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drive slow

Friday and today, driving to and from work, I tried out something new: driving slowly. Well, more slowly anyways. I commute on the highway (we call them highways here for some reason, not freeways), and the traditional manner of highway driving, during the commuting hours at least, is to move as quickly as possible, changing lanes whenever necessary to obtain for yourself some momentary advantage and move up minutely in the flow of traffic. Traffic is rarely stopped, and in fact usually moves quite quickly--between 45 and 65 mph most of the time--but the heavy volume of cars means that, on the one hand you want to pass people because there are so many of them clogging up the road, and on the other anyone changing lanes usually slows down about 97 other cars further back.

Now, of course you know that I'm a good automotive citizen and all that, and I obviously do my best not to do anything that would cause anyone else to have to break. Maintaining a good flow of traffic benefits everyone! But I am also not, I'm afraid, the most patient person, and I want to get places quickly as much as anyone else does. But lately, see, I've been mellowing out a little bit, though through no plan of my own. Friday I inadvertantly left kind of early, in the morning, so I forced myself to dawdle some on the way to work; better, after all, to be in the car with the radio to listen to and driving to occupy myself with than sitting at school waiting for the day to start. But besides keeping me only a little early, the slow(er) pace also had the effect of making me feel considerably more relaxed. So I tried in on the way home too, with the same result. Similar effects were observed today.

Now, I don't want to jump to any conclusions just yet; further evidence is clearly needed in this matter before I'm willing to recommend slowing down to the wider population. After all, if you drive slower you don't get where you're going as quickly! That's a major trade-off, and needs to be considered carefully. But further study certainly appears to be worthwhile.

More driving to work news: I saw (for the second time, actually) a Suburu Baja with a bumper sticker on it that read, 'It's not as bad as an Aztec', refering, of course, to Pontiac's lovely Aztec model of SUV-car-truck-hybrid thing. I chuckled. As far as I'm concerned, they're both ugly. Still, the driver of the Baja shows a very refreshing post-modern ironical sense in his self-deprecating endorsement of his own vehical; or at least I think that's what's happening.

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