I love being a pedestrian/transit user/cyclist. I do not miss my car.
I am inspired to post this right now because I just emerged (on foot, with stroller) from the neighbourhood coffee shop, coffee in one hand, and got stuck momentarily inside, unable to easily open the door as I had the stroller wedged in the way. Before I could move the stroller back to come forward again to grab the doorhandle, a young woman walking by outside, yoga mat in her bag after being at the local studio I am sure, saw my predicament and helped me. She had to actually enter the coffee shop as I backed up the stroller, to hold the door for me, and I went through it. I said things like, 'Oh thank you! Usually I am a lot smoother than this,' and 'Have a wonderful day.' She laughed and said no problem. We both felt good from the interaction.
Likewise on the bus this morning I rang the bell before M's school, the bus driver forgot to stop, I said 'Oh!', he apologized and stopped. Right in the Kiss n' Ride, where cars usually idle momentarily while waiting teachers help kids get out. But the waiting teacher helped us off the bus, and me, her, M and our driver all got a kick out of the idea of a bus coming through the Kiss n' Ride.
I would not interact with these people from my vehicle. I would be in my own world, and they would simply be obstacles. My human interaction quotient has gone way up. As my one friend said, 'In a car we are defining ourselves by the kind of metal box with which we surround ourselves.' I love that. I feel much more *in* the world. M is learning to put her transfer or change in the metred box on the bus and take and guard her transfer. We have the same drivers many days and are starting to know them.
I also get more exercise, by far, even when taking transit. Just the walking between places is far more activity than I usually must execute to get myself through the world. And the bicycle is amazing exercise. I love seeing my body get stronger and have an easier time as I get more practiced, and I love the feeling of cycling. It is the only exercise I have ever truly enjoyed.
I realize I am only a few weeks in to 'the grind.' I realize it is not winter yet. Perhaps I will eat my words when it is -30. But as of right now I do not miss my car one bit. When it has rained on us (twice now), I have longed for an umbrella and decent rainwear. Not for my metal box.