The scooter. Not a motorcycle; not a bicycle. It is the weird baby that the two of them made on a feverish weekend in Thailand, after the time of the New Year. They had huddled into a western-style hipster café to escape, just for some moments, the heat of the outdoors, get some much desire air-conditioning. Others had the same idea. The place got crowded. They, Motorcycle and Bicycle, sized each other up and agreed to share a table. And although it wasn’t like either of them, they made a little Scooter that same night. Thus the scooter was born, and thus has it graced the streets of Thailand with its fertile presence.
*I blocked out the above passage because I am exceedingly proud of it.
The scooters of Thailand create a sort of magical coolness in the country.
Everyone looks free and powerful riding down the streets, weaving through traffic. Men, women, children tucked between the legs of a parent. It reminds me of my blasted car back here at home. The one that’s rattling again and leaking oil. Reminds me of my car insurance payment and the new tire I need to buy. I want to drop myself down on the ground like a 2 year old brat and throw a tantrum. We are doing too much, and it’s hard to break free from it.
Side note: I do understand the very reasonable logic that there is IKEA and we do need some mode of getting our stuff home, outside of a delivery fee that only the truly lazy want to pay for. Yeah, I said it! Why don’t you act like everybody else and harass the one friend of yours who has some sort of truck/large vehicle or one of your regular car-sized friends to follow you there and help you fill up both cars with 100 IKEA “necessities.” This is what builds character, folks! Wisen up.
Anyhow, here in Thailand, having another child means possibly having to purchase another scooter. Back in America, having just one child means throwing out your standard-sized vehicle for something bigger– a minivan with no less than 8 cup holders, folding seats, doors that open by sensing your presence alone, and a gas tank large enough to feed 20 scooters.
Since I’ve wanted a scooter for so many years now, it gets me thinking, which I shouldn’t do.
I am reminded that despite the seemingly dangerous way that the cars and scooters and motorcycles cut through traffic here, it is the bandaged foreigner that one sees all around. It is we who are accident prone. So while I’d love to take my love of scooters back to the States, I don’t think these American roads are prepared to handle a hippie revolution like that. I’d get run off the streets in a very dangerous way. Well. Maybe I can one for short distance traveling.
Till next time, Dear Reader.
*See note under photo.
I have many action shots of all sorts of people riding their scooters and such around town; unfortunately, most of them are in the form of videos. There were a lot of things that I was hoping to document on this trip, and various ways I wanted to do it: photography, video and writing. So, unfortunately, this like other things, slipped through the cracks. I could go back and take screen shots of videos, but that would honestly rid the joy for me and turn it into drudgery. I’d rather the joy.
But I am learning something of the travel blog methods that may work best (or better), at least for me. One thing is to have a plan set out for the day. As a person, I desire freedom and relish in it. So I’m not talking about strict guidelines, just things to keep in mind.
So I think I’m going to start posting little Things To Keep In Mind every once in a while to share what I’m learning as I self-teach my way through travel blogging. And I’d love to hear your insights as well. I’m fairly new and love to learn. Thanks so much. You’re such a doll. My mother/father is really gonna like you. So First Mini Post for…
Little Things to Remember No. 1: Planning
Before you start off on your day, spend a few moments to go over the elements of the trip that you want to document.
See what you’ve been making progress on so far and what you haven’t. Are there any gaps in your journalism?
Make a note, on paper or mental, what you should keep an eye out for that day and be ready. Will you pay special attention to vendors? Food? Transportation? Try not to get too narrow. For instance, you might try vendors instead of outdoor vendors. It gives you more flexibility later on to play around stylistically. Make some sort of reminder, like a string around your finger or drawing on your hand, whatever you choose.
If not too difficult, try to be aware of the places you might be going. Will there be food? You might carry your phone and go with an empty stomach. You’ll take more interest in the food and engage by asking more questions of vendors. This will also relax them more if you might want a photo with them in it. Will there be water? Bring your waterproof camera.
Always keep your eyes peeled for new ideas or themes to document. We never know what we don’t know. In other words, don’t be rigid and don’t be overly focused on a mission. Stay open to the experience as well as the work. I didn’t plan on documenting scooters and motorcycles until a few days in because I wasn’t previously aware that they were so ubiquitous. If you could prepare or aware of everything, then travel just wouldn’t be as great.
Carry a small notebook. Then you won’t have forgotten that cool idea you had 6 hours ago when you were walking through the market.
That’s all for this round.
Till next time!