Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Evolution of Transport

One of the major status symbols in Beijing is your mode of transportation. It starts with a bike or taking the bus, then goes to subway, cabs, scooters/motorcycles, all the way up to the really nice cars (the black audi being one of the more popular ones).
We've been climbing the ladder, slowly coming up in the world. We started out with some pretty junky second hand bikes (given to us by some very kind friends who were leaving the city), then one of our friends went back to the US and hooked us up with a Giant. These are like the expat-workhorse bikes, although a lot of Chinese people ride them too. Every once in a while I see some Chinese guy in all the competitive spandex wearing one of those futuristic helmets on a Giant roadbike. So awesome.
Anyway, so M had been riding her Giant bike and we'd been living the high life, but it wasn't enough for me. A few of my friends back in the states are Vespa enthusiasts, and I was always way jealous of them. When my Ford Taurus was dying, I almost bought an old restored Vespa off Craigslist. I even went to their place, cash in hand, to buy it, but they changed their mind at the last minute. The anticipation from that failed transaction has left me with a scooter complex. So everytime we'd go to Wudaokou and see all the Korean students cruising around on their electric scooters, I'd long for one of those glorious vehicles.
Fortunately for me, M is a sucker for all things vehicular. She loves train-rides, planes (originally had this as plains...sad that I'm an English teacher), cars, and even scooters. So it didn't take too much convincing for her to go along with it. We paid around $300US for the standard 2 seater "Korean Student" model. I haven't gotten any real pics, but here's my haphazard/artsy shot from our maiden voyage:

It's great being able to scoot around, but it's also a little freaky. Whizzing through Beijing traffic at 35km/h can be nerve-wracking at times. We're living life on the edge here :p. Full freaking throttle.

5 comments:

Amy said...

my dad wants a vespa. he's...64. it's his dream vehicle. you'd think ppl going through a midlife crisis would want a porsche or something, but no. vespa. you're living his dream.

Sariah said...

Oh, I little vespa. How fun! I don't think I could ever drive one but they're cute to look at.

Pip said...

that's awesome! "Korean Student" model must be a very diligent machine which likes karaoke. and 35km/hr sounds pretty fast.

Katrina said...

i think pip should get a vespa too!

Justin said...

OMG, don't die you guys...