I have reached the age of 36 without a full driving licence much to the dismay of many persons I have encountered. I get without issue, from point a to b mostly by placing one foot in front of the other. In rain, I use an umbrella, when it’s cold I wear a coat, if freezing I add a hat gloves and a brightly coloured scarf. It is not difficult. Yet still I hear the gasps and see the frowns when I confess, for it is a sin in our consumer, petrol driven society that “I don’t drive”.
Now there are practical considerations when being a pedestrian, primarily distance which when combined with time requires assistance, when the time / distance cross road becomes too great, I get the bus. I have no inclination to head for 3 hours on a busy motorway to take a day trip. To trip for the day I have woods, sand and scenery within a short stroll. But the day to day I hear you cry …Well I get the bus.
The bus, once labelled a peasant carrier by a former partner is a thing of joy. On my most recent journey we were propelled by a pleasant polish guy who smiled and appreciated each of his passengers. All dutifully paid the toll required and here we began our journey.
What you get on a bus, that driving or indeed being a passenger in car cannot provide is time, it may be a 10 minute journey from one side of town to the other, or a regular commute to and from work. But in those bus propelled moments we have time to watch and think. To notice what is happening in the streets around us, to see that today the May flowers are emerging on the hawthorn tree, to smile at the lady who always gets on at the stop by the cross roads with two carrier bags and a toy poodle stashed in her hand bag.
So I give thanks to those who worry that my life is not complete without an automobile, but I shall still, get on my bike, I shall wander the streets, I shall hop on a bus, for in so doing, I have time to see and time to be.