Monday, December 27, 2004

The Morning Commute - It's Not Much Fun

· One of the reasons I live on campus is to avoid the morning and evening commute on Interstate 66. That was an agreement my wife and I made when me moved to the country. Generally, it has worked out well, though it can have its down sides for one or both of us.
· This morning was a good reminder of why I chose not to include commuting in my life, which so many Washington suburbanites do. I arose at 4:45 AM and was out of the house by 5:10 – a beautiful moonlit night, with just a faint dusting of clouds awaited me. Driving along a country road toward the interstate, looking alertly for deer crossing the road (a serious problem in lower Faquier County) I saw a distant gleam of headlights in my rear view, which quickly closed. The impatient commuter behind me zipped to within a few feet of my rear bumper and then crossed the double yellow line to continue his journey at 75MPH or more. I confess to the brief and most un Christian hope that he (or she) might encounter a deer or large bear on the road. Not very considerate of the bear or deer.
· Accidents and traffic accidents are routine on Route 66 after 5:30 AM, but I encountered neither. Thus (with a stop for gas, that included a small technical problem because the pump would not read my credit card) I arrive at my apartment about 7:15. Total travel time – door to door – under nearly optimal commuting conditions, with no accidents. 2 Hours.
· People have long commutes in Sri Lanka too, Sometimes the duration can be two and a half hours or even three, on crowded busses and trains. I have always wondered how alert and creative a worker can be after a trip like that. I wonder about Washington commuters too, some of whom may be directing the affairs of the worlds remaining superpower. That, at least, is not a problem the typical Sri Lankan commuter faces.
· But Sri Lankans have problems enough, after yesterday’s Tsunami. Pray for them.


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