Friday, January 20, 2012

I’ve been lost.

I've been lost. Ever since coming home last week on Thursday, I’ve been at a loss. We have not had a vehicle to use because the owner of the car we were borrowing has avoided our attempts to meet with him. This means that we now must be more creative and effortful in our transportation. We have our feet, bicycles, trains, busses, taxis, and minibus taxis. The first three have been our only resources in the last week.

The trains- nothing is posted regarding rates or times, and sometimes the ticket counters are closed. It took over an hour, using two trains, to get to the closest mall, which by car would take 15 minutes! We bicycled to the gym, which is across from the mall, and at my pace, it took 45 minutes.  And I was exhausted and sweaty by the time I got to the gym…

I'm told this is an African Leopard Frog.

We took the train to Kalk Bay, which was better than we thought it would be. It was interesting, there are 1st class seats for R5 (less than a dollar) more, which were worth it on one train, but didn’t matter on another (in that drunken trouble makers were in all train cars). It makes me uncomfortable in theory to have different “classes” of seating, but in reality, when it works, I am more comfortable riding in them. On the trains, I definitely feel like a minority and we are often the only light skinned people on them.  I think I would feel fine if I understood the language, but because everyone around me is not speaking English, I feel at a disadvantage. I know that many of them understand English, but I don’t understand any of the languages around me, and it makes me quiet. Also, the trains are hot and sweaty; often crowded.

View from The Brass Bell in Kalk Bay.

So basically, my entire routine has now changed because I don’t have a car. Before, I’d go to the gym in the morning, participate in an exercise class of two, go to the video store, go to the grocery store, and be home before lunch. Now, since getting to the gym is such an effort, I have only gone once (the day I rode my bicycle) and my mornings are just fading away into a blend of nothingness. I have always appreciated how the gym kept me to a schedule and routine…now…not so much. And I’ve never been the type of person to go jogging in my neighborhood, so I’m worried that all the physical fitness I’ve gained over the last year will slowly disappear.

Etta looking amazingly cute with her bone.

I’ve never really lived without access to a vehicle before. Even in college, living in a dorm (residence hall), I would bicycle between 10 and 20 minutes to get to one of my parent’s homes and was able to borrow a vehicle to do my shopping when needed. For the first time, I really don’t have a car and I have felt very strange.

Very unsettled. 

I forget sometimes, and make plans for going to a certain place, and then remember I can’t. I try to remind myself that we will be saving money with our new lifestyle. 

­­I know that this situation is a minor worry for some people, but it is new to me, and I am having trouble adjusting. This trouble also includes writing on my blog. I’ll try to get back to my normal frequency starting….now!

If any of you have suggestions for how to manage this new phase in our lives, I am open to suggestions.

Song of the Post: Use Somebody by Kings of Leon.


Laina @ Vibrant Serenity said...

Oh girl, I know exactly how that is! I feel the exact same about the whole transportation thing. Thankfully, Hans has started driving (31 years old and just got his driver's license). It's a bit of a paint in the rear because we don't have our own car. We were looking at buying one, but his dad insists we use their 2nd car and not buy our own. It works out well, except when one of the cars is in the shop or whatever and we are stuck without a car. Fortunately for me, we live literally a 2 minute walk away from the shopping street here, so walking to most things is no problem, but any functions or appointments outside of the shopping street are pretty much a 'no-go' for me. I think over time you will ease into a new routine, its the change that is stressful. You just have to try your hardest to go with with flow. Maybe make that 45 minute bike ride to the gym your only workout until you can get used to it, then when it's time to increase the workout bike to the gym and actually go inside to use the gym. Hope this helps a little bit, and I hope you can find your groove soon!

Toqua's Crafts said...

Sometimes life has difficult lessons for us to learn. We often do not totally understand or appreciate those lessons until after we've moved on to something else (often another lesson... ugh).

Perhaps the way for you to stay in shape is to continue to ride your bike... here in Tucson... there are bicyclists EVERYWHERE! Get or create a basket for your bike so you can carry groceries.

I know at this moment in time it seems like your life is in an upheaval, but you'll get back to a routine and it will settle down.

Vanisha @ Vanisha's Life In...Australia said...

I'm so glad that you're back and posting again. I've missed you! I'm sorry to hear about the vehicle situation. Unfortunately I'm of no help at all. Neither Patrick nor I drive (as in CAN'T and don't). Because of this we've always lived in the city, and luckily, all three of the universities that we've worked and studied in have been close/in the city. I have no idea how I'd survive in the suburbs. But...Patrick is learning to drive this year (I say so!) :p

Sami said...

Glad you´re back! I know being without a car really feel as if you don´t have your independence...We only have 1 car, and when my husband was working across the other side of the city, he would either drop me at work if we both hurried in the morning, or otherwise I would have to get the train/bus. In the afternoons I would always get transport back home, as he worked longer hours. I know that in S.A. public transport can be complicated and unreliable. Just think that in the Netherlands, almost everyone cycles and the weather is certainly far from perfect. Best of luck xx

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Why not buy a second hand Vespa or an electric scooter?