7.10.2007

All Consuming

After riding though two states of flat, endless fields of corn and soybeans, I reach Chicago. Chicago, the second largest city in the country; different from others in how absolutely alluring it is. I walk down the streets and revel in the energy. What I notice, after being mostly in the middle of nowhere for a month, is the waste; the mindless gluttony. It's not even a mindful gluttony - rather, it seems to go unnoticed, taken for granted - the countless paper napkins slightly crumpled, slightly dirty, scattered along the edges of sidewalks; plastic shopping bags snagged in every chainlink fence and blowing by in the curling gust from each passing bus. What filled these bags at one time? What was served with all these napkins?

Where is it all now? We don't need most of what we have, and I wonder how things got this way. I'm certainly no exception to the attraction of consumption - even after a month on the road with only three shirts and one pair of shoes, even with this theme consciously planted in my mind, I walk past a boutique and covet, with visceral longing, the blood-red leather purse displayed in the window.

7 comments:

Pvino said...

I am a Vino 125 scooterist and surely enjoy your log of your trip. I also follow and enjoy Steve in "Scooter in the Sticks"; similar adventures one local while yours cross country. I find small scooters are fun, challenging, and unlimited level of exploration.

May you continue your journey and ride safe.

Phil
Vino 125 enthusiast

Anonymous said...

Great stories and most beautiful pictures. Your scooter is not small. I drive an lx50 4stroke in the Netherlands. That is a small scooter!
Drive well and enjoy.

Jenni said...

I've been riding my scoot all of the WY hills and SD. I have a GT 200. I threw my windsheild in the trash at a restaurant the other day because all it did was blow the wind straight into my face. I'd be interested to know what kind of windshield you have.

Alum Creek

Anonymous said...

Whoops, Chicago is actually the 3rd largest city in the country (United States).

Matt said...

Oh Chicago, my home. What you speak of is true, we here are surrounded by waste. At times I feel I am the only one who sees it; perhaps I'm the only one who cares. I no longer point it out to others, as it falls on deaf ears. I love my city, but it also crushes my soul...

Niki said...

I share your viceral longing for fabulous handbags (and shoes) but usually ask myself "But do I NEED it?" and the answer is always a resounding "NO". You're so right, there is so much waste in our consumer society. I am living in a Yurt in Idaho and have found out how easy and joyful it is to live with less "Stuff". P.S. I love the Daily Coyote and just found your Vespa blog so sorry if this comment is a bit out of date. P.P.S. You are such a talented photographer!

Distractions said...

I walk past a boutique and covet, with visceral longing, the blood-red leather purse displayed in the window.

nice. enjoyed your blog. treat yourself to something crazy once in a while. inevitably we have to be consumers at one point in time. happy riding!