Driving a Car 2

A friend of mine visits me regularly. He lives almost 300 kilometres from my home and always comes by himself, driving his car all the distance. Immediately after our meeting, he drives back home.

On arrival, the first thing he usually does is lament about the long drive, the hassle on the streets, the ignorance and mistakes of other drivers, the traffic jams caused by accidents, bad weather or frozen streets. And about all the time he wastes driving his car. You have to know that my friend is very successful. He is always busy and full of energy.

He could just as well go by train. The connection between his home and mine is a good one and takes hardly longer than the car ride. Going by train would make it possible for him to use the time for work or to relax. On top of this, it would also be cheaper.

Regardless, my friend goes by car. He says it makes him more flexible, and somehow or other, it just seems the simpler solution. In the car, he can smoke (incidentally, he talks about quitting). And besides, he says trains are always late.
I often go by train. And I like it. Consequently, I can vouch for the truth of his last statement. I, too, am often annoyed about the lack of precision in our railway system. As far as being on time is concerned, the train is no better than the car on the motorway.

The irritation about late trains is something I share with other people who go by train. That helps. By the time we arrive, the frustration has mostly found an outlet already. As opposed to this, the driver of a car is in an area of total social isolation. Consequently, the first thing he has to do on arrival is get rid of his frustration.

Well, I gladly take the role of listener as he laments. It is the least I can do for him, isn’t it?

(Translated by EG)

Here is a link to another article of mine. In it, I try to explain why driving a car makes you unhappy. After all, I sincerely believe that I am feeling a lot better since I now (almost) never drive a car. And I maintain that driving a car is arrogant and bourgeois, lazy and inefficient, inhuman and disrespectful towards nature, simply decadent and, above all, a way to move from place to place that is just not adequate to human nature.

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