Saturday, November 17, 2012

Waking Up

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.

10 comments:

Granny Annie said...

You said: "I am sure a lot of people (including people of my own culture) look at us as thrifty or cheap." My spouse and I prefer the term "frugal". Our shopping sprees are done in thrift shops or garage/yard sales. As the saying goes, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." lol

Shelly said...

Being thrifty is a smart way to live. And in this economy, with even higher taxes looming, those who are going to prosper are the ones who know how to economize.

Chatty Crone said...

We are thrifty to Munir- and proud of it! It can get to be a game. Happy Thanksgiving. sandie

yaya said...

When I lived in Chicago growing up I used the bus alot and then car pooled when no bus service went to the hospital I worked at. In the 70's we had gas rationing also. I think thrifty should be everyone's middle name..smart way to live!

Nick Wilford said...

Sounds like a step in the right direction. Petrol costs are extortionate in the UK now - any trip we do, that has to be budgeted for.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

HI Munir .. I love the quote "We cannot control the attitude given to us by others, but we can certainly control how we react." - your grandmother was one wise woman.

Interesting .. I wonder if Storm Sandy had anything to do with the use of buses.

People don't seem to know frugality ... and now it's returning - I'm thankful for my early years ..

Good post - interesting .. Hilary

Youmna09 said...

No matter how many cars are owned by my Family Whenever I go to Pakistan I always have a ride on autorikshaws. I just love it :D

Sarah Pearson said...

If well organised, public transport rocks :-)

Austan said...

I'm very proud to be so thrifty. It takes creativity and brains to live this way but its rewards are numerous. Anyone can throw money around; it takes talent and wit to make a comfortable life with little. You go, Munir!

DWei said...

In North America it's necessary to own a car in order to get anywhere.

I wish things were more like Hong Kong. I'd take the MTR all the time if I could.