Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Round abouts

Until the past 3 years, roundabouts (called rotaries in some places)were fairly rare in these parts. There are many of them in Boston and Washington DC but very few in the MidWest, where the whole area is platted into one mile squares and most roads hit at 90 deg angles. But now Michigan has gone roundabout happy despite having no money (we have the highest unemployment in the country). They just built one near our house openning 2 weeks ago and still people don't know how to drive in them (I learned the hard way driving in France for a week with their cryptic signs-vous n'avez pas le priorite du droit). Another is being built two miles away. Hopefully we will learn. For now people come to a dead stop utterly confused so they don't save much time.

Our local newspaper folded last week after being in business for more than 170 years. It has been replaced by a series of online blogs. One story was that a man killed himself Friday in the neighborhood next to mine in a park by shooting himself. But there was no gun near him although maybe some kids picked it up. I think something is being left out of this story. There are updates on the story such as 'no news yet on the northeast side dead man' with some people responding 'That's not news'.

Naomi will need to be tested by the school to receive anything but basic services as I didn't have her tested in high school. She is not a happy camper about this as it cuts into her suntanning time.

Aside from my daughter and her family, my brother in law will also come later next week. He hasn't seen his grand nephew. Starting to plan our trip to Italy too. Yesterday we went crib shopping for Oliver. I am hoping it will be used by multiple babies. I wish I didn't sell the crib we originally bought for Shanna (ironically sold to us by the man in my LiveStrong class). Even after being used by 5 babies (Shanna, Josh, one of my twin nieces, my niece Thea and Naomi), it looked new and nicer than what I see on the market today. Plus I sold it for almost as much I paid for it.


Tracey said...

I didn't even realise you had any roundabouts over there. Where i'm from we have some double mini roundabouts which are awfull!!

Sara Williams said...

Uuuurrrggghh! Roundabouts! Hate them and we have loads in the UK! Its a cheap way of controlling traffic! How long do you plan on going to Italy for? Fab country! Fab people. I used to do business with an Italian company and their business negotiations were much more pleasant than those with fellow Brits!

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

Hi Tracey and Sara
All of a sudden they think they are safer because they prevent 'T-boning'(side collisions into the passenger side) but for now, they are causing lots of fender-benders as we midwesterners try to figure them out.Yep I am aware of all the roundabouts in the UK. Two years ago, my husband worked for 3 weeks or so in Kent County, England. Having a car would have been useful but with the driving on the left side, shifting gears with the left (Americans rarely shift gears period)the very narrow roads with the hedgerows, I assumed he would get himself killed. As it was crossing a street, he would forget which way to look.
As pretty as hedgerows are, I was paranoid about running on the roads because there would be no place to go if two cars came across at the same time while I was there. But in general, the UK is more friendly to bikers and runners with the many public paths.I did the bikepath from Canterbury to Whitsable. They are trying to have more public paths in the US (Rails-to- trails as we have abandonned our railways) but there is a very strong sense of property rights here which has thwarted the effort in many cases.
My friend and I will go to Italy in early Oct. for about 2 weeks as a reward to myself for getting through this cancerfest. I do like the Italian people alot-very friendly. But when I was off on my own in the UK, I met many friendly people too though I found many differences despite our common 'heritage'. All was very interesting to me.


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