Over The Hills and Far Away

Son will soon wind up his semester and the students have a 10 or so day holiday. Not much going on in the very small town the school is located in so it seems the vast majority of kids will go home; not really a problem for most as they are in-state.

But for son, this poses some issues.  The biggest issue is son is dithering on letting us know when he’s done, am told he’s got to get with a couple of his professors before he knows, so why not ask either in person or by e-mail?!

But in looking at the options, bespeaks much on how things have changed/are different from Japan.  Air travel is an option and the quickest, and the available fares (when I last checked) weren’t too bad. However as we still can’t get a straight answer out of son, I am sure the availability of flights has shriveled quite a bit.  And then there is the issue of him getting to the airport and then getting back from the airport.

No buses from the school to the airport (and back).  And as I looked at other options, it was quite a surprise.

Looked into cross-country buses.  An option, but….First he’d have to find a way to get to the county seat; about a half an hour drive away.  There he could board a bus, which unbelievably would take nearly 24 hours to arrive in DC, at 3 am no less, in a less than savory section of the city.

Train service?  A single track rail line does run through the town and it has a passenger station; now though relegated to an historical relic of times bygone.  To catch a train that’d could deposit him in DC, son would have to travel pretty much across the state of Ohio, to Cleveland; there catch a train and also an unbelievably long trip to DC.

So that leaves us with, yup, the car.  Calculated, if I do not stay overnight at or near the school, just the cost of gas is most likely cheaper than the airfare.  The downside is mostly on me; its an 11-hour drive (one-way) and son can’t spell me as he’s got manual transmission phobia.

All this is quite the contrast to Japan. I’ve thought of/marveled at  the surface transportation system there and have occasionally mused about just for fun/adventure, being blindfolded, taken to some remote part of the country and armed with just an ATM card, being able to make my way to Narita Airport, relying only on buses, trains and perhaps a taxi.  Mention this from time to time to bro. Pound Salt, who invariably tells me that if it so good there, then I should move back and live in a house the size of his tool shed.

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7 Responses to Over The Hills and Far Away

  1. mizunogirl says:

    Transportation in Rural parts of the US is really car based. I love the way people can live in NYC or Washington DC without a car for daily use, but in most places that is almost impossible!

    It could be that your son may want to stay on campus with some new friends. I never went home for fall break. Clearly, he may be done a little bit sooner, but if he plans the trip to start the day of fall break, then it won’t be an issue, no checking with professors required.

  2. Nah, son has made it a b u n d a n t l y clear he does not want to stay on campus for the ten days or so for the semster break. Partly as he does not have a car of his own yet and partly because as most of the kids/his freinds are in-state, they’ll be going home too.

  3. Sounds like you’ll remain his taxi service till you say enough and force him to grow up and assume some responsibility for his comings and goings.

    • The ‘it’ is a car; if he had one, he could ferry himself to wherever, whenever. I cannot afford to buy him one now, nor can he, nor could I pay for the increase in auto insurance. A job and income would solve many problems, my taxi service among them.

  4. Then it serve him well to learn to be resourceful to solve his own dilemmas. Or, alternatively, you can prepare to remain his taxi service.

    • The point of the post is not to bemoan the trip I will need to make; looking at it on the positive side, its more time spent with son and perhaps an adventure or two along the way. The point is that in Japan, even if thrown into the most どう田舎, one can still make their way back to ‘civilization’ with available surface transportation.

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