Conversation with Alex over lunch.
“Mommy, let’s buy ice cream after my Kumon.”
“Argh, I have little cash left (I didn’t want to go to the ATM machine because the queues are always a kilometer long on Fridays); if I buy ice cream, I won’t be able to give much to Sam tomorrow (she’s going out with her friends — again).”
“When I was a teenager and I went out with friends, my mother gave me only the exact amount to buy a ticket at the moviehouse and to pay the bus fare to and fro.”
“You commuted?” She was incredulous. She was more shocked that I commuted more than how stingy her grandmother was.
“Sure I did. It wasn’t like this when I was 15. Traffic wasn’t bad. Buses weren’t all that crowded. It wasn’t so dusty on the streets. And the exhaust fumes weren’t that bad either. Less vehicless on the roads.”
She was amazed and I continued.
“In fact, when I was in grade school, airconditioned cars were not too common. Cars were bigger — they could sit three in front quite comfortably. The ceilings were higher and ventillation was good. And because traffic wasn’t so bad, travel wasn’t uncomfortable even without aircon.”
She couldn’t believe it.
“People. There just weren’t too many people back then.”
Yeah, it’s all about the too rapid population growth especially in urban areas. I would have discussed birth control and population management with her after that but we had to go to her Kumon class.