They have popped up everywhere. You can spot them on practically every corner.

I love the color. Turquoise (if that’s what it is called) is my favorite color along with red. The color has always kinda hypnotized me. Maybe because am a Pisces. Maybe because I like the sea. Maybe because I subconsciously associate some pleasant experience with turquoise. Who knows?

Personally I refuse to operate any kind of vehicle in Bratislava. Traffic is too busy. The outline of the streets is too chaotic. The sidewalks are too bumby. Drivers are not used to having competition from cyclists. Etc. With my dreamy head, wooden body and poor eye sight I would simply become a hazard.

I do strongly appreciate this business. I see lots of people using them. It’s my fervent hope that these flashy scooters with their sea like color reduce the number of noisy cars on the streets. The older I get the more cars tend to bug me.

My students have told me they are easy to use and cheap. Some restrictions apply. I have been told their top speed is automatically adjusted depending on where you are in the city. They are sluggish in the old town. And surprisingly fast elsewhere. I think users should also be aware that once they venture beyond their operational range the power is simply cut. So you can find yourself on a busy street on the outskirts of town and suddenly your electric horse won’t budge.

Some people complain that some spots have turned into temporary graveyards for these scooters. Some users just dump them in the bushes. At least one student has complained that too many of them are parked right outside his door. Personally I don’t mind them. Cars take up an insane amount of space and are possibly the most anti-social thing that disrupts communal life in many ways. On average a car owner uses his car a mere six percent of the time. About as much time as the average person can or is willing to devote to sex. Negligible. The rest of the time they just take up space that could be used differently.

The company behind these scooters seems to pay zero contributions to the city for their use of the public space. Fair or not fair? I saw at least one article pop up where the mayor of Nitra* – where these scooters are also available – saying the company renders the city a huge service by taking cars off the street. If so, I hope Slovak cities keeps promoting them. These scooters are more compatible with Slovak urban traffic than bikes, because Slovak streets are dominated by cars. If you want to bike you are often forced to use the sidewalk. A cyclist on a sidewalk is often a nuisance as you take up too much space, but with one of these scooters you can easily scud through the stream of pedestrians.

I am a fan. An entirely passive fan, but a fan.

* Nitra is one of the oldest settlements in Europe. It has been permanently inhabited for thousands of years. Possibly for as many as 8,500 years…

 

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