02 March 2007

Dan Bern vs. Fahrverbot Sonntag

Ever since I got an email from the Dan Bern HQ several weeks ago, informing me that Dan Bern would be performing several shows in Germany in march, we have been planning to go. In fact, the closest show is actually on a weekend, and we nailed the date into our calendar. There is no question whether or not we are going. We are. End of story.

Well, not quite the end... We weighed the options of getting there. The train goes to the town we need to go to, but won't be able to bring us back due to the estimated ending time of the show. So we would need a hotel. When we calculated the price of round trip tickets (the price advantage of the Baden-Württemberg ticket evaporates, since the trip spans 2 days) and a hotel and decided that renting a car and paying for gas would be cheaper. Plus it lets us visit a few people in the area of the show, but don't have such great rail access.

So everything is set, and were psyched. Then I hear on the radio that Sunday is this "live without a car day" and everybody is supposed to not drive on Sunday. I didn't get whether or not we're sending a message by not driving or just learning to live without the shackles of oil-based fuels or what.

What irks me is that I will be driving a car that day. And people will probably look at me with that same kind of "how could you be doing that" look that I get when I cross the street against the light to catch the bus. The look of disapproval is common in Germany, especially from the older crowd. Sometimes it even comes with the voice of disapproval.

What those people that will be giving me the look on Sunday don't know is that I live every ordinary day of my life without a car. Without the weekly stop to the gas station. Without spewing Feinstaub all over Ilsfeld or Stuttgart. (Confused: see this or this.)

I'm all for trying to be less dependant on cars. I don't have the knowlege and/or equipment to measure how much wear and tear on the world we have avoided by not having cars for the last two+ years, but I know that we have saved a lot of money, I am probably getting more exercise, and I don't have that stressful drive home like I used to (a traffic jam after a crap day at work - used to get me really annoyed, but now is a thing of the past). The only thing I really miss is being able to listen to NPR on the way to & from work. That's how I heard about Dan Bern in the first place.


At Friday, 02 March, 2007 , Anonymous brian said...

i've always found days like your "no driving this sunday" day amusing. because they always pick days that are the most convenient. after all, most people don't work on sunday, so you only have to refrain from driving for recreational purposes, for the most part. oh gosh, how difficult. ask everyone to not use a car on a work-day, however, something you do ALL THE TIME, and i'll bet most of them would say "Screw that."

At Wednesday, 07 March, 2007 , Anonymous naomi said...

We've been car-free now for about 10 mos. and it's been great. Granted, we live in Iowa City, which is very easy to get around on foot or bicycle. For road trips, we just rent a car when ncessary.

I concur on the saving money bit. I've saved SO much money not owning a car, and I'm in better shape from walking/bicycling than I've probably ever been, which is really great.


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