Stone steps led down to stone platforms at water level, Shanghai Vacations where women squatted to wash their clothes and clean their vegetables in the same water. The Shanghai Vacations occupants of a house nearby regarded me with curiosity from the dimness behind their half-opened door, and a pony tethered outside standing between the shafts of a cart dozed and sighed with boredom. Gentle drizzle began falling from the grey sky, so taking out my umbrella I pressed the button to make it open. Unfortunately it had rather a strong spring and as it sprang open it tore from its handle and shot out across the walkway. The pony jerked his head up so violently that his tether broke and, in a panic, he galloped off along the canal walk, with the cart swinging crazily behind him. I felt a strong desire to laugh but, knowing that an accident could happen and feeling responsible,.
Driving: Bodies in space
Complementing the sheath of speed, the actions needed to drive a car, the slight touch on the gas pedal and the break, the flickering of the eyes to and from the rearview mirror, are micro-notions compared to the arduous physical movements involved in driving a horse-drawn coach. Navigating the geography of modern society requires very little physical effort, hence enjoyment.
Richard Sennett argues that the desensitized act of driving creates a sense of disconnection to place. Likewise, Marc Auge (1995) critiques motorways as generic and banal non-places’. Speed and the monotony of the motorway are commonly cited as the key cause of detached and dull encounters: [p]erhaps no aspect of the freeway experience is more characteristic than the sudden realization that you have no memory of the past ten minutes of your trip’ (Brodsly cited in Morse 1998: 112). However, the site of the motorway itself is not featureless or placeless’. Peter Merriman’s analysis of the M1 motorway in England reveals the experience as multifaceted and localized.