I introduced you to Yumbo and our first date here last August. And now 1,56k later I’ve fallen in love.
It was really a practical decision at first. A scooter is much cheaper than a car and since the home we bought is about 5K outside of Antigua I needed a way to get around town. But now I can’t imagine not having a scooter. I was surprised when I was back in Santa Barbara to see just how popular the little two wheelers have become. I realize it may not make sense for everyone to have a scooter; kids, winter weather, and Costco trips are all factors that do not lean in favor of scooting around.
However, here’s how having a scooter has changed my life and how I think about the privilege of transportation:
+ There are limits to what I can do. Having a car gives you the impression that you can go anywhere, anytime, whenever you want. A scooter changes that. I don’t drive it at night. And if it’s raining I can choose to stay at home and wait until it stops or put on rain boots and a huge tarp like thing. Usually I opt for option 1.
+ I find by by losing a little independence and control, I learn to ask others for help or just wait. Neither of which are my forte.
+ That being said, I do love that I can pass buses and scoot around long lines of cars #yessss
+ I spend 21 Queztales every week on gas – that’s about $3 – THREE dollars, people. That’s pretty good, huh?
+ I can only buy what I can carry* and let me tell you I have gotten very, very good at packing my little scooter full after a run to the grocery store.
(* to be totally honest, I should disclose that G does have a truck that we share and we use when it is raining, or when buying big things or making long trips.)
+ Most Guatemalans don’t own a car or a scooter, so their transportation is limited to when the bus system runs. I learned that rather quickly when trying to host a small group at my old apartment at 7:30pm- no one came unless they owned a car, because they didn’t have a way to get there. It reminds me that having transportation is a luxury, not a right.
+ It’s fun! What could be better than scooting along a cobblestone road under the Antigua sun, with views of coffee plantations and volcanoes in the distance.
+ Makes me very aware of other drivers on the road. I read the manual: Always assume cars can’t see you.
+ Parking is free and if you live in Antigua…or really any city… that is a major bonus! #ilovefreethings
+ I have learned to master road conditions that would never be permitted in the states. Mud puddles, dirt roads and small boulders are no problem. #makesmestronger
Now on the wardrobe front:
+Dresses and skirts are not scooter friendly. Most days I opt for jeans or yoga pants.
+I have quite a few pairs of flip flops and sandals that are collecting dust on the bottom of my closet floor. #thisisntsantabarbara
+I have traded in any kind of fashionable purse for my trusty, Northface backpack. 0 points on the style front, but a perfect 10 when it comes to carrying my computer, groceries and a rain jacket.
+Now, if I could just figure out how to not have helmet hair like I would be a happy camper:
Besides the helmet hair, have I convinced you to become a scooter owner?