Readability

Feet on the Road

Pedestrian-Crossingby baldilocks

Today I walked to the library to print out the postage that Ama­zon sent me so that I could return a non-​operational shred­der that stopped work­ing after a few months (yes, I oiled it). Then I walked over to a UPS store to send the pack­age. It was a nice lit­tle trek.

I’ve been with­out a car since the sum­mer of 2014. LA is not like east­ern cities. If you don’t have a car, you’re almost noth­ing and many dri­vers treat you like it, espe­cially if you’re pulling indi­ca­tors of your car-​less sta­tus, like a rolling back­pack or a per­sonal shop­ping cart. I use both reg­u­larly, after hav­ing injured the entire right side of my body while car­ry­ing a heavy load on my shoul­der. Ah, old age.

When I get rich, I’m going to set up a cam­era on some busy cor­ner to doc­u­ment and snitch on all the dri­vers who barely miss — or hit — pedes­tri­ans as the lat­ter are cross­ing the street with the right-​of-​way. Usu­ally, this hap­pens when the dri­ver is mak­ing a right turn. But I’ve had more than one dri­ver make a left turn right in front of me.

There are nice dri­vers, how­ever; those who stop when I’m try­ing to cross an inter­sec­tion where there is no sig­nal and even those who mess up because they didn’t see me and apol­o­gize when they real­ize that they’ve erred. And it could be worse; I’ve seen what Nairobi pedes­tri­ans have to deal with.

Out­side of dodg­ing dri­vers, there’s an inter­est­ing side to long walks in big cities: the small busi­nesses to which one is nec­es­sar­ily obliv­i­ous when dri­ving down the street. Cap­i­tal­ism is still breath­ing, even in Cal­i­for­nia. Call it an upside.

Being stripped of many of my mate­r­ial pos­ses­sions has opened my eyes to many things — my own obliv­i­ous­ness, for one.

Plans: more walk­ing. My legs hurt, prob­a­bly from yesterday’s walk. I’ve been sit­ting around too much.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2012. Her sec­ond novel will be done in 2016. Fol­low her on Twit­ter.

Please con­tribute to Juliette’s Projects JOB: Her new novel, her blog, her Inter­net to keep the lat­ter going and COF­FEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Inde­pen­dent Journalism — -»»

baldilocks

Pedestrian-Crossingby baldilocks

Today I walked to the library to print out the postage that Amazon sent me so that I could return a non-operational shredder that stopped working after a few months (yes, I oiled it). Then I walked over to a UPS store to send the package. It was a nice little trek.

I’ve been without a car since the summer of 2014. LA is not like eastern cities. If you don’t have a car, you’re almost nothing and many drivers treat you like it, especially if you’re pulling indicators of your car-less status, like a rolling backpack or a personal shopping cart. I use both regularly, after having injured the entire right side of my body while carrying a heavy load on my shoulder. Ah, old age.

When I get rich, I’m going to set up a camera on some busy corner to document and snitch on all the drivers who barely miss—or hit—pedestrians as the latter are crossing the street with the right-of-way. Usually, this happens when the driver is making a right turn. But I’ve had more than one driver make a left turn right in front of me.

There are nice drivers, however; those who stop when I’m trying to cross an intersection where there is no signal and even those who mess up because they didn’t see me and apologize when they realize that they’ve erred. And it could be worse; I’ve seen what Nairobi pedestrians have to deal with.

Outside of dodging drivers, there’s an interesting side to long walks in big cities: the small businesses to which one is necessarily oblivious when driving down the street. Capitalism is still breathing, even in California. Call it an upside.

Being stripped of many of my material possessions has opened my eyes to many things—my own obliviousness, for one.

Plans: more walking. My legs hurt, probably from yesterday’s walk. I’ve been sitting around too much.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s Projects JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>

baldilocks