When our oldest son was about three years old he asked me the reasons for having traffic signs. I explained him the different reasons and I remember looking at him and our younger son (who was one month old at that time) with great emphasis on the importance of communication between fellow drivers. I was twenty-three years old and was preparing for the test for my learner's permit. Not a whole lot has changed since then when it comes to driving except that my husband thinks that I drive too fast for a woman. I say that I drive within the speed limit, follow all the rules and am a defensive driver. I mean, I have to be one. As beautiful and breath taking the view is on Route 9W, I hardly get to enjoy it. The morning commute does it to you. You become one of them, the robotic and attentive driver you need to be, because there are some people who love their coffee and want it in one hand while holding the steering wheel with the other. Then there are people who have their smartphones sitting right on the steering wheel and as soon as there is a red light their thumbs are at work. So what do I do? Nothing. There is nothing I can do. I used to tell my coworkers about the importance of safe driving, I would get the look and the nod you would get from a person who thinks that you are too old for this world. Well, I guess I am, but am not ashamed because I do see signs and think that they are important. Just about twenty years ago, my husband ended up hitting a car, because the driver did not yield. She said that he was supposed to have slowed down, as he knew that she would join. Luckily, no one was hurt and no damage was done to either of the cars. This was a proof that he did try to slow down. When I told this to some one at work, they said that the "Yield" sign was useless and boring. It confuses people. One person actually said that it was to settle litigation in case of an accident. Some people say that there should just be a "Stop" sign or nothing at all. I am not so sure what the fate of the "Yield" sign should be, but I hope that people understand that the sign means that you let people on the main road go before you or else there can be a crash. I end up yielding all the time even though I am on the main road, because people are not understanding the sign correctly. They think that there is room for argument when it comes to an accident. We were in LA a couple of weeks ago. There was one thing I liked about some of their highways. There actually are stop lights at junctions where you join the highway. It changes quite frequently depending on the clearance. I wondered for a moment if the Highway Dept. thought less of the drivers' intelligence, but then I realized that maybe we should have that in New York as well. Perhaps then there will be fewer crashes instead of one every couple of weeks at some intersection.
In India we had four seasons just like we do here in the US, but the range of outside temperature is not very wide. Well, some areas have freezing temps but most of the time we would have temperatures ranging from 35 degrees F going up to may be 108 degrees F. depending on the part of India. In winter time we would generally wear cold creams to keep our faces from chill bites and use space heaters or may be a fire place. In Summer the rich would have air conditioners and air coolers and the general public would sweat and get sticky. Whatever the situation would be people did not complain. Our Economics professor told us that it is good to complain and ask for more as that gives entrepreneurs a chance to invest in inventions that make the public happy. Still people were just glad that they had what they had and were not about to risk losing resources.
We are in the US now. A lot of times we were told that we are careful with money or that we are used to suffering just because I do not believe in using the air conditioner until the cold air freezes our bones. That is fine. I am too old to worry about people's opinions. I know that when I am careful with the use of electricity it is not just to save money but to save a very good resource. I guess some of our neighbors or even people at work forget that there is a difference between comfort and abuse. I understand that some people at work feel the need of bone chilling cold air and ignore the fact that some of us will not stop sneezing or even wheezing as they cannot take the cold. So we wear winter sweaters and manage. I always wondered if the same people over use the air conditioners at home. I guess I got my answer three weeks ago when I heard in the news on the radio in my car that there was a fire in one of the buildings in a garden apartment complex in Orange County. The possible cause of the fire they said was an over heated air conditioner unit.. Last night we heard very loud Sirens and I hope that it was not a fire engine because the people from the fire three weeks ago are still in temporary housing.