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Old January 7 2009, 04:51 PM   #55
nevermore
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Location: The Land of Pleasant Living
Re: Abandoned London

Holdfast wrote: View Post
In the UK, our perception of scale is TOTALLY different to the USA.

For you guys, a one hour drive to the shops would be nothing. For us, it's particular effort to go to a big town or city.
Not at all. I get terribly irritated when I have to drive anywhere, and only drive an hour to go to very specific stores, and then only once or twice a year for major purchases like furniture.

Same applies to visiting somewhere. London is only an hour away from me, but I only go there when I really need something I can't get closer, and I'd make the most of it, combining it with other errands I can't do locally.
Well, see, I live 45 minutes from DC and about 2 hours from NYC, but it's not like I go there for errands or even regularly, but I do go a couple of times a year to both, more often back when I had friends living there. Something like NYC, which is about 3 hours, has almost always been considered a weekend trip. I just can't imagine living a couple of hours from a major cultural site and never having any interest in seeing it for a even a weekend. Granted, there are some East Coast cities I haven't been to yet, but Atlanta or even Boston vs. London is really not the same thing...

Another example: I had to go to a particular shop 45 minutes away from me to exchange an item today. I bought it from the shop while I was in that city for other reasons. The shop doesn't have a local branch so I had to drive there again today, just to exchange it, and it annoyed me that I couldn't just drive 10-15 minutes into my local city centre to swap it. Another example - my current commute to work is about 40-50 minutes, depending on traffic and it really bugs me that I have to do that compared to the 20 minute journey I used to do.
I'm an Urban American. I do not drive everywhere and don't consider a 45 minute trip to go shopping to be in any way acceptable. Also, I commute exactly 2 miles to work. I'm annoyed when it takes me more than 6 minutes to get here... I would never, ever consider driving 45 minutes to work.

I think the question of scale applies not in the cases of every-day travel but in the cases of planned travel or mini-holidays etc. When I look at England and see that in terms of land area it's smaller than say New York State, I think I just find it difficult to believe that just through incidental trips over the course of their lives people wouldn't have at least seen the majority of the place. I get that Europe is very close and there's a lot to see there and that that's the preferred destination for a proper holiday, but I had school field trips that involved more than a 7-hour drive...

Kestra wrote: View Post
Holdfast wrote: View Post
In the UK, our perception of scale is TOTALLY different to the USA.

For you guys, a one hour drive to the shops would be nothing. For us, it's particular effort to go to a big town or city.
I don't get where that perception comes from. A one hour drive to do some shopping is definitely annoying! I'll drive that distance to go somewhere (getting to Chicago with mild traffic easily takes me 2.5 hrs now) but it's not as if it's nothing to me.
Precisely. To get somewhere unique and interesting I will drive a distance.
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