Thursday, August 2, 2007

You Can See It On Foot

There is a teriyaki place not very far from my new apartment. This should come as a surprise to exactly no-one. After all, I live near Seattle, and you can't swing a dead cat anywhere in the vicinity without breaking the windows of at least half a dozen teriyaki places, two Chinese restaurants, a sushi joint and a Thai place.

But I digress. The point isn't that there's a teriyaki place within walking distance. It's that I never knew it was there before. In fact, despite the fact that I've driven by the place time and again while I've lived out here, I've never noticed the entire strip mall that it sits in. I happened to notice it today simply because I walked over to the gas station for a quick bite to eat that didn't require me to cook anything. When I'm driving, I've found, I'm oblivious to everything that isn't right there on or next to the roadway. When I'm not driving, it's like a whole new world. There are all sorts of places, that have been there for years, and that I've driven past a million times, that I'm suddenly noticing for the first time. I suppose, do a degree, that sort of single-mindedness is helpful. After all, my driving record has no accidents that are more recent than twenty years ago. But something tells me that it might be worthwhile to do a little less driving, and give myself a chance to become better acquainted with this other world that seems to exist only when I'm not behind the wheel.

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