Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How Would You Like Your Exhaust Prepared?

There I am, pedaling my way from Yan Bei Yuan to the School of Government. I'm feeling pretty good. It's early in the morning, the kids have gotten on the bus, and I'm getting a little bit of exercise on the way to campus.

Then I hit Xi Yuan. This is a major crossroads for buses taking different routes. Kind of like Metro Center. Just add in all of those fumes being emitted by buses waiting on line to pick up their passengers.

Riding behind a bus, it accelerates. I inhale some stuff. I ride through an area where there are tons of buses loitering. More inhalation.

Maybe this whole ride-the-bike-to-school thing isn't so smart after all. Yeah, you save some time. But you plow right through the "bus-o-sphere." Not very pleasant.

So I got to thinking that maybe riding the bus was actually the better, healthier option. At least you're not out there with the exhaust blowing in your face. This idea lasted until one day I was sitting (standing?) on a crowded bus that was going nowhere. All of that junk was just permeating the warm and stagnant air I was sharing with dozens of my closest friends. Not very pleasant.

Should I be taking taxis? At least they don't get stuck at bus stops. Maybe they knife through the "bus-o-sphere" quickly enough to avoid major inhalation.

Never mind...

Taxi drivers smoke. (Remember that guy with whom I shared a nicotine moment?) And you have to stand out there on the street, competing with dozens of your other closest friends for each empty cab that passes by. What are you inhaling while you're busy playing that game? Yep, you guessed it...

~Steve

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