Posted by: martinworster | February 12, 2007

29. DRIVING SUCKS

I still don’t like driving in my car…

Car city. You can’t live without a car here. Every car park looks
like a new car showroom as out here your ride is everything. I
feel like a dwarf when cruising in my Ford Taurus which has over
100,000 miles on the clock. Every second car is a pick up truck,
some with wheels over five foot tall. Big SUVs. We all know it’s
every Americans natural born right to pollute the planet and the
freeways out here are living proof. I find it scary the amount of
cars out here and you can see how, forgive the pun, they are the
engine to the US economy. At night the red lights snake bumper to
bumper like the blood of the economy pumping around it’s
arteries.

Driving over the brow of a large hill at night I see LA mapped
out before me lit up like a giant circuit board.

One thing you notice is the terrible quality of the roads. Bumpy,
pothole ridden and generally looking pretty shabby and unlit at
night, even on the main motorways. Sometimes the divider
protecting you from traffic coming the other way is a piddly
little concrete thing three foot tall which you have to drive
dangerously close too. The freeways feel like one big go kart
track.

Driving in LA it helps if you are an octopus with fly like
peripheral vision. Changing via the seven lanes, looking at what’s
ahead and to your side. Cell (sorry mobile) in one hand. Skinny
soy latte in another. Cigarette clenched tightly through
tentacles. The freeways are all numbered so journeys feel like
algebra equations. Take the 405 to the 91 then head west on the
15 which turns into the 10. Easy.

I look over at the big billboards on the side of the freeway.
Glow in the dark crazy golf. I make a mental note to investigate
at a later date. Another signifies a ’24 Hour ATM’. Wow, the
machine is open all day AND night – I’m glad that living in the
first world with all the wonderful life enhancing technologies
that offers, that cashpoints are open 24 hours and that they
feel the need to advertise that!

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