When The Government Collapses, Drive South

I figured in honor of the pathetic Dutch government finally admitting they can’t hold it together, I would take a little visit to Paris. I’m sure it sounds flashy, Berlin last week, Paris this week; but please note: each journey costed under 60 euros round trip. That is the wonder of using the automobiles and sharing the cost among passengers. This particular journey I made use of, for the second time in the last year, hitchhikers.org. Great site and interesting people participating in the simple act of offerring a ride in exchange for a small fee… i.e. money for petrol.

Speaking of 4 wheeled vehicles that I normally avoid. You often hear about how the US has too many cars or too many big cars. Yet I think one point that deserves more attention, is Europe’s car addiction. Take the Netherlands; Im sure everyone things of bicycles.. but in fact.. highways full of traffic is also quite characteristic of the country. Today, en route through Belgium, near Antwerp and Brussels, huge traffic jams. And of course, on the outskirts of Paris.. I could have gotten out and walked here faster. Although all these countries have excellent rail systems, and even a decent bus option for collective international transport.. people still insist on the car. Even down in my dear Portugal… there are cars everywhere. People don’t even have money to buy them, but the wonders of credit will help to bring every man, woman, and of-driving-age child, a little hatchback with which to sit in traffic somewhere.

Maybe this isn’t news to the world, but I find there is an exaggeration of the US situation versus that of Europe. Both are in big trouble in terms of future prospects for going anywhere by car, not to mention the air quality.

But let me be a carefree tourist for a moment and ignore the harsh realities of the world. I’m here at B and E’s place, my dearest expat friends since waaay back. And if I ever get to sleep, I shall meet up with Madge in the morning and together, me and the sweaty Lesbian will get on a train and go visit Madame L at her secret undisclosed hideout way out where google maps can’t see.