen months so we got rid.
As with all things that have been on memorable road trips down the Oregon coast (namely, my husband), it is sad to say good-bye. It was hard to clean out the last of the personal items from the car’s interior: The CDs, the Kleenex box, the gum, the Gnome air freshener that has been hanging on the rear view mirror for the last four years.
I gave the car a little pat on the roof, and took one long last look. The car seemed to look a bit sad really. We both knew we had been through a lot together, namely 67,000 kilometres. I whispered into my car’s ear (side view mirror) “good bye” and handed the keys over to a man named Ravi. He handed me a cheque and I stared at the value. Wow.
I skipped down the street in pure elation. I hadn’t done that in a while. I was so used to driving a car to get to work and to do my errands, that I had forgotten that walking is actually quite easy, just putting one foot in front of the other while moving forward. It seems that your brain really does most of the work, and you can just stand there and relax.
The weight of 1800 pounds of Japanese engineering has been lifted from my shoulders. I have freedom, sweet freedom: from car payments, insurance, and gasoline, and I will not have to pick up anyone from the airport in the near future, which is a wonderful thing.
It is certainly less convenient than hopping into my car at the last minute and racing to work in six minutes. I have to plan my journeys now, according to the bus schedule and my blood sugar levels. It is a transition, though the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
The only thing is, whether I like it or not… I am now one of them. I am a self-righteous, self-satisfied parader of legs (or peddler of bicycle). I am now car free.
You know the type: Flat hair, heavy sweaters, rosy cheeks. They try to reduce their carbon footprint by walking, taking public transit or riding a bike. They are using human energy instead of gasoline power. They fancy themselves to be environmentalists just because they are saving the earth.
And the only emissions they emit are their own personal business.