So, Pedestrian

When I was very young, I had a passion for saving the natural environment, a lot of televised messages encouraging people to cut down on the greenhouse effect (which was common knowledge since grade school, why has it taken so long to become a Thing?) by commuting or walking--and, rather protective parents would would never let me do that because


1. we lived in the city where it was very polluted and they only wanted me breathing the (not yet CFC free) air conditioning inside the car or room to ensure that the air we breathed was clean


2. we lived in a climate where it's usually warm, so add sweat and UV rays to the city grime flying about, and


3. muggers (eventually, terrorists too)


So, I grew up learning about the world by being shut up in a magic car-shaped capsule with a movie playing outside the window of going places, and didn't get a sense of where anything in my city really was located relative to each other until my twenties.


Walking's one of my favorite things to do, now. People who know how much I walk around on weekends (a lot) and why (just because) kind of break past their "oh how pedestrian" stigma and into "this person is not quite sane and insists upon doing everything the hard way" stigma.


The city in which I walk does still have smog, the weather still does whatever it's going to do and doesn't care what I've dressed to prepare for, and I don't have more than a whistle to keep off any harmful people that I have never encountered thank the stars (one day before then I should get a 3000-lumen flashlight, or one of those keychains shaped like spiked brass knuckles).


But I pass by the most interesting things, little hole-in-the-wall bakeshops or ice cream parlors, or suspiciously well-decorated alleyways that open up into miniature other countries.


What have you found to be the pro's and con's of walking?

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I love walking for leisure and for exercise.  It is very enjoyable if I go at my own pace.  From my house, I can walk to one grocery store and two pharmacies.  However, I cannot get around my city very well if I walk other places.  My town is very spread out and many business centers or areas have no sidewalks.  Of course, there are sidewalks in front of the buildings but not to and from my house.  The roads are too busy with car traffic.  I wouldn't risk it.

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