Monday, August 15, 2005

Tax Free Weekend.

Massachusetts has a weekend where all purchases are exempt from state taxes. Seems like a pretty good deal. We'd never seen anything like that in California. One problem -- to buy the things we needed/wanted, we had to get in our car and drive to the nearest consumer parlor.

Now I've heard plenty about East Coasters. Allegedly, they're rude, obnoxious and elitist. I can happily claim that I haven't noticed any of that while speaking to people here. I have learned, however, that when you put an East Coaster in a car, well, things get rough.

First of all, driving here has been interesting with the narrow roads, one way streets and rotary structures. By and large, the most difficult task is dealing with the other drivers themselves.

Here I was, meek lil' Vavoom, driving 30 mph in a 25 zone. One car pulls up behind me and "HOOOOONNNNNNNKKKKKK, HOOOOONNNNNNKKKK!" The driver decided to speed past me while yelling, "Yah killin' me, yah friggin' killin' me!" I decided I'd speed up since everyone behind me seemed to hate me. Everyone was riding me hard. I'd never had a car so firmly on my ass before. Yet another car zoomed by, "Why don't yah learn ta' drive, sunshine boy!" Ahhh, now I see. My California plates must be tipping everyone off that I'm a newbie. I decided to be an East Coaster, automotively speaking. "Hang on," I told my wife.

I zoomed through the roads, honking and driving more aggressively than I ever have. Strangely enough, it worked. I was instantly one of them. I even tried yelling at other drivers, "C'mon, yah got the green... move yah caar already!" Yes, I used the Boston accent. Why not?

When we reached Costco, my wife, white as a sheet, turned to me and asked "So, yah think they sell thems paddle systems ta' jumpstaht my haaht?" She continued, "Seriously, when the snow falls, you are not allowed to drive the car. We'll get killed."

She's probably right. With the aggressive driving I've seen, I'm not sure how the roads here aren't a complete disaster in the winter.


Blogger Lily said...

LOL! Did no one warn you about Ma drivers? There's a reason we're called Massholes.

I despise driving on the highway. In the snow it is mostly those in 4 wheel drive autos that are up your ass.

The best things about one way streets is sometimes they are only one way for half the street.

Another winter rule, if you shovel out your car on the street the space is yours and mark it with either a garbage can, chair, bucket of sand, you get the idea.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, was all the driving worth it? It seems like you get killer deals with / without the tax break anyway.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Yes, I was a proffessional driver for six years in Boston, but after I was in Nashville for a year and went home for a visit, my friends freaked me out when I got into the passenger seat.

Hey, ask around & find out if Sound Bites in Somerville is still in business. You MUST go eat there. It's on Medford Street....

1:51 PM  
Anonymous FNPhD said...

You know that there's never any tax in New Hampshire (no sales tax, no income tax), right? It's 40 minutes from where you are to Nashua, and there are a lot of shopping options there....

2:07 PM  
Blogger dreadcow said...

4 wheel drive, my friend.

After 22 years in Minnesota I am the winter driving MASTER!!

3:48 PM  
Blogger Davydgrey said...

I remember driving In Boston when I was going to college there, its where I discovered that the shoulder of the road is really an extra lane.

6:45 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

I left my New York driving habits there. But, whenever I return, I have to summon them quickly or I'm doomed.

6:48 PM  
Blogger A Fashionista said...

When it snows haahd you wont be able to paahk your cah on the street anywherh

8:09 PM  
Blogger thc said...

What's a "consumer parlor"?

9:24 PM  
Blogger Moose said...

Vavoom was a race car driver.

10:11 PM  
Blogger LoraLoo said...

LOL. The accent was killing me!

I've never been any further East than Minnesota. Winter driving...not for me. Throw some snow on the freeways here in Nevada. Now there's a crash derby.

I'm really looking forward to your next adventure!

10:27 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

You know I thought California drivers had the bad rap.. Try driving in LA. It is just scary.. they don't honk and yell, they shoot to kill.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

You have to drive with the flow of traffic... ;)

11:12 AM  
Blogger Merry Stitcher said...

We talked about this before you left, and we all agreed --- YOU'RE NOT DRIVING IN THE WINTER.

Remember that.

12:11 AM  
Blogger Rattie said...

Sounds like you were driving through Ontario!!

8:39 AM  
Blogger An80sNut said...

Thankfully, I've only flown into Boston and back out but never drove. I don't see myself trying the experience as I don't really enjoy driving even at slower speeds. But it's good to see you are adapting to your surroundings. B)

12:54 AM  
Anonymous CA cruisin' said...

In reply to an older post from Lily: Massholes come from Mass-ASS-chusettes.

Though drivers in SoCal are pretty crazy too on the highways (or freeways if your from CA). Not as relaxed as one might think. They drive really fast, zip in and out with no turn signals, but what surprises me is that no one uses their horn.

Having lived and learned to drive in NY, I was used to driving with one hand on the wheel the other on the horn. Out here people cut each other off left and right but no one blows their horn. Weird! People gave me ugly looks after I blew my horn at a car that did not move for 5 seconds after the light turned green--stopping at a green light in NY could get you shot. Not out here apparently. I've had to ease up on the horn, which has not been easy. I miss east coast driving.

2:23 PM  

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