I want to briefly explore my emotions as they relate to my car.
I don’t always struggle with not having a car when I study abroad. Especially in cities where the public transportation network is very extensive and accessible (Cologne, Germany for example), I’ll have a passing moment or two where I miss it or wish I had it in certain circumstances (usually late at night when I have to wait for public transportation or I’m not sure how safe it is to be walking around an area). Even in Warsaw, where the metro isn’t that extensive and it was often quicker to walk 20 minutes than wait 15 for a bus, the walks through the city were so pleasant and safe that I enjoyed the ability to get around without needing a car.
Plus it helps that those cities had really great transportation apps which would plan out your whole route for you.
But in China, it hurts. I don’t know if I’m just really, really exhausted and ready to be home and in a familiar environment (I’ve been abroad for almost 7 straight months now) or if it’s my attachment to my car really coming through. If my car wasn’t, in fact, ever an option – let’s say if I never owned a car so I don’t know how convenient it is – maybe I wouldn’t have the same reaction.
But just about after the 10th taxi refused to take me home (taxis can refuse to take you, here in Dalian) because they “don’t know where my address is” and this last guy actually kicked me out of his car after 5 minutes of arguing and pointing the way, that I realized something: I would have given anything at that moment to have my car and never be bound to another freaking taxi or bus in my life.
(No nice bus app here, by the way).
And my cell phone was dead.
And I’m stressed out because I have an exam tomorrow morning.
And it was 10 pm.
And at the time I was like, Well I’ll take an hour and walk home then, screw them!! But it’s a good thing I wandered into a restaurant and used their phone to (pitifully) call a friend to pick me up because while home was pretty much around the corner, it’s the opposite direction of where I was going to go. Sigh.