As a UCSD student I feel happily invisible in the ever increasing student body of 28,000 students. When asked why I don't drive: I reply ever so self righteously, "Its for the environment, really it is!" Quite frankly however I am terrified. It does not take a genius to know how to maneuver a car which is why as a pedestrian I am often appalled by how self involved drivers in La Jolla/UTC tend to be. A friend drives with one leg under the steering wheel with the other one, resting on the dashboard. So she is kicking back and driving at the same time. I often find other drivers bobbing their heads dramatically to their music or having a very intense cellular phone conversation while attempting to not run me over. I suppose between a business deal and creating UCSD roadkill--the former is more important. As a pedestrian I often get self involved--but at the same time I tend to notice my surroundings a bit too much. I notice the old lady transient who sleeps under a newspaper at the bus stop at Nobel and Regents. I notice the same businesswoman who wears the same dark grey business jacket to UCSD on the bus every day. I notice questionable vagrants waiting patiently in the bushes in front of Costa Verde center. I notice how the the remains of the day at 5pm cause the palm trees on Nobel to look even more like they're out of a postcard. I notice the same man who spies on children at UTC. I notice that the transient woman's "home," so to speak ranges from Costa Verde shopping center to the Longs Drugs one on Towne Centre Drive. As the sun sets, the clock tower over Longs looks its best against the background of condominiums. The tallest buildings are financial offices and firms. Smith and Barney. Northern Trust. Then there is Westfields shopping mall. Roys. Harry's Bar. Beautiful banks and fountains. The walkway behind Longs to residences is beautiful but landscaped. Paid for by HOA fees. Same route every day. Same route back. Transient lady might greet me with "Hey honey..." but I keep walking on. She does this every day to every passerby. I'm no one special. Hasn't she seen me around before? Two months ago she had a bandage on her nose. Now its gone. Wonder what happened. Last week I ate at International Market and Grill. An androgynous transient came in loudly asking for mayonaisse. "I'll give ya 2 dollahs for a cup of mayonaisse!" she said. Sounded like a tough roughed-up-in-Texas street woman trying to sound clever in her attempt at business. I didn't have the heart to tell her that she was ripping herself off. But then she attempted to have my lunch for free. I admired her gall in grabbing it from me. Now I know better: pack own lunch. Occasionally I take the leisurely escape out of UTC/UCSD with a friend to nearby Convoy to splurge on luxuries like Boba, sushi and frozen yogurt. Sometimes all in one night!

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ShawnMichel Nov. 24, 2008 @ 6:58 p.m.

A very engaging post.

I don't drive at all either. Haven't since I moved here six-plus years ago. I'm perfectly happy taking the MTS, even if the MTS, for all intents and purposes, sucks.

I am like you; I notice much about folks. I try not to.

Best to you and this blog--


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