15/03/2010

On Driving

I don't drive. Nor does my husband. Nor do, as it happens, a lot of our friends. When our daughter was younger, she asked why we couldn't get a fancy car, like her friends's parents at school. We explained that cars were very bad for the environment, that it was more responsible to take public transport, and healthier to walk. She kind of bought it. It was all lies.
Well not really – cars are bad for the environment, and it is healthier to walk. But that's not the reason we don't drive. When I turned eighteen my father sent me money for driving lessons. I took them, took a test, failed. That happens. So I tried again, taking more lessons in the meantime. And I did not give up until I'd failed three times! In fact, I would have probably tried again had it not been for something my instructor said. By then, as you can imagine, he knew me pretty well. We'd been to each other's house for dinner, met each other's partners, had long talks about many things. So when he asked me if I was on drugs, it was a shock. Afterwards I took stock and asked myself some probing questions: I am able to cycle on a street without causing some kind of accident? Can I walk the length of a pavement without bumping into a tree or a moving person? Do I just close my eyes and run when I have to cross the road? Have I got any sense of direction whatsoever? Do I even know my left from my right? Once I'd answered all these questions, I decided that maybe, I should just stop trying. Maybe the world would be a safer place if I didn't drive.
I don't really know why my husband doesn't drive. But given he's a philosopher like me, it's probably best he doesnt.
Our daughter is a full blown, militant environmentalist now. So some good's come out of it.

2 comments:

kidletsmum said...

:) I can drive. But choose not to. Like you, I'm something of a potential menace. Plus, I want to support your environmentalist daughter.

Sandrine said...

Thank you! I'll pass the message on.

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