Scoopy: Day 1

by Tabitha Kidwell

The Scoopy was delivered yesterday afternoon as promised. I handed over a significant amount of money (in the equivalent of tens and fives), and the Scoopy was mine!

The moment they handed me the keys was also the moment I realized “I have no idea how to drive this thing.” Ah, yes – that’s why I didn’t think I’d want to get a motorbike. I only have one real experience with a scooter: after a family Memorial Day cookout (AKA after several hours of heavy drinking), my cousins and I went out to Brothers, a bar resembling a warehouse. As we walked in, I saw a sign that said “win this crappy scooter” attached to a very fairly described ‘crappy scooter.’ I thought to myself “I don’t want a crappy scooter, but I do want to embarrass my little sister on her birthday,” so I entered with her name. Imagine my surprise when the DJ announced, “Katie Kidwell, you’re our winner. Please go to the bar.” Katie had no idea what was going on, but luckily (hey, it was her birthday!), she was already at the bar, and she told the bartender she had won. “Let me get the keys” said the bartender. At first, Katie thought she had won a car, but, after an initial disappointment, she was pretty happy with the crappy scooter. We all took turns driving in circles in the parking lot, then my cousins Jimmy and Andy drove it home, one driving, one jogging alongside. Or, they tried to drive it home: they only got halfway there when the handlebars came off and Jimmy face planted in the middle of Goodale Park.

Jimmy on the crappy scooter - coincidentally, he is making the same face I made most of the day today!

You may be surprised to hear that that experience didn’t really prepare me to ride the Scoopy. They gave me a quick tutorial and I tried to take it for a spin, but I only went about 5 feet before lurching to a quick stop, then repeating the process. It was like a baby giraffe learning to walk. It was not pretty. But I kept trying, and it eventually got better. I went up and down the street a couple of times before my counterpart and his wife helped me put the Scoopy in my house so we could go get dinner.

I woke up this morning ready to practice on the Scoopy. But first, of course, I had to sit around for awhile thinking about practicing.

Then I had to revel in the almost-zero odometer reading and the new-scooter-smell (yes, there is such a thing!).

Then, I had to practice just sitting on the Scoopy.

Then, I had to practice wearing the jacket and helmet that I got for free with purchase.

Ok, I’ll admit – I was terrified to actually get on the thing and go anywhere. I finally worked up the courage to take it out, and I rode around my neighborhood until the odometer said 10 kilometers. That’s quite a feat when you consider that my neighborhood consists of exactly two streets, neither of which is longer than a football field. Also, it’s a new development, so there are about 5 houses under construction. I don’t think the constructions workers got any work done, given that every time I circled by, they had to stop what they were doing and watch me creep forward at approximately 10 km/hour.

After a couple of hours of entertaining/terrifying my neighbors, I was ready to take on the open road. Okay, that’s not true – I was totally freaked out to take on the open road, but I was out of toilet paper. So I forced myself to venture outside of the gate of my complex. I made it all the way to the store and back and only got passed by one person on a bicycle! But it was totally terrifying. I’m not sure I’ll ever be comfortable riding this thing. Anyone in the market for a (very) gently used Scoopy?

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One Comment to “Scoopy: Day 1”

  1. OK, so this is enormously random, but I just happened to be doing a Google image search on Salatiga, Indonesia because one of my students told me to, and I saw your picture. And I was all, “What? A bule in Salatiga?” So I clicked the picture was was directed to your blog, which I proceeded to read the entirety of.

    And anyways, my name is Abbie and I’m 25 and I’ve lived in Salatiga for 3 years now, teaching at the international school.

    So all I’m here to say is that I had fun reading about your early adventures! And also, I don’t know if you know any other white people around here or if you want to know any white people around here or if you enjoy being the only white person you know around here, but there are white people around here! Quite a few actually. And we do lots of hanging-outish things together and day trips on the weekends and movie nights and hikes and random dance parties and Bible studies and the like (for the record, most all those events are a mix of white people and Indonesian people. We’re not exclusive…). And if you ever feel the need for some quality white person time, or just want to get to know more people, feel free to shoot me an sms… Anyone is welcome in our big family! My number (in top secret code, obviously, because I’m not the kind of girl who just hands out her phone number on the internet) is kosong-delapan-lima-delapan-enam-lima-kosong-enam-satu-delapan-dua-lima.

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