My Little Mule

20140907_131536_resizedOr… 我的少毛驴 (wo de shao mao lu).

Scooters here a  called “little mules”[1].  They’re about 50% of the vehicles on the road (if not more).  The vast majority of them are electric (as mine is), and the cost anywhere from a half a month’s salary to a full month’s salary (or more) for the average factory worker.

I’ve been here three years now, and finally decided that I had enough money saved up that I could afford to get the one I wanted.  And I’m glad I waited.  This “Vespa-style” design is something new, and has become quite popular.  Previously, most of them have been either e-bikes (a bicycle with an electric motor built onto it) or have had a more “pointy” style–like a skinny snowmobile.

This style has very smooth curves and a classic look to it.  It’s much more my style.  And… they had it in what I like to call “Dragonfly Red”–the deep, rich red that I like to use for my websites and other designs.

I have a bicycle, but I think I’ve ridden it 3 times in the past 4 months.  It’s just too hot and humid to be riding a bicycle–especially to work.  When I get there, I’d be soaked in sweat.   With the scooter, I have the freedom to get around without waiting for a bus (which stop running at 6:30pm!) or paying for a taxi.   Freedom!

And, of course, this being China, the very first thing everybody says is “How much?”


[1] On a funny side note:  I have  a Colombian teacher staying here for a couple days, and I said “I have a shao mao lu”… then wondered how to say that in Spanish.  After about 2 seconds, it came to me:   Burrito!

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