Although I had seen cars and more cars in lots of English movies, I absolutely had no idea regarding the actual number of cars in the US . This city for sure, and I am quite sure that the rest of this country as well is pretty much reliant on the Automobile Industry in more ways than one. Here cars are pretty much what a decent two-wheeler is to the average Indian.
Typical scenario in India, when a guy/girl turns 18 yrs old, the parents immediately force him to get a Permanent Driving License and the next thing you know this guy is going to be riding a brand new swanky two-wheeler to college, or in the case of a girl, she will be riding the Scooty Pep + or Bajaj Sapphire or whatever the ‘in-brand’ is now to college. Compare this to the US , am quite sure that among the first major purchases that a teenager makes in his life is his first car. And you know what the best part about that, in a majority of the cases, this first car is an Used Car, not a swanky brand new vehicle that our Indian kids are spoilt with, but a vehicle which has seen its best days, and in some cases, is well beyond its best days.
I guess this is the US parents’ way of teaching their kids to be self reliant from a reasonably young age itself. Although this has the effect of making these kids stronger, and tougher to face the challenges of life head-on, it probably also has the effect of alienating these kids from their parents at another level. But then, that is a different post for another day.
Coming back to cars, it’s been just a little under 2 weeks here, and man, the speed at which these guys drive here still scares the shit out of me. Just standing on the kerb waiting for the Walk sign to turn Green, is a reasonably scary experience, which I undergo at least 2 times a day. And here at Concord , I get to see all types of automobiles, from the shiny Green Mustangs, to the ramshackle broken down old dull Blue Mustangs, from brand new white Lexus to plain old crappy Yellow Cabs.
And guess what, this city seems to have its fair share of bikers as well. I have already seen at least 2 of those Ducati style superbikes, and more than a fair share of Titan Bikes and other cruisers on thes streets. Believe it or not, as I am typing this line I hear the faint rumble of another cruiser on the road!!! I guess Concord being on the West Coast closer to the more scenic side of the US with all the winding hilly and mountainous roads is part of the reason that we have so many bikes here.