October 20th, 2009

Let me see..

This little cart went to the market

Last week, I wrote about the tag that came on this shopping cart, proclaiming that it was "Made in the World." The tag didn't specify whether it was in our consensus-reality world or in worlds in alternate planes of existence, or at any particular place within any world. Still, it's a useful cart.

I live in Madrid, Spain. In Spanish cities and even in many small towns, people tend to live in wall-to-wall apartment buildings so that the population density is high enough to support a car-free lifestyle. To buy groceries, I walk to stores in the neighborhood.

The supermarkets have areas at the entrance were we can park our carts, and for a deposit of a 50-cent coin, we can chain up our carts for safekeeping — a wise move, considering that the new neighborhood Hiber supermarket gave out identical carts to the first 1000 customers, including me.

In spite of all us householders hauling heavy loads in carts, we face frequent architectural barriers to small wheeled vehicles, such as steps, curbs, posts, creatively parked cars, and torn-up sidewalks. The city is walkable, but it's not quite rollable.

— Sue Burke