Monday, July 5, 2010

Big & Fast, we are

After being back in the US for a few weeks now, I am still adjusting to the way we Americans do things here compared to the things and practices I grew accustomed to in Sweden and the European countries I visited while abroad. These disturbing 'things' can be simplified into all things fast we are sometimes associated with- food, traffic, work, time in a day...

Flying from Spain (which isn't the greatest mode of transportation in itself) and it's siestas into fast NYC was an interesting homecoming, especially because we did not just land and find friends or family welcoming us back to a home to recupurate from let jet-lag and culture shock, but a trip to Budget Rental and onto the road to Michigan. Our plan of visiting my brother in upstate NY, devised back in the winter, was foiled and this was the next best thing we thought. However, after getting used to not having a car, using public transportation, riding a bike and witnessing most people making similar choices, it was a surreal experience landing back in this country of 'fast' and 'big' things. Also never visiting NYC before and navigating out of the city through all the suburbs on our way out like Harlem, the Bronx and others- it was crazy! I was practically freightened to be in our rental car navigating, in and out, through the sea of vehicles.

I am still getting used to being back on the road with so many over-sized trucks, SUVs and big vehicles. With it being 4th of July and celebrating our Independence, I find it somewhat ironic that 'independence' can be associated with big trucks sometimes- this is not independence, this is dependence of a finite supply of oil that will be the downfall of the US economy if we are not smarter. Maybe someday a wind turbine can signify Independence more than a big loud truck.

So, some solutions...

I think I may stick with not owning a vehicle for a while. After growing used to not having a car in Sweden and just biking, walking and using the bus, I have found this to be quite enjoyable.


smart vehicles- biodiesel, electric, smaller and more efficient vehicles

How can we make this smarter way of getting around more sexy? How can we promote healthier habitats while promoting healthier lifestyles and ways of getting from point A to point B... it is more about looking at the service that people need instead of the 'products' like big and 'false sexy' vehicles. We can do better, right?

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