Archive for August, 2011

6th August
written by Michelle


Last week my new scooter and I went out for our first date.

{ha. you thought I was going to share about mine and Gerber’s first date. nope that’s another story. sorry to disappoint.}

•  •   •

Yep, I am the proud new owner of a scooter or more commonly referred to here as a pasola. If you know me this is significant because 1) I have difficulty keeping my balance while riding a bicycle, and 2) because for the past year I have been living without a car here in Antigua.

I have mostly been content with the simplicity and savings of car-free living. There are things you come to know about a place and people when you walk and take public transportation. You see things differently. You organize your day differently. And you get a small picture of what it might feel like when you’re not part of the 10% of of the world that owns a car.

{I say might because I know that I still have a car in the states and because of where I was born and how I grew up I know that I am part of that 10%}

But the truth is, there are many times when walking to and from is nice and leisurely, but when you want to go the bank, the post office and el mercado in less than 2 hours walking just won’t do it.


Therefore, the purchase of the pasola.

{And as far as the balancing part. That just takes practice, right?}

A certain Mr. Someone was convinced that I could just “hop on” and start driving. wrong. I had to explain to this Mr. Someone, that I have, never (repeat: never ever) driven any kind of motorized cycling device.

•  •   •

My first question: “ok, so how do I make it go?”

2nd question: “umm, and which one is the brake?”

{see, I really knew next to nothing}

He patiently watched me ride (ahem, wobble) around the callejon in front of my house, calling out tips:

Ok, don’t break. Just take your hand off the gas slowly. Umm, why are you putting both feet down? Just use one. You look funny.

•  •   •

After a few more afternoons practicing around my block, I am happy to say that I have now ventured out onto the streets of Antigua. Don’t get me wrong I love my scooter, but I am not yet a fan of driving on the cobblestones. You may think they’re picturesque and give the city it’s charm, but let me tell you they’re like h*ll to drive on. Really. Bumpy doesn’t even describe it.

•  •   •

Good news: Balance is improving.

Bad news: When you go the grocery store you really can only take what fits in inside the seat or you’ll end up tying a bag of chips to the back like this.

Maybe in a few years this will be me:

maybe not.

I’m currently taking name suggestions and scooter driving tips (hopefully a few from this lovely scooter owner)

Happy Saturday!