Many of my friends, especially those from Europe, are really into Vespas. They claim that it is much more convenient to own a scooter in New York and a car. First of all, they do not have any problems with parking — tiny Vespas can fit in the most crowded street, thus they are able to find spot even on Saturday night in the Meatpacking District. Second of all, they save tons on money on fuel and maintenance. And, finally, Vespa drivers reduce the carbon footprint and thus take care of the environment. Last weekend my Vespa-lover friends finally convinced me to try driving a scooter in the Hamptons…
… and it was so scary! I’ve never been an adrenaline-junkie, and that Vespa ride reminded me about one episode in my life when I acted way too brave. Two years ago Ben and I jumped out of the plane, and I consider that moment to be the scariest day in my life.
I started regretting my decision the moment we came to the skydiving center in Montauk. The guy that supposed to be my instructor didn’t help the situation either. First, he tried to calm me down saying that, statistically speaking, jumping out of the plane is less dangerous than to cross a street against a red light. Soon afterwards, he inquired if I have a life insurance… Black humor and extreme adventures are not the best combination, and instructor’s comments made me shake even more.
But the worst part happened while we were already on the plane. Ben jumped out first and at this point I really doubted that he managed to survive. The next thing I remember is that my instructor kicked me out of the plane. I haven’t stopped yelling during my “amazing” free-fall that lasted for about 20 seconds. Then I realized that I have no air and started panicking… and finally our parachute has opened up.
After a couple of invitations to open my eyes, I finally agreed to do it. I kind of liked the bird’s-eye view on Montauk and was very excited that both Ben and I survived during our extreme adventure. The next day I realized that my voice was completely off. Exhausted and cranky, I reminded Ben a million times that I would never jump out of the plate again. Ever!
Driving Vespa, of course, is not as scary as jumping out of the plane. But in such a hectic city as New York where so many people drive aggressively, I do not think Vespa is the safest solution. And while I really enjoy watching how fashionably my Vespa-addicted friends carry their helmets, I decided to drive scooter only in the Hamptons. And it definitely would be a rental Vespa.