One of several dear friends to leave Beijing in the past few months sold me her petrol-powered scooter – like a small motorbike with a single gear. Buying it second hand was obviously cheaper than buying a new one (which I’d been planning to do). That’s even after I put a little money into minor improvements, like a new battery, fix some wiring, change the oil, buy a serious chain lock – those sort of things. Anyway, the more I ride, the more I enjoy it. It gives me some freedom and independence – some space.
For months the other youth leaders have talked about how I need to get a scooter so we could be a scooter gang – since they all did already. There’s even talk of printing our own matching hoodies. The boys decided our gang name should be the Shunyi Pandas. Yeah, cos “fat” and “slow” are the attributes one wants most in a scooter gang. But it gives us an excuse to do the “Panda Swag” dance (from a youth camp two years ago)…
A week ago we all had a meeting closer to town and we rode together – the inaugural ride of the youth team scooter gang! It was a BEAUTIFUL day – blue skies, clean air, and warm without being hot. I even got a little extra colour from the sun. I really, really, enjoyed it! There was something very fun about travelling together. The introvert in me enjoyed the experience of being both alone and together simultaneously. And there’s always a lift in one’s spirit being outside on one of Beijing’s rare good weather days!
Only a week later and it’s decidedly cooler – I need a sweater if I’m going to ride in the morning or the evening. We’ve hit the short window of the year between hot and cold – our month-long Autumn. Autumn is the best time of year in Beijing, and I am really going to enjoy it on my scooter!