It’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. That’s what I keep trying to remind myself about the glorious days we had with our scooter. It was a wonderful freedom, a brief reprieve from the heat, but it was destined to be a short lived romance because we’re back to walking. And, as if a twisted joke was being played on us, not only are we back to walking, but we have even been seen walking and pushing our scooter… as scooters and cars whizzed by.
We’ve only had our scooter a short time, but we’ve already had plenty of adventures. We’ve lost it, reported it stolen, crashed on it and had it towed to a repair station to have it fixed. But let me digress…
Only two days after acquiring it, I woke up to David talking on the phone to the police. Not in the habit of having a scooter, we had carelessly parked it in front of our building on a Thursday evening, forgetting that Fridays are market days and the market sweeps in and clears out everything in its path. Our scooter had been parked out front and now, at 7 am on Friday morning, it was absolutely nowhere to be found.
Ever since purchasing the scooter, David had been a bit paranoid leaving it on the street and wouldn’t stop running down to check on it until he purchased the insurance and paid extra in the case of theft. But theft, in this case, seemed a bit drastic. I was sure that it had been towed to make way for the market but David had talked to the police and they had no record of a scooter being towed. So when 9:00 am rolled around and there was still no record of it and no sign of it on a side street, we had to assume the worst and report it stolen – especially if we wanted to get money back from the insurance. So we spent the next hour at the police station giving an account of the entire time table. Scooter last seen at 9:30 Thursday evening, scooter first missing at 7:00 Friday morning. Therefore, it must have been stolen sometime between 9:30 at night and 4 in the morning when they started to set up the market. After a whole lot of typing and a whole lot of time, made better only because the very official looking police guy was actually very nice and non-intimidating (you would never find a policeman so amicable in the States), we were told that a report had gone out to all of Spain and that the street patrolling policeman would keep any eye out for it. He reassured us saying that most stolen scooters were found within 48 hours. I was surprised to see how seriously they were taking our scooter loss and a little humbled to think that all of Spain would now be actively searching for it.
After the ordeal was done, we begrudgingly bought two tickets for the bus to Alicante (wasn’t our scooter supposed to save us from these bus fares??!) as we had an appointment there for later that morning, and all day we bemoaned our loss and hoped for a phone call from the police reporting that it had been found. We had only just bought it! How could we have already lost it?
It wasn’t until the end of the day when we had returned from Alicante – by bus – that we found what we had lost. Rounding the corner to the apartment, we immediately spotted – as if an oasis in the middle of the desert – our scooter! It hadn’t been stolen, it hadn’t been towed. It had simply been picked up and moved aside when the market came in that morning. Just as the neighborhood becomes unrecognizable on market days (happening right now as I write!) so do scooters when they’re covered up by merchandise. We celebrated and rejoiced and I only once wondered aloud about how effective a national police search really is. Our scooter had been completely out in the open on the side of the road for the whole afternoon and the police hadn’t yet found it. In fact, all the police in Spain were supposedly still looking for it!
Not wanting to be caught with a reportedly stolen bike, we immediately headed to the police station to report it found. Unfortunately, removing the report wasn’t quite so immediate. It required a 1.5 hour wait just to be seen and another half hour of paperwork. Oh well, at least I saw the inside of the police station!
As for the crash, we didn’t crash into anything or anyone, we kind of just skidded out and fell. We were riding in Cox, the small village where David’s aunt and uncle live, and skidded on a sandy patch in the road. I came out unscathed but David’s knees were a bit banged up and bloody. But, later, when David was riding the scooter home, he felt it wasn’t driving quite right and wouldn’t stay completely straight. Not a good thing when you’re going about 50 mph. So we pushed it to some shops to see if they could fix it, but were quickly rejected.
How is that possible? Aren’t we in the middle of an economic crisis in Spain? Shouldn’t these places be happy for our business? Well, it turns out that scooter sales and repair shops haven’t been too affected in this downturn. It also turns out that our scooter, while I knew it was a no-name brand, is really a no-name brand to the point that the shops won’t even work with it. Since they aren’t distributors of our cheap scooter from China, they outright refuse to fix it. It’s not worth their time.
So we had it towed to the shop where we bought it in Alicante and confirmed that it had been received and the guy was working on it. We’re expecting a call any day now that it’s ready to go, but, until then, we’re without wheels. And it’s hotter than ever, and we’re really missing our scooter. The 20 minute stumble (it’s too hot to have the energy to walk) to David’s dad’s restaurant seems like an eternity and going anywhere requires a concerted effort. So we’ve returned to the sidewalks – and are back to feeling envious anytime anything on wheels goes whizzing by. It’s all good though. It keeps us humble.