Road tripping, part 1

Obligatory confession/self-improvement type deal (side note, thoughts about this? Keep doing it or not? I am and will continue to do so personally, but I dunno if doing it publicly is good or bad, other than maybe having some sort of accountability other than self-accountability. But I like to think that I hold myself accountable pretty well…)

Anyway, I confronted a friend about something in public, when I really should have waited a bit longer. Granted, we weren’t around people we knew, but it still shouldn’t have been done. (If said friend is reading, again, apologies).

Made it to NYC after a hop, skip, and a jump in DC. Will be in the Big Apple for the next couple of days. Am currently sitting on a friend’s bed, catching up on e-mails, since along with not having toilet paper at where I stayed last night (seriously, better accommodations in Tanzania), the wireless network was hidden. But life goes on without the internet, and rather well at that too.

Yesterday was great. Despite driving on about 4 hours of sleep (one of the perks to being a former insomniac is that I function rather well without sleep), brunch with friends was fantastic, I went to my first ever Pride Parade (which was an experience to say the least), and had dinner with friends from back home and friends from school. All in all, a good day.

I drove to NYC today, coming from DC, and when I got here, met up with another friend who I haven’t seen since fall (she studied abroad) and am staying with three UNC-ers (yeah, we’re taking over). But the main part of my post that I want to talk about is the tolls on the road up.

Between DC and NYC, I paid $3, $6, $4, and finally $12 in tolls along the way (along with $41 for parking daily. Thank goodness I’m not paying anything to stay with friends). And again, my initial reaction was “Dang, what a rip-off”.  And then I thought about it. And was a fan of it. Our interstate highway system is one of our greatest accomplishments. And it is also one of the most “Socialist” undertakings that we have ever addressed as a country. So maybe it wasn’t the tolls that I was a fan of. But the fact that there were so many people that were willing to pay those tolls. That last bit was a bit scary. But it made me wonder two things:

1) What would people pay to avoid those tolls, or make them a moot point because the roads are used infrequently enough to be unnecessary.  Basically, what needs to happen to make public transit the new interstate highway? (Yes, I know in this political climate, that is a pipe dream)

2) Why does socialism have such a negative stigma in the US? Does it really infringe on the rights of individuals?


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