Riding into work on a scooter isn’t exactly how I pictured rolling into my adult life. To clarify, I’m not talking about a moped, nor an electric scooter you may have seen suits gliding on along the city streets. I’m referring to an unbranded, rusted, clattering, wake the neighbours up at the crack of dawn, smash your shins into, use your foot as a break, kind of bad boy.
As a child I had a very specific vision of life at eighteen. Who doesn’t? I thought that eighteen meant a car, and therefore, road trips, a 24-hour gym membership and ventures to 24-hour food chains. Everything had to be available to me 24 hours a day, because time would no longer control my life. There would be no more bed-times, home-times or play-times. No more timetables, timelines or term-times. But, apparently, it means driving lessons, insurance, buying a car and road tax; four things that were conveniently omitted from American chick flicks. Eighteen also thrust me into the world of overpriced bus travel. And therefore, just as easily as Will Hunting, in Good Will Hunting, avoided an overpriced education at Harvard by opting for late fees at a public library, I ditched four wheels for two.
Now, the response my two-wheeled companion earned me, varied greatly. Some customers from the café in which I work undoubtedly re-evaluate my age as I exit the workplace with a scooter. As soon as I set a hand on it I seem to become unprofessional in their eyes. They share glances amongst each other, questioning how a five-year-old just served them. ‘It must be her little sister’s’; their looks assure each other. If I keep a straight face they’ll believe it, if I smile, they won’t. Or is it the other way round?
My friends ensure that I am aware that I have legs and that that there is no reason to ‘commit social suicide on a daily basis’. My colleagues joke about the absence of my hi-vis jacket, helmet and knee pads.
Others seem to think that I am confident because I don’t care what they think. Well, since when has caring what people think halved your journey time? And to be honest, I find joy in doing something that the style conscious wouldn’t dream of doing. So, as long as I am on wheels I will be happy, even if the wheels aren’t air pressured and there aren’t four of them.
Girl Writes Life