les Davey de France

Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Miscellaneous New Year Reflections - Call me Carlos

Well, what's it like living without a car, then?

Brilliant! I wish we'd got shot of the thing earlier!

Financially it's brilliant. We don't pay insurance or fuel. We already paid out on our bus passes anyway, so it's all just savings. And we don't have the biennial "contrôle technique" scare or the big bills for servicing or the massive bills for repairs.

Mentally it's great. Driving the thing had become so stressful. Still, sometimes, when changing gear in the Autocool cars or in hire cars I hear that thunk. Also we don't get stuck in traffic jams. Well, we do sometimes, but it's not our problem! We just carry on reading.

Physically it's great. We all walk far more than we used to, even if it's only to the bus stop and back! And it isn't, because sometimes you see that the next bus or tram is in 10 minutes, so you walk a couple of stops.

Spiritually it's great. You can read. Yay! You can chat with people on the bus. Yay! Some of the bus drivers get to know you. Yay!

The negatives ?

We pay to get our shopping delivered, but we save on impulse buys (and see above).

We spend more time in buses and trams, but we already used them a lot anyway.

A trip to the seaside, or anywhere else for that matter, has to be planned and budgeted for (but see above).

It is a long time since we went to Ikea. I think that's a negative, though it has its positive side, too.

Visits to friends who live outside of the public transport area are more difficult. We need to reserve a car.

There is an intangible, too. Our society is hugely focused on car ownership. You are aware of being somewhat counter-cultural. But that's a good thing, no ?

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