The Friday Five question for today. Picture snagged from Pixabay.
1) Do you like to drive?
I like it fine, but what really gives me pleasure is the freedom and independence it gives me – meaning I don’t need to rely on bus schedules, or factor in how long a shopping trip to a big store (one with groceries, clothes, work tools etc) will take using a bus (three hours). I’ve and we’ve always shopped daily groceries in a nearby groceries-only shop. Big store shopping trip is for when you need more, or stock up on flour or washing liquids/powders or need to buy clothes because those big stores always take a lot more time to shop in because they’re so big that just walking through them takes time! When I had a car I was also able to take jobs out of town, and about half of them I wouldn’t have been able to take at all, or the commute would’ve been unpleasantly long. So for me, owning a car means freedom and independence.
2) Do you own (or have regular use of) a car? What kind is it?
Not for the last 5 years or so. I used have my Mom’s car, a 2000 three-door hunchback Toyota Corolla for about 15 years because they didn’t need a second car anymore. But what with my chronic illnesses making me dangerously tired to drive for several years/the car windows freezing on the inside in the winter and being a bitch to scrape and then fogging up too much see something/my needing to drive only short distances (5-15 mins) most times/there’s a good bus services in my city thankfully/the car getting to very old so for all that we finally decided to sell it.
Frankly the bus service is so good here in my city that I haven’t needed to even think about owning a car. The only reason I took my Mom’s car was because otherwise it would’ve gone unused. Since we sold it, I’ve used a taxi a few times coming from the ER/hospital, and those times frankly it’s better to use a taxi or a bus, because there’s always a chance I’ll be taken in to a ward for a day or longer (a week, the last time) so if I went by car then I’d maybe have the problem of parking, or due to the medication given me I might not be allowed to drive back anyway. The parking is only available for a few hours, a day at the most and when you’re in the hospital, the last thing you want to worry about is going out to feed the meter, or a huge parking bill and car being towed away because of not feeding the meter.
3) What is your favorite optional feature on a car?
Windshield that doesn’t freeze on the inside, and then fog up after scraping it!!! Seriously though… I don’t know! I haven’t kept up with what new cars have by default, much less what bells & whistles could be ordered as extra. My car didn’t have car radio or music player, and I always dreamed of having a car with one when I was younger. My friends either don’t own a car, or own a very basic, cheapest model with no bells & whistles. The one time I was driven by a acquaitance whose car did have all the bells & whistles, she didn’t know how to use any of them! *mind boggles* I suspect I’d love to have all the bells & whistles!
4) How much does gasoline currently cost where you live?
I don’t know! I haven’t needed to know for the past five years or so so I haven’t been paying attention. I only know that bus tickets keep getting more and more expensive).
5) What is the longest car trip you have taken?
When I was like 9 (so about 1983), we went on a summer trip from our home town Turku, all the way through Finland to Lapland. We’d drive 3-5 hours a day, camp in a tent in a camping area and often we’d stay in a place for a day or two as turists. Up in Lapland I think we stayed like a week, and then drove down a different route, again camping every night in camping areas. The whole trip took 4 weeks and was probably something like 2500-3000 kilometers of driving all in all, maybe going by Wikipedia. That’s the longest trip I’ve ever been on, and obviously I wasn’t driving, being a little kid 🙂 My Dad did all the driving because Mom didn’t yet have driver’s license at the time. The next summer we also went on a car trip, this time only about half-way up to somewhere around Rovaniemi level. This was the trip where we for the first time noticed that something was going on with Dad (turned out to be a brain tumor that grew back three times, he died in 1989 of it). But I have very good memories of these trips and of the red Lada we had 🙂
As an adult, and driving myself either all the trip or half of the trip, are probably the adventures from our home town Turku to Finland’s capital Helsinki we did with my best friend when we were in our 20s. I can’t remember the reasons for the other trips, but our first one was to go to the Korkeasaari zoo.