Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Living In Your Car

Recently, I've posted about the length of time I spend in my car due to our public transportation system employees being on strike.

On average, I spend anywhere between 4 to 5 hours in my car on weekdays to get to the office and then drive back home. Luckily enough, I am not a driver to just sit there and follow the long snake of moving cars to downtown. If I did that, I would definitely be in the car 6+ hours a day! You learn very quickly to be an active driver. For one, it keeps me away and secondly, I get to work earlier.

By no means am I an agressive driver... just sneaky and fast. I take exit lanes and sneak back in to traffic before the exit if it will move me ahead and even take the exit completely if there isn't too many cars at the light and then take the on-ramp on the other side of the traffic light.

Most times, taking a back route or two really cuts down on my travel time. Since the beginning of this strike, I've been able to shave at least 30 minutes off my travel time. Can you imagine when the buses start running again? When I need to travel to the west side of the city to go to my BF's place, I take the car to the office. On those days, I'll be at work much quicker as I investigated other routes. It will shave my usual 1 hour to get in to maybe 40 minutes! Woohoo!

If you practically live in your car 4 hours a day, you need to be organized and thoughtful! Here are some tips from someone who's been there...

1 - Bring your coffee (but not too much so that after an hour on the road you drive cross-legged)

2 - Bring a snack or two (just make sure it's spill proof or have an extra change of clothes)

3 - Ensure that you have at least 5 pre-set radio stations on your car stereo and CD's of many genres of music (variety is the key here - up beat music to keep you awake / soothing music to calm you when stupid drivers annoy you / Carribean music for when you are cold...)

4 - Bring a small knitting project... something easy to follow and knit a few stitches while you are COMPLETELY stopped (imagine... 5 stitches per stop in traffic can really make a difference! 5 stitches X 30 stops = 150 stitches!!) (I bring a big project too just in case... you never know, you might be involved in a minor accident and be sitting for an hour waiting for the cops to show up)

5 - Ensure you have a headset for your cell phone... safer driving and you can chat away.

6 - Good time to check your agenda and make quick notes of upcoming appointments / activities / important dates etc...

7 - Bring your camera!! You never know what you might see. (I always forget mine and so many times I wish I had it; like the time I saw a mama fox and her little ones or a lone wolf standing on the side of the road or a huge horned owl on a post or a spectacular sunrise and sunset...)

Can you add to the list??

Another snowy day today my friends. Picture is courtesy of the Lord Elgin Webcam in Ottawa.

What does this mean??? Nothing... just a three hour drive home.

Until next post...


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