A Walking Experience!

"Normally it is expected to be a pleasure! So it was near Nandini’s home in Klahanie, Issaquah in the north west of USA.

January is very cold for walks in Klahanie and is also lonely. You wear heavy clothes and are forced to walk in a brisk pace to beat the cold! The surroundings are beautiful and distant snow-capped hills entice you to pause a while in admiration. The wide concrete pavements lined with pretty trees are level. The joints are filled and blended so that the baby strollers have a smooth surface all through. The pavement joins the road in measured slopes to ensure that motorized wheel chairs move smoothly and join the roads gently. Soon you get used to the clean pavements and spotting an odd piece of litter begin to upset you!

On lucky days when the sun is out a few young mothers take their children out in their strollers or in tow, a few walk their dogs as well. You are so happy to see people you break out in a smile and wave at them!

Crossing a street is easy, as cars stop as soon as they see you stepping out of the pavement. Once about to cross, you step back to let a car pass. But the driver stops and waves you on and it takes a few seconds for you to react but he waits! Sometimes they anticipate and stop before you even step out!

Once, while waiting patiently at a small crossing for the lights to change an old lady appears on the other side and presses a button on the pole and soon the flow of cars is stopped as the light turns red! You feel embarrassed as you discover one on your side and are impressed with the power a poor pedestrian is given! You feel tempted to play with the traffic, making cars stop to cross and re-cross, you could go on forever!

You marvel at the effort that has gone into to make walking a pleasure and safe for the very few who choose to walk or even those confined to a motorized wheel chair! You are truly impressed the day you see a bus driver wait patiently for a person on a wheel chair maneuver to get on to a bus and help him only to the extent needed. You wonder whether these wonderful values are the result of their culture, their economic strength or is it just their fear of being sued!"

These paragraph's are from my pre-blogging days and came up again recently as I was dusting my computer files! I have lost many files to virus attacks on the hard disc, but luckily a few of them survived and I am tempted to put them into my blog. Thus they may live a little longer.

I am now walking in Vancouver west which is not a gated community like Klahanie but is well planned and maintained. It is not exactly downtown but is on the fringes. I am very impressed with the wide avenues and beautiful homes. Again I wonder as to what is it that makes these cities so livable and average citizen friendly. Is it again just money? I do not think so.

The area is considered a good while not posh! I could compare it to better parts of Sukumvit in Bangkok or Jayanagar in Bangalore. I have seen other parts of Vancouver which are not as good. Even then the foot paths are stroller and wheel chair friendly. Bus drivers drive carefully and are friendly and polite, well most of them!


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