Consumer Behavior

Everywhere is Far by Bus

By Myra Sue St. Clair Baldwin

I had to go back to the cellphone repair shop, because having the new microphone placed on my smartphone replaced didn’t do the trick. The repair shop wasn’t far away, but when you have to take the bus around, every place feels far away. You have to wait outside in in the snow, the rain, during allergy season; even during record heat waves followed by wildfire season which means poor air quality. I would have had to take only one bus to get there, but then I would have had to wait for up to 30 minutes to catch the bus coming back.

Now some people are big on the idea of shopping local and shopping small, but most of them have cars. Try shopping small and having to take multiple buses all over the way to buy different things. Also, you have to bring a shopping cart with you, and the bus driver might make you fold it up before boarding, which is a hassle. A packed bus will sometimes drive by someone with a cart full of groceries or someone in a wheelchair due to insufficient space.

I’m not saying all this to scare you away from riding the bus. We absolutely all need to get on the bus! Our planet is dying. Billions of creatures and lots of people are dying! There’s a reason though why I prefer to shop along the bus route and take only one, maybe two buses, despite believing in the idea of “going local.” Of course, nonlocal food travels an average of 1500 miles from the farm to your plate, so maybe I’m not doing the world a favor by not having a car. Not that I can afford a car or all local, organic food on my budget, anyway.

Luckily, I do live near a local corner store. But this corner store mostly sells nonlocal liquor, tobacco, junk food, and soda – so they’re not to be idealized by any means. I do support them, though. I sadly have a tobacco addiction, plus I like an occasional beer or two (and they do have decent beer for cheap). But by no means are they great role models as they cash in on our addictions. If cocaine were legal, they’d cash in on that too.

I’m actually for the decriminalization of drugs due to the violent nature of our war on drugs and due to people having to spend so much time behind bars due to their addictions. But at the same time, I don’t necessarily like people profiting off of our addictions. It’s no different than cashing in on our shopping addictions, our eating addictions, our gambling addictions, and our addiction to oil. Though honestly, some people get by only because they sell drugs, due to their own tragic addictions or due to socioeconomic factors and/or other factors can block other opportunities in a land where there’s almost always an unemployment rate (which provides employers with a ready labor pool of people desperate for jobs). Only lately do we have a shortage of employees, which is making for more favorable working conditions for those looking for jobs.