Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Walk in the Park

Here’s my last photo in the Biking in Guadalajara series.

This photo was taken in the park near my aunt’s house. It’s the vehicle used by a park maintenance guy. He was nearby, sweeping a path. I don’t think he was a gardener -- he’d have needed more tools for that. There wasn’t much in this cart, as you can see. That’s because he didn’t need much in order to do the job. So why not use a bicycle? It simplifies everything. And a job that required the operation of only a bicycle could be available to a much wider selection of people, since even a person without a driver’s license would be eligible.

In the States they’d be using a super-powered heavy-duty gas-guzzling truck just to schlep around a broom and a rake. But of course in the States they wouldn’t be using a broom or a rake in the first place – it would have to be a gas-consuming leaf blower, the loudest and most obnoxious of the maintenance power tools.

Because this park employee was using hand tools and a bicycle, my aunt and I were able to enjoy a nice quiet walk in the park accompanied by the sound of tropical birds chirping and the rhythmic swish of a broom. We did not have to suspend our conversation, plug our ears, and hold our breath while smoke-belching, peace-shattering machinery ruined the ambience that a park is supposed to provide.

The argument for using leaf-blowers is of course cost. Unfortunately, cost is measured in monetary units alone. You want to talk about cost, I’ll tell you exactly what price we pay to use leaf-blowers. But I’ve run out of time in today’s blogging time slot, so that will have to be the subject of another post – in spite of the fact that I can barely contain myself and am bursting to enlighten the public of certain popular misconceptions.

More park photos tomorrow.


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