Tuesday, September 25, 2018


Bad back is worse, again. By most estimations it is because I have newly acquired a scooter and am riding it. While the orthopaedic laughed when I asked if I could ever ride scooters ever, never, and consoled me with "You are young and strong" (pppfffffft), I, anxiety girl* and drama queen, am convinced that this beauteous (and polluting) mobility-machine will soon be lost to me forever.

So this is an ode to mobility. Scooters metaphorically saved my life during the 2 years I spent in Goa (while endangering lives, livestock and wildlife routinely around the northern part of the state). I was lonely, sad :( and very unsure of my capabilities: being able to master the humble non-geared scooter, albeit one where I couldn't actually reach the road v well while being seated, gave me undue faith in my (non-existent) capabilities. Two particularly favourite stretches of the roads in North Goa were silken smooth, where I could driver faster, faster, fly. Sometimes I would wear my oversized military green raincoat, just for effect, as it would flap like a giant bat, or an ugly cape, behind me as I raced all the buoys on the street.

That's one thing I don't have in Chiang Mai: this competition. There are way more women driving on the streets (yes, even more than in Goa) and men don;' go out of their way to chase you down and nearly make you crash if you overtake them. Once I was abused by this male Goan scooter driver in the narrow lanes near Anjuna, because I had persistently overtaken him (real reason) and I was singling loudly while driving. Oh I love singing while I drive. It's the most amazing thing to do, imo, especially when you have 30 kilometres drive between home and quiz club on a Sunday afternoon while the highway is almost all empty.

Comparatively, the roads of Chiang Mai, are worse (unless you are talking about roads inside Goan villages which are often crappiest and full of wandering herds of cows) (I don't drive on the highways here: those are scary, never have I seen a car go at less than 120 kmph unless impeded by traffic), there are many more cars, traffic snarls, etc. And I only drive between work and home during rush hours in the morning and evening. Conversely, it now enables me to do a lot of heavy shopping and spend too much money on groceries. Eating out is largely cheaper than cooking for one person, especially if said person keeps buying cheese and avocados.

But in a city where the only mode of public transport available to me is the uber expensive grabs and sometimes the roed dang, it will be a disaster to not be able to ride. The city has recently introduced a bus services, here's to hoping it reaches near my house sometime soon.

Update: still riding!

*able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single leap 

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