With all of the traveling I’ve been doing, and a great deal of it is not on foot despite my winded prose about how much walking I’ve taken up, I thought I would briefly comment on what the fuel costs are here, since there is such heat about it in America.
First, I should say that I have yet to see a Ford Expedition XXXXXXXL here. Or a Hummer. And political statements aside on this blurb, I can resolve to being entirely practical: those cars would absolutely not fit here. And I don’t mean fit in like me at a Hungarian real estate meeting, I mean, they would not be able to drive down the streets because the streets are literally too narrow.
Now, the passenger seat driving experience here is terrifying new for me. But I find rush hour and the near scrapes of other cars, bikes, and passengers on foot as a kind of adventure. And really, if you need to get out of rush hour traffic quickly, or a packed concert parking lot–just hire a European driver. They will sass that car right out of the lot without any trepidation or fear.
So yes, almost all of the cars here are honestly the size of Lebron James on a scooter. And since Toyota just overtook GM in world auto sales, it’s no wonder that the VP of GM was in Europe this week trying to promote it’s little baby cars, which Europeans actually love and who are the only people seemingly buying American cars anyway these days. So why aren’t they selling these cars in America? Probably because if you were to actually drive one, the liklihood of you getting smushed by a Hummer is about 3-1.
And speaking of gas prices, Americans shouldn’t be too quick to complain. In Hungary (and much of the rest of Europe), the regular gas is averaging 320 forints per liter. Now a standard 15 gallon American car is approximately 58 liters. This means that for you to fill up your car in Europe, it would cost—wait—let me calculate the terrifyingly low dollar to forint rate—okay—
18,500 Forints = 125 Dollars. For one tank of gas.
Another reason why we walk everywhere.