Wednesday, July 24, 2013

On running errands

I love that it is easy and completely unnecessary to have a car here. I really really love it. All of my traveling needs can be accomplished by walking, bicycling, or taking a bus or train. And quite easily and efficiently, at that.

This is a photo from last fall, because who wouldn't want their photo taken when they return from the grocery store with a baguette in their bicycle basket.

Pretty much the only time I think about how it would be really nice to have a car is when I am running errands. The whole concept of driving to a store, buying stuff, putting stuff in car where it will stay while you go into a second nearby store, is a pretty nice thing. As it is, when I run errands I can pretty much only manage to go to one store at a time, even if there are two together that I'd like to go to. Then I have to consider if the things I am buying can be transported by bicycle or if I'd be better off taking the bus. Then travel routes or bus timetables need to be consulted. Getting lost while driving isn't really so bad. Getting lost on a bicycle can really tire you out.

I do my grocery shopping one bag at a time, or two if I'm feeling ambitious. Stocking up at the liquor store means 8 beers maximum, because any more than that is just too heavy. Often I decide to pay more for an item at a convenient store, rather than going across town to get a better deal. Tracking down specific foods here can take a couple days if I don't find the item at the store where I am shopping. (Kale can be incredibly elusive here.)

All that said, I have gotten pretty comfortable with the system. Usually it is not a concern because I can keep up on errand-running one item at a time. But at times when I've let myself get behind and realize it is going to take several nights to get caught up, it is then that I start thinking about how this could be finished in just an hour if I had a car. But alas, it is a sacrifice I am willing to pay! Because look at me! No car!


  1. I wish I could live without a car!

  2. Have you thought about using a car sharing service? I asked Google about ones in Uppsala and this one came up:

    Before we bought our car here and while living in Portland, we used Zipcar for places that would be easier to get to with a car. I cannot wait to live in a place where getting around without a car becomes feasible again.

    1. Oh I had not thought of this at all! That is so smart!

  3. Or this one!