Sunday, April 15, 2012

Town vs. Country: A Time Perspective

Have you ever noticed how things move much faster in cities than in the country? That is because the close aggregation of people in cities speeds up time. The greater the distance between people, the longer it takes to do anything. This is why Sundays in New York City only take 3 hours, but a Sunday in Toccoa, Georgia takes all day and half of Monday.

I was reminded of this after a recent trip from Atlanta to Toccoa. I left by wagon early on a Sunday morning and was out of town and headed northeast in less than an hour. As soon as we passed the Atlanta city limits, though, our pace slowed considerably. For every mile that my mule Bleb carried the wagon forward, half a day would pass. We eventually reached our destination, but it took six months. By that time a rail line had been laid in. This angered the client I was travelling to see; he refused to pay travel expenses since I was obviously following the longest route, and it upset Bleb no end when he found out he could have taken the sleeping car.

From now on, on such trips I will blindfold Bleb. It may be that he can maintain a good pace as long as he thinks people are nearby. I will also tell him that the shortest distance between two points is usually the one for which you get paid.

Copyright © 2012 Laurie J. Anderson. All rights reserved.

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