Days 225-228: MLwC, One Fell Swoop and Canadian Thanksgiving

In one fell swoop, I have nearly driven half the amount in three days that I did the entire previous quarter. As noted in the last quarterly round-up, I drove a little more than 300 miles total. In the last three days, I’ve driven around town 130 miles–whoa! What’s going on?

On Friday, I had business on the eastside. If one is going to Bellevue proper, there are buses you can take from Seattle, easy shmeasy. Not that many do (‘cept you, Yo!), but you could if you wanted. If you’re going anywhere else in Bellevue, forget it. Bellevue is all about cars. They’ve got plans for more roads that stretch far and wide into the future. Nevermind that the amount of traffic will increase exponentially to fill the lanes available to it, and experiment we’ve all participated in for years and years. But I digress. I went to a part of Bellevue to which no buses come near and every time I go, I drive. That was the first trip.

The second trip was a winter clothes extravaganza. As I’ve noted earlier, the cold and rain and whatever else winter has in mind for us, has come early this year and I’m already thinking, Hey! Let’s move to Mexico! Short of that, more clothes are in order. Last winter I spent good and happy chunks of time in Central America and managed to get through a winter of historic proportions without much trouble…no such luck this year. So, we went all out and headed–along with about 3 million Canadians–to the outlet mall up north. It’s Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.

waiting at the Canadian border

While in line with about 150 other people in the Banana Republic, I started talking with a South Asian guy who was holding a spot in line for his family. He was clearly bemused by the whole spectacle of shopping frenzy so I thought we had something in common. He told me he’d waited in line at the border of Canada and Washington for 2.5 hours only to come here and wait in line for the dressing room, for the check out, for the starbucks cuppa joe, for everything.

I said, “wow, so the prices are so much better here?”

“Not at all,” he says. “In fact, they’re about the same.”

I looked at him and said, “Sooooo….?”

He said, “No, we’re just here because then we can go back and say we were here.” I just stared at him. He started laughing, and then the guy behind me started laughing, because he was also from Canada and was there for the very same reason. He had waited in line at the border for about 4 hours. The woman behind him chimed in as well and then they all started sharing which routes were the best and fastest for getting down here and back. We live in a strange world.  It’s like all these people knew there was something insane about what they were saying, but hey.  It’s a Banana Republic World.

Compared to their outing, our little 40 minute jaunt from West Seattle was nuthin’. Got some great winter clothes, too. But it is amazing how the miles rack up so quickly. We ran a couple of other errands while we were out, and then this morning, my partner woke up quite ill with a bad cold so it was incumbant upon me to do the weekly and seasonal shopping…another 25 miles. But now we’re ready: we’ve got enough soup, pasta, fruit, cold meds, wool clothing, oatmeal and bottled water to last us for a while.

Needless to say, I have no illusions about coming in at less than 300 miles this next period. Not with the office project and everything else that’s come up. There’s a funny little urge inside me to just throw up my hands and say, Oh what the hell, let’s get in the car and drive everywhere! It’s raining, it’s awful, what the hell!

But not really. It’s just crazy little voice in me.

Daily Stats: (Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun)
Car: 130.6 miles
Bike: 4.5
Ped: 3
Bus: 0

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