So what’s it actually like living on this little planet? These are my observations over the past rotations of the moon, and I hope they will if not inspire, at least encourage and give a bit of hope to those battling to find a place they can call home.
Living in one city is pretty much like living in any other city anywhere in the world. On the New Planet though, there’s a whole lot less place to park my craft. Luckily for me, I get to move to a rural area and heartily recommend this to anyone contemplating the move. Okay, I won’t get paid as much as I was in The Great Capital City, but it’s cheaper to live in a small market town or village and there’s something to be said for waking up to the lowing of cattle and the stench….I mean aroma... of animals, instead of hooting taxis and traffic that continues all through the night.
Hordes of travellers from diverse planets, most speaking an unintelligable tongue,rush about the tiny planet and this traffic continues to make me catch my breath. Even after these many rotations of the moon, I still find myself in awe at the chaos that can ensure from something as simple as one traveller applying the brakes to his craft, without warning, causing the river behind him to slow down, then stop, thus creating one immense parking space on one of the byways.
This Planet truly is a green and pleasant land; gorgeous stone cottages and tiny winding lanes bordered by hedges, tulips blooming on every verge, roundabout and roadside in the spring and the long hot evenings in the summer (although there are some Natives who declare that summer has been ghastly this year). Now, quaint though these winding lanes are, they are no fun to drive down in the pitch dark. I almost have a heart attack one afternoon when a many-wheeled vehicle wider than his half of the road, side swipes me and takes my mirror with him.
Most of the New Planet's roads are only wide enough for one craft and if I happen to meet a sluggish farm-making craft, much reversing to find a wider spot occurs. Again, not fun in the dark. Also, if it happens to have rained (which as already established it does fairly regularly) the roads get flooded and I come across a long tailback of craft all trying to turn around and reverse to avoid another craft that is stuck in the water or the mud, of which there is a plentiful supply. This, is not an easy task and unless there is a convenient farm entrance nearby turning is virtually impossible.
So coming unsuspectingly round a bend I encounter a queue of surprisingly calm drivers (unless you’re from the Southernmost Colony in which case you are irate at the delay) I reverse slowly into the nearest convenient farm entrance or dent in a hedge, turn and try to find an alternative route to my destination. You can imagine the joy of driving down these tiny lanes when it has snowed and the road is icy. Many a merry motorist has ended up in a hedge or in a field full of cows, having skidded on a frozen puddle or black ice.
Picture the road to your nearest large metropolis in peak hour in the midst of a taxi blockade…this would be an average day on one of the New Planet's Motorways. Yes, I kid I not, this is a TINY island and EVERYONE has a craft of some kind and drives it (not always as politely as one would suspect) on the motorway. Peak hour is a nightmare and best avoided if at all possible. A traveller can spend 3 hours doing a ten minute journey. AND, wherever I go they are digging up the road. There are road works everywhere. I have never seen so many little orange cones in my life. Someone somewhere is getting very very rich. So, I in my infinite wisdom prefer the simple roads, floods, muds, tractors and all.