There’s nothing like the freedom of meandering along on a scooter on a warm summer’s day.
And here, rain or shine or otherwise, it’s always a warm summer’s day.
Which means going out for a quick jaunt is my idea of an ideal Time Out. Beaches, buildings, parks, shopping, endless food stalls, all within 15 minutes – a man can easily make a pig of himself.
I have learned something from my recent troubles – I’m a lot more … sedate than I used to be. I no longer try to load all my Thai possessions onto the scooter.
Nonetheless, I’ll nearly always ride helmet-less, avoiding the main roads, where the police lurk with ticket-books in hand. Everywhere else, nearly everyone goes for comfort over safety, and shuns helmets.
The ‘controlled’ intersections are also nearly all on the main roads, of course, so everywhere else it’s every man, wife, and child for themselves. Sometimes all three on the same scooter.
Scooters are universal here – from early teens to the elderly, it’s the most common form of transport. As such, it’s very loosely policed.
And gas is ridiculously cheap – a 100 baht tank refill will fuel me for around 60 km, or around a week of pottering about.
That pottering includes the 5-minute trip from home to work, the 5-minute trip to the nearest Food Mile, a 10-minute trip to a ‘supermarket’, or the same to big fresh produce markets ( I’ve found three so far, no doubt there are many more ).
Cheap, quick(ish), convenient – you gotta love a scooter.