Today I was driving in what can only be described as a torrential downpour, reservoirs filling up the road on either side that caused drivers to slow to crawl-speed, when I saw a man driving a scooter coming up behind me in my rear-view mirror. I couldn't imagine what kind of masochist would be out driving in this weather, taking what our friend described as a 40 mile-an-hour-bath, and how he could manage in this rain (not to mention even see where he was going). I was stopped at a red light so when he passed me to get up to the front of the line I took a good look and he was pretty covered head-to-toe in rain gear but I happened to glance at his feet and noticed he wasn't wearing any shoes. Now, I imagine that's a pretty good way to keep your shoes dry and would save you the hassle of walking around all day in wet shoes, but I think I'd rather stand a few hours of discomfort because of wet shoes than a lifetime of being CRIPPLED because you have NO FEET, which is what would surely happen if he were to get in a wreck (something that would be FAR more likely to happen while driving a scooter in the rain in the first place, I might add). So far the scooter drivers here have shown their intelligence and/or survival instinct to be about equal to a mosquito. Only one reason why we lovingly refer to them as locusts.
In case you can't tell, we don't like the scooters on the road. I could spent days ranting about their suicidal and accident-inducing behavior (like the boy on the busy road in front of our house looking DOWN while driving so he could write a text message...or how I once saw a family of FIVE driving a scooter: mom, dad and - count 'em - THREE kids, with only the adults wearing helmets...ho, boy...) so I won't even get started. But don't be too surprised if an angry or bewildered or frustrated or unbelievable post about scooter drivers crops up here once in a while. Welcome to Malaysia.