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6 posts • Page 1 of 1
countries Where owning a car is cumbersome and not necessary at all because of good public transportation, will foreign women insist you get a big fat SUV regardless, or are they content taking mass transit?
I know China now is now becoming a car culture too
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No, in Western Europe where they enjoy excellent public transportation, women will not hold that against you.
Germany is one, but I think most people would expect you if you have joined at least the working class to you have a car. That said a friend of mine, when she lost her Jeep in a roadside electrical fire, she pocketed the insurance money and rides her bike and trains to work or where she needs to go. If she needs a car she rents one. She lived in Frankfurt.
Denmark where they make its ridiculously expensive to own a car with its tax system, women are likely not to hold it against you if you don't have a car. Like The Netherlands, they have a bike culture with separate bike paths. They encourage that you even ride in bad weather (snow and rain). Given how expensive it is to own a car and the yearly taxes imposed on you for owning one, people ride their bikes in all but the coldest weather (if they have a car).
The girl I went and visited in Oslo didn't own a car. My friend May Ellen who lives in Kristiansand, Norway (used to live in Bergen) had just gotten her first car when I visited her in June of 2007. So up until that point even with 4 children she never owned a car.
Japan is another country excellent public transportation and you could have a very good social life if you didn't know own a car. In Japan like the US owning a car is seen not only as transportation but a symbol of status. Mostly poor people and recently arrived expats don't own a car and depending where they live, they might put the importance of owning a car higher than living in the center of a major city. In a recent documentary that I posted a link two in two different threads, this couple in Japan a man in his late 40's, early 50's and his GF half is age (mid to late 20's) lived in what I could call "challenging conditions" by Western standards. They lived in a space about the size of my room, which included a small bathroom (12x18 or so). She owned a small kei wagon and her parents lived outside of Tokyo, Japan and I think it was a ways off the main Shinkansen route as well. They basically earned min wage but enough together to own a car and a small dwelling.
Anyway the point is, you can live anywhere you want without a car but there will be a social or economic penalty. To live closer to where you work in town for example, rent or cost of ownership will be higher (True in any major city in the world). So if there's no social penalty, there's a financial penalty. In most cases I say double the rent price compared to living in the suburbs, so in most cases it cheaper to own a car, especially in North America/Western Europe, which is why you have freeways, highways, troll roads and ferries.
One more thing, you could generally live in a poorer country where most of the people in your peer group don't have cars. That would be fairly young or fairly poor/working poor/working class. If you have a Western Education, chances are you'll make enough money to buy a car or a place closer to where you work. I don't know or have seen (at least on expat sites) people struggling or living on a reduced income.
To me, a car is a liability in about any Tier 1 city in NE Asia - Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo, Taipei, and Hong Kong. I used to have 24 hour use of a company car in Taipei for awhile and I thought it was the biggest pain-in-the-ass - parking, repairs, maintenance, gas-ups. 24/7 abundant taxis everywhere are cheap and easy. My next company had drivers for us so I never had to mess with that again.
There's another issue too. What if you accidentally injure someone while driving? Its easy to do in densely populated Asian cities. If you are in developed Asia and you hurt someone badly, you may be responsible for all the medical bills. If a life is lost, well, compensation is not cheap. A life is worth a lot these days in rich Asia.
Now developing Asia (aka SE Asia) has a different set of problems. Someone may hit you, get hurt badly, and somehow it all ends-up being your fault. Perhaps a life is cheaper down there but the rules are more skewed against you too. Or say you're driving through a crowded village in Indonesia and somehow make a mistake and injure someone or their property. You might face mob violence if they interpret things the wrong way. In Singapore, driving may be easy and laws enforced fairly but cars are prohibitively expensive as is petrol. The taxes are exorbitant.
Point of above, avoid cars in all Asian urban areas - take taxis, metros, buses, trains, and boats. If and when you really need one short term, rent or borrow from friends. Only if you live out in the sticks or possibly a spread-out T2 city does a car make any sense in Asia. If a girl rejects you for lack of car ownership, she's probably not worth your time IMO. Besides, there are other ways to appear well-off such as living in an impressive condo. Use the money you save from not owning a car to upgrade your residential conditions.
As for European T1 capitals, I would again avoid cars in all the ones I've been in. Public transport works fine.
In parts of LatAm or Africa, I might consider a beater. But I would drive it on a need only basis.
Bottom line for me, life is easier without cars. They still make sense in most of the US. But in many other places, you are better off without one.
I totally agree Rock, I would think some form of small motorized transportation gives you some options, which is why scooters and small motorcycles are also popular in the cities you mention. Parking with those is less of an issue. Parking in ANY Tier 1 major city downtown is a challenge and expensive. Traffic in Sao Paulo for example makes West LA look like a car show.
I lost like 10-12lbs while in Europe because of all the walking I did, especially in Germany and Sweden. I used Germany's Deutsche Bahn system and its very good. High Speed Rail to the Frankfurt Airport, takes 15 mins. I think its 45 mins by car, can't beat that with a stick!
Now if I lived there, I would live on the outskirts of town, its just more affordable and I can take the train back in, or have a car but I think I would still use public tranport much of the time. I'm a car guy, so it would save wear and tear and gas...since fuel is very expensive elsewhere in the world and falsely cheap in America.
Big net gain female-wise to go without a car, if you have any weight to lose. The two times I've lived in Europe, walking or taking public transportation everywhere, I've lost my extra 15 pounds in two months. You'll look better, feel better, have more confidence with women. I don't think there's any particular social penalty to be paid, unless you are identified as too poor to afford the basics of life. Certainly not a problem if you're an American and your car is back in the States.
I had a car in the Netherlands, but it wasn't necessary, just convenient on occassions. I would leave my car in the basement garage and sometimes go for two months without looking at it. In the city where I lived, you could go anywhere by bike, because the bike paths were just as extensive as the roads for cars. You may wonder what people do in the rain or the winter? Answer - they still ride their bikes. When it rained I got good at riding a bike holding an umbrella. For intercity travel, the trains were convenient and went everywhere. There were also buses and trams. The car was convenient if I had to go to one of the big stores outside the city like IKEA and buy things for the house that would be too big to carry on a bus. But, IKEA still has delivery, so if you didn't have a car, you could just have the stuff delivered.