Motorino

Some of he best years of my life were spent zipping around Rome, Italy on my Red SH50 motorino, where I’d fly between my apartment and my office, to appointments here and restaurants and bars there. At the time, motorinos could park anywhere they wanted in Rome, so they were a lot more practical than cars. But they were also a bit dangerous–especially for an American who had never seen roads without lanes or drivers without scruples. Weaving through the labyrinthine side streets was no problem, but on the 4-lane wide Lungotevere, it could get very hairy. And that’s the road I took to work every morning.

You’d see us on our motorinos snaking through the traffic (especially at red lights, where we slowly weave our way up to the front row), but it wasn’t easy at first, especially as I entered the slot between two cars travelling at 40 mph. I never knew if the cars could see me laterally; my policy was never to enter a tight space unless the coast was clear in front. If I didn’t know how I was going to get out, I wouldn’t go in.

That changed over the years, as I started acquiring more of a 360 degree sense of my own, as well as faith in my driving. I remember vividly when I began entering these “blocked zones” and feeling totally comfortable, moving at the same speed as the rest of the river.

All this, it seems, was simply reflecting my new way of handling life: I could go into situations without worrying about how I was going to get out of them. I was gaining new levels of trust in the world. I knew that sooner or later an opening would arrive all by itself.

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