Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tickets please.

What do I do for fun? I work.
And what do I do at work then? I have fun.

Being on Long Island without a car can be rather boring. People who can live their lives by the bus and train schedule set by transport offices that simply don't understand that people want to travel east and west at all times in the day will probably survive here. But me, I don't think I'd last.
Here are the "facts".
I live in the middle of Long Island, thirty miles east is my university and thirty miles west is NYC. In the morning, there is a massive temporary migration westward toward New York City from all over LI. And in the evening, the Wall Street/Connecticut/Midtown birdies fly back to their east nests. The transport offices safely assume that no one wants to go east in the morning (unless it is ridiculously early in the morning or too early in the noon) and no one wants to go west in the evening.
Hence, I got this splendid piece of machinery that has been the favorite relief area for many aerial beings for the past year and whose every part Pepboys has seen inside out. Literally. I shouldn't be complaining since it is fairly trouble free most of the year and is satisfied with cheap fuel once a week.
So one would be lead to believe that cars are the solution to transport issues on LI.
Hardly.

With a car, not only you spend thrice as much money on general items (insurance and fuel not included) but you also spend exactly the same amount of time finding a parking spot as you did driving to work, eventually parking in the farthest spot the university has. Even the cops don't know the spot exists so you can't get a ticket. Busier mornings see me parking in paid lots without enough change for the machine, getting tickets that I will appeal giving the most outrageous reasons. All the parking tickets I've paid in the last year are actually worth a small fortune back in India.
In winters, you spend a good hour in the morning shoveling your drive way to be able to get your car out, then shoving the snow off your car so that you can get into it and finally coax it to move with small nudges of the accelerator down the slippery local road. In the summer, your car doubles up as an oven where you can put the cheese on the bagel and leave it on the passenger side seat; breakfast will be ready in minutes (this summer I am going to try and make a pizza). You don't need a travel mug to carry your coffee either. Your car is the travel mug.

But all that given, I have a fairly eventless drive on the highway making it to work in thirty minutes while laughing at the westbound, slow-moving parking lot on the other side.

Color: Iridium
Song: Sasuraal genda phool

8 comments:

Jyotsna said...

ha ha !
the new header on your blog is pink !(obvious fact stated with usual face contusions)
good to have you writing again.

Deepu Vasudevan said...

@ Josi
Yea it is pink. I like pink. It is the symbol of breast cancer. :D

Mohan said...

It was interesting to read your travel story. I will treat this as a prologue to your ensuing "Travel in America" book.

Sandeep said...

haha.. nice.. and i read this after driving 12km for 45min on Bangalore roads :))
Finding a parking slot will take relatively lesser time though.

Kruz said...

:) u know that it's lot better to drive than LIRR-ing!!
you gotta be happy and enjoy driving :)

Praveen said...

:) nice.. nicest. nallathu oru blog.. and sepia gives a good feel to the blog

Deepu Vasudevan said...

@Chitaps,
Thanks! I am not sure I'll write about my travels, but there will certainly be a book. :)

@Sandeep
It helps to have a bike. Simply because it takes less space. :(

@Krithi
Honestly, I prefer the LIRR. If only there were decent train timings.

@Praveen
Nandri hai.

Sandeep said...

ok.. curse me for being not so green.. i take car.. only for me.