Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The inconvenience of not having

a car was made clear to me when my father arrived home yesterday. He had been to the supermarket to collect some light bulbs. He had gone on his "gopher".
When he set out it was "grey but fine". I had already been out and back in "grey but fine". He thought he might make it before the rain came. I did not.
He did not. He got caught in not just rain but hail. He was wearing his waterproof jacket but not his waterproof trousers or his gloves.
When he returned I sent him to change everything and have a hot shower. He seems to be fine but I was a little concerned.
"But I wanted it because Sam is coming this afternoon and he won't mind changing it for me."
No, Sam will not mind in the least. He is a very nice boy. That was not the problem. I wondered why I could not be trusted to buy light bulbs.
My father, quite sensibly, bought an "economy" pack of three. Sam arrived and, while the kettle boiled, put one in and discovered it did not work. Is there something wrong with the wiring? No, another faulty bulb. The economy pack is not an economy pack. It was also much too wet and too late to return the economy pack to the supermarket. We are therefore stuck with using another bulb (which does work) from the economy pack and not being able to return the pack.
All this depresses my father. He would once have driven a car to the supermarket. (It is a twenty minute brisk walk away even for a fit person.) He would also have climbed on the step-ladder and put the bulb in himself. He can do neither now.
I never did learn to drive a car so I am used to being out in all sorts of weather - which is not to say I necessarily like it. I have never climbed ladders.
All this makes me understand why people want cars. They are expensive but oh so convenient.


Anonymous said...

I don't know how you manage without one where you live - the public transport is pretty much non-existent. Chris

Miriam Drori said...

Unfortunately, you're right. At least we only have one car for the five of us.

Sarah Pearson said...

We haven't had a car for a few years because of the cost. I still miss it, especially when shopping for the four of us!

catdownunder said...

Yes, shopping is the bug Sarah - or getting to the doctor (three and a half km away) but our other supermarket will deliver for $5 so I do a very large amount of shopping once in a while and get it delivered - the cost of delivery usually paid for by stocking up on "specials" of things we need but will keep without spoiling.
One car for five people Miriam - most families here would have two for a family of that size. There is one family I know which has five cars for four people!

JO said...

Yes - there are times when being without a car is such a pain you are tempted to go out that minute and have lessons, buy one.
I choose not to have a car - I can drive, and needed one for years to get to work (I live in a small market town). Then I went travelling, and managed South East Asia on buses - if I can do it there, I can do it here. It takes planning, and lastminuteness is out of the question. But there is so much less angst - no car tax, insurance, traffic (which queue do you choose in a traffic jam . . .). And I can read on buses - it's my major reading place.
Shopping - I do my grocery shop on line. I'm so out of practice with large supermarkets they bring on a fit of the vapours these days.
I do have the luxury of being able to drive, and so hire one occasionally (my daughter had twins recently, and so I had a car to go backwards and forwards easily). But it was such a relief to take it back, rely on nothing but myself and the buses.