How We Fast-Tracked Learning To Ride a Moped

Today I woke up with a mission. Why? Unsure really. Maybe it was a renewed sense of adventure. Or maybe it was an effort to get settled into another place and create a familiar environment. Maybe it was because we ran out of clean clothes and I feared being one of those “backpacker” people that smelled of earth and natural body odors.

Mission 1: Drop off laundry. Mission 2: Get more cash. Mission 3: Buy groceries.

Over coffee, I look up the areas we need to get to. Conveniently, all mission checkpoints were within a 5-minute radius to our villa by scooter. Great. All we need now was a scooter. We noticed yesterday our neighbours were going in and out via scooter. “I’m pretty sure that we can hire a scooter from the villa,” Josh mentioned. After asking the question to our reception lady, “50,000 per day or 700,000 for 1 month.” Okay, sounds alright. We referred to some online forums and decided it was a reasonable deal however, we were only staying for 3 weeks. After explaining to ibu we settled on 500,000 for 3 weeks. Sweet deal! Quick recap; directions, check. Scooter, check. Helmets, check, check. Best to be safe.

The first red flag should have been when we didn’t know how to lift the seat. The second red flag should have been when we didn’t know how to turn on the thing. I urged Josh to have a quick go around the narrow driveway. The caretaker of the villa, who was walking past us, said, “maybe you go left and go around that way until you get used to it.” Sound advice, how sweet of him, I thought. Josh goes off, and about five minutes later, he comes back. He doesn’t say much, so I load up our dirty laundry, put on my helmet and get ready to go. Josh mentions, “The turns are hard for me.” I recalibrate to take the straightest route with the least amount of sharp turns until he feels comfortable.

It wasn’t until we came back from our missions, it dawns on me that Josh has never driven a scooter or motorbike or moped before this. NOT EVER. Which explains how we almost got into an accident.

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