A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. > Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange

Distances

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Thipu1:
It's been said that the main difference between people in the UK and people in North America is that North Americans think 100 years is a long time and residents of the UK think 100 miles is a long distance.

Another thread here started me thinking about this.

Some years ago Rose, a friend of my aunt, moved to southern NYS from Ireland.  She kept in touch with people in her home town.  One day she received a letter from her former parish priest.  Another lady from the village was moving to NYS and it would be nice if Rose had her over for lunch. 

It wasn't a bad idea but the other lady had moved to Rochester.  At the time, it would have taken almost 18 hours to get from one place to the other because NYS is almost the size of England, Scotland and Wales combined. 

Another time, a French lady working with us was invited on a road trip to New England with American school friends. The trip would take two weeks.  She was concerned because she thought New England was a small city and what would they do there for two weeks? 

We got out the atlas and showed her that New England consists of six states and they're all quite different.  It sounded like a lovely trip and there would be plenty for her to see.

We've had our own problems.  We thought that the trip from Southampton to Portsmouth would be a short hop we could do in an afternoon.  Wrong!

What misguided travel plans have you made?





Slartibartfast:
My brother and his fiancee might be moving from the east coast to Houston, TX.  They're about twelve hours from where I live now in Alabama (if someone were to want to drive that far), so I was kind of excited they'd be in the southern US and therefore had to be closer.  Then I looked it up online and found that Houston is actually farther from my town than their current apartment is!  I had always assumed the southeast was more or less all in the same region, but Texas is a really big state.

jmarvellous:

--- Quote from: Slartibartfast on February 21, 2012, 12:11:08 PM ---My brother and his fiancee might be moving from the east coast to Houston, TX.  They're about twelve hours from where I live now in Alabama (if someone were to want to drive that far), so I was kind of excited they'd be in the southern US and therefore had to be closer.  Then I looked it up online and found that Houston is actually farther from my town than their current apartment is!  I had always assumed the southeast was more or less all in the same region, but Texas is a really big state.

--- End quote ---

Well, I've driven from Houston to NE Georgia in a day (so, about 6 hours more), but I won't tell you it's fun or easy. I would expect it to take 10-12 hours to get from Houston to anywhere in Alabama, though.

My "Gee it's big!" sensation comes from driving around Houston, actually. It can take 3 hours in moderate traffic to get from one suburb to another -- about the same time it takes to get from Houston to Austin (a journey of 150-170 miles).

I am driving from Austin, Texas, to West Bend, Oregon, in a day late next month. Google maps says it's a 20-hour drive, and BF and I are going to try to do it in a straight shot! Wish me luck.

lowspark:
I've lived in Houston all my life so that's what I'm used to -- the huge distances and a potentially long time to get from one place to another, all within the confines of Greater Houston, depending on traffic.

Back in the olden days when we used paper maps, a map of what encompassed Houston and the highly populated areas surrounding Houston took the front AND back of a large map. Once we went to visit Austin and pulled out the map of the city to figure out where we were going. We were in one corner of the map and had to get to somewhere in the opposite corner.

We estimated an hour and a half as travel time. Turned out to be 20 minutes. It's all relative... The map of Austin was about the same size of the map of Houston, we just didn't think about the relative sizes of the cities and therefore, the scale being quite different.

Ferrets:

--- Quote from: Thipu1 on February 21, 2012, 11:32:36 AM ---[...] and residents of the UK think 100 miles is a long distance.

--- End quote ---

And you shall never shake me from my conviction that it IS. :D

As the great Bill Bryson observed in Notes from a Small Island: "Surrey to Cornwall, a distance that most Americans would happily go to get a taco..."

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