Let´s start with a fictional dialogue:

He: We shall meet Aunt Augusta.
She: We haven’t seen her for a while. We seldom meet.
He: So shall we?
She: Well yes, but it takes an hour to go to her place.
He: And we first have to take the bus, then the train, then the metro, then walk five minutes.
She: Why not take the car.
He: We won’t find parking space or have to place it in an expensive parking lot, and then we will have to walk anyway, as there is no parking lot nearby.
She: We could take the car to the train station instead of the bus.
He: Hmm, yes we could. It’s complicated still.
She: Let´s call her – and have a quiet day at home.

To meet is less a matter of geographical distance as much more a matter of time and comfort.

Regardless how many kilometers you are distant from your friends, parents, grandparents or aunts, the time it would take to reach them matters. Experience shows:  Fifteen minutes or less are great: you meet frequently. If it takes 30 minutes it is acceptable too, though the frequency of meetings drops.  When it takes longer than thirty minutes you have a good chance that Christmas or Thanksgiving meetings will be the only occasion you meet. It does not matter if you go by foot, bicycle, by car or by public transportation.

Comfort matters too. If riding one metro line leads you to your destination that is fine, changing once acceptable, but if you have to use several kinds of transportation, it lets you think twice to take the ride.

If you have to take to aunt Augusta the car to the train, the train to the city, the metro within the city and walk the last five minutes, then you will meet aunt Augusta likely only one time in a year, though she is a beloved aunt: at Christmas or Thanksgiving, or Chinese New Year or at the end of the Ramadan – whenever you culture celebrates a family gathering mostly.

How many family members or friends have you met at Christmas time, whom you don’t see within during the year because they are uncomfortable to reach?

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