how to: shopping without a car

The day I sold my car was summery, dry and warm.  Of course, the very next day the skies opened up, the temperature dropped to just above freezing – and I had no vehicle. It was as if the universe was testing me. This was also he first day of figuring out how to get around in this very car-driven (sic!) society. What about shopping?  How do I get home the carton of half gallon milk along with bread, eggs and a six pack?

blue bug fleeting

Of course, I can do this. Not only do I have a bike with a basket, I also signed up for Car2Go – where I can find a little Smart pretty much everywhere in my neighborhood.  This whole car situation and my renewed motivation to preserve to environment and live sustainably triggered a bunch of other observations and experiences.

What does it take to feel satisfied with your choices? How much does one need to live safe and comfortably?

I went to a fast-food outlet to get some lunch. We were on the road, with not much time to spare, and hungry. I chose a Mexican fast-food restaurant, they make some filling, not too offensive food. The quesadilla I had was done with a ‘four cheese’ mix and some salsa. Filled me up.  For the moment.  It did not take long and I was hungry again. And while I could have just gotten another little thing, the taste of the quesadilla lingered in my mouth, the salty quick fix and I almost wanted more. They say there is an addictive quality to fast food. And while I don’t think I got ‘hooked’ after one experience, I do get a sense on why people want this food – it never leaves you sated, well fed and happy.  You want more.  More of the addictive salty taste, the easy texture and non-offensive spices.

Inside Pike Place MarketAnd then, look at all the beautiful meals you can make out of these vegetables! You know what is going into your food, no additives, no processed stuff. My one-time fast food experience made me realize how good I feel when I prepare my own food and use interesting spices.

A few days later, I had a conversation with a customer about the book Overdressed. You know, the one where the author tries to shed light on the cheap clothing industry. The conversation was triggered by the recent fire in the garment factory in Bangladesh.  I equal the fast and cheap clothing industry to the fast food chains. Cheap, bland clothing leaves me just as dissatisfied as the quick meal. Yet, because the clothing is so cheaply made and basically un-interesting, people go back for more.  More bargains, more color for their -already- overstuffed closets.

Maybe I am generalizing here but the feeling you get when you wear a well-made, interesting garment on your body –  just leaves you … satisfied.

kattalin-023I can’t help it – but losing my car, this instant gratification at my fingertips, opened up a few pores and now I’m sensitive.

Or blame it on the full moon.


1 Response to “how to: shopping without a car”

  1. 1 Ros Hewson
    May 26, 2013 at 22:58

    I believe the similarities of the fast food outlets to the cheap imports is an excellent connection. Well written Michaela!

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