October 18, 2007

Jackass scooter chick

I love travelling through Paris by other means than my beloved metropolitain. Last night, I crossed Paris on the back of a scooter. From the south/western city limit to the south/eastern city limit, passing by the Eiffel Tower with it's green legs and rugby ball for the RWC, past Musée d'Orsay, the Louvre, Hôtel de Ville - a really beautiful ride in other words.

Scooter drivers are mad, it has to be said. When there was a bit of a backup of late night traffice because the Dept of roads was cleaning the quays of the Seine, my driver hopped onto the pavement. I thought of SA's taxis..
Then we cut from the pavement across an intersection at a red light and I howled: "You burned that light!" - French for going through a red light. "Ah non, " he replied "we're coming from the green side, actually." Meaning that because he'd hopped off the pavement close to a zebra crossing and for a second turned his front wheel sort of perpendicular to the lane we should have been in, we were now coming from a different direction. I thought of SA's taxis...

When we sped into Lady Di's fatal tunnel, my scooter driver had the good sense to turn back to me and to inform me of such. Now, there is not a person alive in Paris who does not know which tunnel the Princess died in. We were going too fast, there were cars around us and I was hanging on for dear life so all I could manage was to shout back, "so maybe you should be watching that 13th pillar and not ME!" And I thought of SA's taxis...

But all that is nothing compared to the style-humiliation I suffered on the back of that scooter. It's the pesky compulsory helmet law that got me. All my dreams of being a cool scoot/biker chick for half an hour were shattered when I found my helmet was just a touch too large. So during the ride I had the choice of either having it drop forward over my eyes, or opening my mouth really wide to exert pressure on the chin-strap with my dropped jaw and thus keep the helmet on my head.

And because part of the reason you want to be zooming through Paris over- and not underground, is obviously its beauty, a helmet-over-eyes scenario is not an option! So, yes, there I was, the jackass-scooter chick, hanging off the back of a crazy, trick-performing scooter with my mouth WIDE open to have a long enough face.

Luckily for me there were no Parisian 'miggies' at midnight to swallow.


DN-Houston-Rugby is on at Richmond Arms said...

Boks the world champs?

Hollywoodgal said...

I guess so...!