8.09.2009

Crank

Cars are rare here. That's not to say there's not tons of them and traffic and general chaos, but the majority of the general population does not own one. They drive the two wheeled variety.
I guess we are raised around/in/with cars in America, and are just used to that. I've noticed a number of people here have car problems and are entirely unaware of what to do. If the car won't even turn over (clearly because of a dead battery), sitting there for half an hour cranking and cranking and cranking isn't going to do any good. I've seen this phenomenon more than a few times here. Just this evening I went to grab a bite to eat, walking, and on the way there a poor guy was trying to start his car. It just didn't have enough juice to get started. I ate dinner, and on the way back, he was still sitting there grinding the alternator, but this time it was far more hopeless since he'd drained the battery down.
Just another one of those things we don't think about culturally, I guess. If I saw a guy in a Walmart parking lot (in America; goes without saying, no?) who was having car trouble, he'd probably fix it or know what was wrong before I made it in the store.
Cars are a part of our childhood(s[?]), I think. I remember when I was little and we'd all pack in Mom's Buick and I'd sit in the front seat with dad while mom was in the back with my brother and we'd be going to Savannah or Augusta or Florida and listening to Elton John or Fleetwood Mac or Bob Segar or something (but it did seem like any time we went to Savannah we ended up listening to Natalie Cole and Bonnie Raitt). I remember the words to all those songs and they're fond childhood memories.
That is to say, even in small ways it's interesting to see how backgrounds are different and what we remember fondly.
"Daniel is traveling tonight on a plane..."

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