Despite my Koori, Welsh, Scottish, Tamil/Mauritius and English lineage, I quite often get mistaken as being of Greek or Italian heritage depending on my weight and BMI. If I am a few kilos heavier than recommended I am Greek, if I’m the recommended BMI then I’m Italian. Don’t know why this happens but it does. Me no complain.
Therefore I don’t think I will have done much to change this perception when I pick up my shiny new Vespa on Saturday. The Vespa, Italian for wasp, the noise the original two stroke engines made is an icon of the motoring world. I had the choice of black or pink and while the pink model would have complemented my nose on many a winter’s morning I opted to go black and you know what they say, once you’ve had black it is quite plausible and that in due course you may indeed seriously consider returning to the color of objects that do not emit or reflect light in any part of the visible spectrum.
I know what some of you are thinking, ‘black’s not a color Daniel, it’s a shade.’ I understand where you’re coming from dear reader as you sit at your desk considering whether to peel the mandarine or tuck into the left over cake or packet of lollies provocatively left by one of your colleagues either mid morning or mid afternoon, never first thing, midday or close of business. If you’re at home you may have just finished vacuuming.
In truth or at least to my reckoning the Vespa is the best way to get about town, $8.00 worth of fuel will get you about two weeks worth of daily riding and because of exorbitant fuel prices in recent years have become a popular and dare I say it ‘trendy’ mode of transport. I already have history with this form of transport. A couple of years back I had Piaggio Fly 125 scooter I rode while I was on learners permit, that was until it got nicked! Despite this I thought I would press on and get my full license. It was around this time that I had an accident and indeed came off one scooter at Calder Park Raceway. You can see footage of the accident here.
Fortunately I came away with only a dislocated shoulder and after several doses of morphine a new view on world affairs and its relation to the intricacies of the space – time continuum . What I also realised around this time is that there is a real chasm between motorcyclists and Vespa/scooter riders. When I sustained my injuries on that fateful day I was lauded by many a hairy biker as being and I quote, “the toughest scooter rider that I’ve ever seen mate”, once I realised that this compliment in real terms meant that I was as about as tough as a baby Panda in a knife fight with a human sized Praying Mantis, an analogy that I’m sure that we an all relate to, I realised that Clint Eastwood was never seen on at high noon on a Vespa, his loss not mine.
Despite the constant piss take from hairy bikers I take pride in being a Greek/Italian looking Vespa rider and know that I am doing my little bit to make the world a brighter place no matter how black things can sometimes seem.