After last week's heavy yet purposeful posting, it seemed appropriate to carry on with a lighter topic today. That is, the fact that, not only do scooters get you from point A to Point B, they are also great conversation starters.
This summer, I have been riding my Vespa to work almost every day. Since I park it at exactly the same spot, my colleagues, who know my two-wheeler well enough now, often comment on the fact that they noticed it that morning or saw me park it. We also share a good chuckle when I answer that I got stuck in the pouring rain on my way home the night before (and I mean: water streaming down my face and dripping off my chin and my dress plastered on my skin kind of rain - in case you were wondering). I also know that when I mention that I drive a Vespa, this generally triggers many questions or surprised looks as others are often curious on what it involves to drive one. I know this because I used to be one of those people too, only I was a little more obsessed until I finally owned a Vespa myself. Last week however, I truly realized just how much conversation a Vespa can start and also, the opportunities this can create.
I was checking my emails when I noticed one coming from an acquaintance I hadn't heard from in a while. He was cycling the city that day and spotted my Vespa parked on the corner of the street. He thought: why not meet up for lunch and catch up? and emailed me shortly after. Go to lunch we did, two days later. I learnt a great deal about his new projects and what he had been working on. It was great timing as well since he was leaving in a few weeks to complete graduate studies in Spain. I would not have had the chance to congratulate him and wish him good luck in person had he not noticed the Vespa that day.
Another time, I was ready to go, strapping on my helmet when a stranger came by and started asking me questions about the Vespa. I'm always cautious when this happens; I place one hand on my purse and check my surroundings in case the person talking is trying to distract me while someone else grabs my wallet or cell phone. But no. This kind person simply wanted to know how it was to get around on one of these things and shared that his sister drove one in Lebanon, a much different environment from that of the 514. He said that he had seen me park in the morning as he walked in the building and now, saw me about to take off as he was walking out the building. "It couldn't have been better timing had we planned it" he said, as random encounters often are indeed perfectly timed without effort.
Similarly, two girls also approached me as I was getting ready to leave and asked me where I had gotten my bright red and white star helmet and a few other questions. There are also the comments that I overhear as I wait at a red light: "I like your style!" said one person in his car, "and she's riding in heels too!" said one woman to her friend on a sidewalk terrace as they were enjoying a drink. Once I was driving next to two girls in a lovely convertible car. As I stopped at the red light, they hadn't pulled up next to me yet so I turned around to see where they had gone and fell face to face with the driver snapping a picture of me. Both girls shouted how "amazing" my "ride" was while frantically gesturing at it. I bursted into laughter and said that I liked the music they were playing. The light turned green and we were off again.
These little moments that stem from the fact that I drive a Vespa (or something of the sort!) allow me to interact with Montrealers quite easily, making the city feel like a small village. The truth is, the streets we ride on are a stage. Everyone is watching us, looking at us and even judging us perhaps, as it is quite normal for human nature. La Vespa is a tough little cookie being heavier and more robust than a Vino scooter. Yet, it remains approachable and captivating, which explains the buzz it consequently generates. Just like a Ferrari that attracts attention, a Vespa does the same, just a little differently!
"Think different" - Steve Jobs
My name is Ivana. I love photography and meeting people. I hold a Master's in counselling psychology and work as a career consultant. Music is my fuel and an important source of energy in my life. I drive my vespa around the city and I love what I do! :) About this blog: me on my artistic soap box!
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