17 July 2012

A good day for a drive to the south

I was oncall for work until 1:00 PM today. It's been a terrible seven days and once the oncall shift ended, I mentally checked out. I stuck around until about 4:45, but hightailed it out there.
Because it was a good day for a drive to the south.

I had to go to Chinatown anyway to get some groceries, so I was heading southbound anyway. But I figured if there was one thing to do today it was to follow the overhead wires of the 7 bus and get to the magic land of Rainier Beach that it had on its rollsign.
It was a good day for a drive to the south.

Nevermind the fact that no one seemed to have any idea how to describe the weather today. The dude on the radio said it was balmy and muggy, which made no sense. The gage on the car said it was 76, which seemed like an outright lie. It was cold, until it was suddenly steaming hot, with a chilling wind. It was like what it's like to be sick. Maybe I'm sick? Is that why I'm not feeling it?

So I set forth down Rainier Ave and just kept going until I hit Renton and decided it was high time to turn back. There were houses and strip malls. I raced a minivan. A homeless man whooped whenever a light would change.

But at the end was the an amazing vista out of over Lake Washington, dotted with tiny cottages, facing the monstrosities on Mercer Island.

I think there's something curative about driving. I view my car as a total luxury. I don't need it, I could make do without it, but I enjoy it. Contrast this with my father, who just really literally cannot fathom the lack of a car. But he doesn't enjoy it the same way I do.

When I drive, I do so largely on my own accord. I don't need to get anywhere in any particular hurry, usually, so it's majorly relaxing.

But come to think of it, why are we as humans able to drive? What part of our evolutionary history selected for us being able to maneuver a vehicle at several times greater than our sustained running speed?

I wouldn't give it up, because it was a good day for a drive to the south.


  1. Enjoyable post.

    I think driving doesn't really involve any inherently different skills in terms of vision, coordination, reflexes, etc. than one would need, say, running through rough terrain. Yeah, you're going faster, but you're also farther away from the things you're avoiding. People's heads don't explode when they navigate through a galaxy in a space simulator at speeds many times that of light because the stars in the world are super far away. Try navigating a maze with human-sized corridors at the speed of light and you're gonna run into walls, but multiply the size by a few orders of magnitude and it's indistinguishable from navigating a real-life maze at walking pace.

    1. i'm not farther away from anything

    2. When you are in a car avoiding other cars / curbs / what-have-you, you are farther away from the things you're avoiding than when you are running through woods avoiding branches. So you can go faster in the car while using the same amount of brainpower to avoid things.

    3. i'm not farther away from anything

  2. You got rid of the Toyota?