Saturday, September 10, 2005

Travel Time

I hate travelling. I hate the ten-hour drive to Indiana or Georgia. I hate the 45 minute drive/train to work. I even hate the 10 minute drive to get to the grocery store, especially when the back gate next to my housing area is closed, and it turns into a 20 minute drive.

I've found that the time it takes me to get places is a major factor in my decisions on what to do. I'd rather skip breakfast the next morning than go out to the grocery just for milk...if I don't need more stuff than that, it's not worth the trip. I'd rather go to Wendy's, 10 minutes away, than Popeye's, 15 minutes farther. And I almost never see my family, because 10 hours one-way kills two days, there and back, and that's too long for any trip much shorter than two weeks.

I ran errands today. I estimate that it took me about 45 minutes to do what I needed to do. The rest of the three hours was driving in the terrible DC traffic to get to the places I needed to be. That's over two hours of my life, wasted in travel. Too much!

I know, we're much better off than a century ago, when a 10 mile trip was a good chunk of a day, and a trip from DC to Indy was a once-in-a-lifetime event. But I've read and watched too much science fiction to be satisfied with this. I want my Niven Transfer Booths, or Star Trek Transporters, or even Asimov slidewalks, and I want them NOW!

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