For some reason introducing these blogs makes me think of Sesame Street, do you remember the little bit they did at the end of each episode? “Today’s blog is brought to you by the letter C – for @catnipfields our latest member, and the number 4 because that’s how many of us are now blogging!” Yippee!!
Even though our latest member doesn’t have a blog yet, and won’t be posting till tomorrow, we decided to chuck her in at the deep end and ask her to provide today’s theme. Well it turns out @catnipfields is a jolly good swimmer when it comes to blog selection, took to it like a duck to water, all that stuff and selected ‘Public transport’.
Now being a car owner I must confess I very rarely use public transport these days. The thing that has struck me whenever I have the option to use it (since I left Bristol anyway) is that the majority of the time it’s both cheaper and quicker to drive. Not exactly the best way to encourage people to think of the environment now is it? The thing is, when I do use it, I actually like public transport (I’ll wait for you all to pick yourselves up off the floor….ready? Good).
Perhaps it’s the novelty of it, when you always drive it is really quite nice to just be able to kick back on a bus or train and watch the world go by. I enjoy looking out of the window at the English countryside or towns as they go by and train journeys with mum got me into the habit of enjoying looking into back gardens as we speed past (nosey I know!). Even when I was at university I would use my time on the bus to read, make phone calls or enjoy my iPod and people watch. There’s a saying that goes ‘enjoy the journey as much as the stay’, and while I do like driving, it’s far easier to enjoy a journey when you’re not concentrating on directions and traffic! Sometimes driving can be plain frustrating when you have things on your mind, you want to be getting on with things, but both hands and your eyes are busy so no can do!
In fact thinking about it, I actually met most of my university friends on buses, which makes it far more sociable than non-public transport. Then some of the train journeys I’ve been on have just been COOL! There were the double decker trains in Italy for example (we spent the whole time attempting a Sudoku mind, four of us, one puzzle. Took us practically the entire journey from Rome to Naples) and the night train in Thailand still makes me giggle. Carriage upon carriage of bunk beds, each with their own little ladder, luggage rack and curtain when you wanted some privacy. About an hour into the journey I sent my friend on the bottom bunk a postcard inviting her to a picnic on my bunk; it was all sorts of fun. We had this odd green jelly that came in a little plastic cup with a straw! Then in the morning the conductor came to get you all up so your your beds could be turned into seats for the day passengers. You’ve got to love Thailand!
Iain and I on our train bunk beds!
Don’t get me wrong, road trips can be brilliant. When you have a group of friends (4 max for comfort) and a decent road trip cd ( @iampenbot is an expert at these) then there’s something refreshingly freeing about jumping in the car and heading off to wherever you’re going. For me my car signifies independence, even after 7 years of driving I still get a thrill from getting in my car and being able to go pretty much anywhere. I want to do a driving tour of the states and the Gold Coast of Australia (think Thelma and Louise (with a happier ending) and camper vans respectively) at some point in my life. There was also a plan at some point to see how far we could get into Europe within a week or 10 days (had to get there AND back) until fuel prices got ridiculous. Essentially, I think I like travelling. Seeing new things, potentially meeting new people etc. I even enjoy my commute to work and the sights it offers (for example there is a large corgi style plastic dog attached to a telegraph pole on the way to Cardiff, very bizarre!)…Life is a journey not a destination, so enjoy the journey as much as the stay? Thank you, don’t mind if I do 🙂