Born to be mild!

Well, as planned, I rented a motor scooter.  It’s a Yamaha Fino (the same scooter is sold in the US as the Yamaha Vino).   I selected this particular model mainly based on looks (it has a very classic scooter look to it), also it has a slightly wider seat than most other scooters out there.  :)

Rental Yamaha Fino

It handles very well, and zippy enough for a single rider.   It cost me 1000 baht to rent this for the week that I’m here.  Which is a shade under $30 per week, so it’s a decent price.  Here’s another picture of my scooter parked in the hotel parking lot amongst other bikes.

My scooter.

The week is almost out, and I’ve only taken this out three times…. simply because I don’t want to die!   Every time I get on the thing and get on the road, I am gripped by an immense fear.   It’s not a fear of the bike itself.. it appears to be well maintained and handles correctly.    Nor is it a fear of the driving itself, I seem to do that fine.   It’s the OTHER drivers on the road, they are horrible!   I find myself constantly trying to guess what other drivers are going to do, and that logic while sound does not seem to work here!   For example:  The other scooter drivers get mad at me when I don’t simply dart into traffic (onto a major road from a side street) as they do without looking first.   Apparently they “know” that the oncoming traffic will stop to let them through…. I don’t know this, and I instinctively don’t trust this!

The problems driving for me here are compounded by the other major form of transportation in this town… the “baht busses”.    There are hundreds of these converted pickup trucks here in Pattaya.  These vehicles generally follow a circuit around town and pickup/drop off passengers for a small fee.  Here’s one…(Placeholder…not my photo yet)

Baht Bus

These vehicles will honk their horns and suddenly slow down for EVERY foreign (non-Thai) pedestrian they see.   I have learned to give these baht busses a very wide berth.

Another problem in this town is pedestrians, particularly other foreigners.  They like to jump out in front of traffic, seeming to beg for “death by scooter”.

I would put up with all of this if there was somewhere to “go” on the scooter.  But there isn’t!  Every available parking spot at places I want to go is taken up!   The parking spots are not taken up  by other drivers, they are taken up by hoards of folks renting scooters!   :(

Oh well, I’ll end my rant now.  While it was an interesting experience, I doubt that I’ll rent another motorbike in this town.

Thanks for reading!

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