Walking Around Feels Odd

Walking around is good for you. I’ve been told many times that walking helps you stay healthy and keep your weight down. I already know the benefits of walking, but the thing is that it is hard to walk around in southern California especially out in the suburbs. The problem is that everything are too far apart. It would be nice if I can walk from my home to the market. It’s not impossible to walk there, it is just inconvenient. The way the places and streets are built here, you’re forced to drive a car. It’s the only convenient way. You can try using the public transportation here except it is not that good and kind of scary. If they can make the public transportation system a lot better, I would use it.

There is an odd stigma about walking here. It is looked down upon. It’s okay to go hiking here, but walking around means that you don’t have a car. Because of that stigma, I always feels self-conscious if I am walking on the sidewalks. Just the other day, I had to dropped my car off at the auto repair shop. It was after noon and I was hungry for food. There are several restaurants nearby, so I decided to eat at the Middle Eastern restaurant for lunch. It was only less than a quarter-mile walk, around a five minutes walk, and I still felt odd walking there. I felt like I have to give an excuse why I was walking on the sidewalk. My car is getting fix! 

I think that odd feeling is due to the layout. In the city, it is easier to walk around because there are many distractions. There are usually storefronts to look at and there are other people walking along with you. Over here where I live, there are no such distractions. Not many people walk on the sidewalks, so it can be a bit lonely. The only distraction is the cars driving by on the street. The drivers see you walking on the sidewalk and you can’t help wondering if they are judging you or not. Most of them probably don’t care and just want to get to their destination. But you know there are a few of them who are wondering why you are walking around because it look a bit out-of-place.

It’s not easy to walk around here. Everything is built and designed for people who drive cars. I am envious of cities that have great public transportation system like in London or Taipei. You can go from point A to point B quickly and cheaply. Imagine the money that I could save on gas if I could use the public transportation. If only the public transportation in LA county or Orange County is efficient.

I think the only time it is seen okay to walk around is for exercising. Power walking, jogging, running, and strolling around the neighborhood in the evening are not looked down upon. It’s even better if the work out clothes are color coordinated. Living in southern California can be weird sometimes.


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