Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Car-free, Care-free

Last month, my father offered to lend me one of his cars. It would greatly help our move. And it really did. We managed to move everything that would fit into the car, leaving only the big items to be moved with the rental van last Saturday.

However, I was VERY glad to return it to him last night. In the 4 weeks that I had the car, I remembered why I’m grateful to NOT own one. I got two parking tickets in the last month. The first for parking for an hour in a spot adjascent to the Visitor Parking allocations at the townhouse. The other, particularly infuriating one, was at our apartment building. We took an underground space for the month, to have somewhere to keep the car. Unfortunately access to the garage includes a 6-inch step up and a 6-inch step down, both for no apparent reason and only about 5 feet apart. This makes it a real pain in the ass to roll a dolley loaded with bins. Thus, I parked in the above-ground lot for 15 minutes while I rushed up to the 19th floor, stacked 6 bins on the dolley, and took the elevator back down. In that time, I got another $30 ticket. Bastards. I received a ticket because of the bad design of my building!
The car (only a year old btw) also got sideswiped in the townhouse parking lot one evening. I didn’t see it happen, just saw the damage when I returned to the car. Whoever hit it did it slowly. There are only a couple of small dents in the rear quarterpanel, but lots of paint has been scraped away. This means that they bumped the car, but kept grinding against it. If it had been quick ‘n’ dirty, there would have been a bigger dent. I spoke to my dad, and he wanted me to wait until I dropped off the car before repairing it. I have a feeling that he’s not going to let me pay for the damage, and I have mixed feelings on that. On the one side, I’m flat broke and have an uncomfortable amount of debt right now. The move has cost more than twice what I’d planned, and Andy’s $850 veterinary bill was a painful shock. So I really can’t afford to pay for the damage. However, I am an adult and the car was my responsibility. So part of me wants to cover the repair bill, just to stand up to what I owe. We’ll see how that one goes... my father also has a lot more money than I.

Last night I took the car home. I somehow missed rush-hour traffic, completing what is normally a 90-minute drive (at the best of times) in 65 minutes (leaving my mid-town apartment at 5pm). I then spent 90 minutes chatting with the family for the first time since my mother’s funeral. They seem to be doing well, although seeing my mum’s framed photo over the fireplace put a lump in my throat.
Then my brother gave me a ride to the nearest GO Train station, which got me to the subway, which got me a block from home. I left their house at 7:30pm, and walked through my front door at 10pm on the dot. Makes a decent argument for owning a car, doesn’t it?

Dinner and straight to bed, up this morning, and back to work. A day in the life. Or is it a month?

1 comment:

  1. We have such opposing existences! I am so far away from civilization, I couldn't imagine life without a car! I'm 12 kms away from town and the town only has about 6500 people, so it's not like there is a transit system to speak of. I'm totally a country mouse!