My parents did not have a car. Needless to say that most of the time we used either public transportation or private rickshaws (yes driven by foot by men) or auto rickshaws to go places. We would look at people with cars with envy. For a lot of young people the vision of owning and driving a car worked as an incentive to study good and to go to college. Here in America just like a lot of immigrants my husband and I felt lucky to own a car and then two. Yes we do work hard to get what we have just like most people. However we try not to go overboard and waste resources including money. I am sure a lot of people ( including people of my own culture) look at us as thrifty or cheap. I always remember the advise given to me by my grandma: "We cannot control the attitude given to us by others, but we can certainly control how we react." So smaller cars and combining a couple of errands to save gas has been our rule.
Last weekend we went to the Palisades shopping center. I generally do not like the holiday crowd (having done customer service). My husband loves crowds. He loves the holiday music and the decorations and all. So when we saw the parking lot half empty he was kind of disappointed. Less than two weeks before Thanksgiving and just about five weeks before Christmas, the parking lot got me worried too. I was thinking of the economy. However when we went inside, the mall was just as crowded as it would be any other holiday period. That got us puzzled. Our daughter was wondering if people were carpooling. Anyway this was a good thing everyone was doing, I thought. When it was time for us to go home, we saw a huge crowd by the mall entrance. What I saw next made me really happy. There were at least six buses lined up and they had signs that said their destinations. They were not going to just New York city but suburbs as well. I was happy that we are waking up to the fact that driving an SUV for one person is not a smart thing to do. Even if it took rationing of gas, at least we are growing up.We are beginning to understand that taking a bus is OK, even if we live in a suburb.