Much of the week I was focused on snow that came on Wednesday and is continuing in wetter forms today. I was supposed to go for Hanukah candle lighting and dinner on Wednesday night, and I watched the snow collecting on the driveway with some apprehension. My car is garaged under my apartment. I back out of the garage, pull forward and make a sharp right turn up a slope in the driveway, an ideal setting for getting stuck in the snow.
I have become something of an apprehensive driver in my old age. I keep telling myself I know how to drive in snow. I come from Chicago; I’ve been driving in snow for fifty-some years, one time as 18 inches of the stuff was falling. I never let a little thing like weather stop me, until now. I persuaded my landlord to come and shovel the slope in the driveway, (he is supposed to do it, part of the lease) and I got out. On Thursday, even though it was still snowing, I took the car up the driveway without giving it a second thought, and couldn’t figure out why I am being so fearful. Aging effect, I guess.
Learning to drive and getting my own car was very important to me. I always saw the car as liberation and drove fearlessly all over this country and in some other parts of the world. I don’t feel that way anymore. I would cheerfully give it up if we had better public transportation. And while I’m on the subject: why can’t we have high speed trains like they have in Japan. In fact, why can’t we have all kinds of great public transit like they have in other parts of the world.
The distance from Tokyo to Kyoto is about the same as the distance from Pittsburgh to New York. The Japanese train covers the distance in about two and a half hours, and gets you to the center of each city. On my last trip from New York I left the city about 5:30 pm and I did not get home until 12:30 am. That was flying, not driving. Why is it that the Japanese can have these wonderful services and we can’t?