We all have a tale to tell on who are the worst drivers in Australia. Queenslanders state it’s New South Welshmen. Northern Territorians claim its South Australians, and all grey nomads towing caravans. Tasmanian’s rarely get a mention because they don’t venture far from the island. Sandgropers (AKA Western Australians) understand how to cruise. And everyone complains about Victorians – even the Victorians!
Yet, if those complaining drivers ever rode a scooter in Bali, they’d never whine about another fellow Aussie driver again.
Bali traffic is chaotic and outright frightful, but amazing to watch from the sidelines. Families, friends, cats and dogs, even chickens are piled onto these tiny two-wheeled machines that propel them into a tidal sea of scooters.
As a kid, I learned to ride a motorbike. I rode one to work trying to survive on an apprentice’s wage and hated it during North Queensland’s monsoonal storms. Yet there was the ease of parking and tripping through congested traffic to the front of the lights.
Er, if that’s an infringement, it wasn’t me!
I don’t mind the scooter, and I’m partial to the Vespa. I plan to do the postie-bike cross-country challenge one day, even with the risk of being sucked in by wind-tunnels caused from overtaking trucks. I’d love to do a country lane tour of Vietnam via scooters too. (If anyone has done either of these I’d love to hear how it went?)
So, back to the humble scooter and this small true story…
Stuck in peak hour traffic under a sweltering summer sun where the radio rambled about the traffic jam ahead. Everyone waited inside their vehicles that lined up like a disjointed snake sleeping along the highway. When the sound of a bee-buzzing whine grew louder, reminding me of a toy aeroplane that never takes off. In the side mirror’s reflection, I spotted a large man that grew larger. Even with the sign stating that images may appear larger than they seem – He got larger! With a big black bushy beard, goggles, and helmet, he resembled the cliché of a big-bad-arsed burly biker in his late forties.
Except he was on a scooter!
A baby-blue or little-boy-blues bike that he towered over.
There we were stuck in traffic, while King-Kong’s civilised cousin waved like the queen in his own parade. Cruising along the bicycle lane, with a beer in one hand and lit cigarette in the other. He probably got home in time before he needed a beer refill while the rest of us remained to wrestle with peak hour traffic.
So, talking about heroes, what would be your ultimate hero-car or the funniest one you’ve seen as the getaway vehicle?
In my story, Strangers Storm, to save the island our heroes’ vehicle of choice is:
(*insert drumroll here…)
And we all know how fast they go, with two adults, bracing against the wind and rain, uphill…
So, why not see how they do it by getting your free copy here.