You may recall the bureaucratic nightmare that was my visit to the Japanese equivalent of the DMV. This was all so I might get a license to drive a scooter around my often inconvenient town. After much duress I have finally attained a license and my scooter.
I purchased the scooter from one of my drinking buddies, an older man who owns a mechanic’s shop. The vehicle only cost me two hundred and fifty dollars, half of what a used scooter usually goes for. My new baby is a little red Honda Giorno, an Italian style scooter and very fashionable. I’ve named her 赤とんぼ(aka tonbo) which means red dragonfly. I chose the name because of the color and similar sounds a scooter and dragonfly make. This is also a throw back to the incorrect Leopalace information I was originally sent, a building named Aka Tonbo.
I don’t know how I lived without my scooter. Getting around town is a breeze, and I can finally visit my friends in neighboring towns with little trouble. I get about eighty kilometers on a tank, maybe more. A full tank is only 6 liters and that never costs more than five dollars. Not much more expensive than my bicycle when you include the exhaustion it puts me through, and much cheaper than the buses. Because of my scooter I’m much more active than I was before, and happier as a result.
Riding is easy now, but it took some getting used to. A scooter is like riding a bike in some ways and driving a car in others. Since the consequences and injuries following a scooter accident would be rather severe for me, I’m always very careful and cautious in my driving. I try to stay to the speed limit, but it’s become obvious very quickly that I’m the only one. The scooter can only go about sixty kilometers an hour, and the limit is usually forty or fifty. That limit is never enforced though. Traveling on some of the main roads can be a little scary. I’m trying to find back road routes where I can, but sometimes the main road is the only way. So long as I keep my wits about me, and pull over when I see a large semi coming by I will be fine. There’s not a scratch on me yet.
I’m trying to develop a rig to attach to my scooter so I can get some video while driving. Hopefully I can figure it out and put some shorts up with the blog. Stay tuned.