School is Hard, Moped Nation

So medical school is hard. I spend, on average, three hours on every 12 page Neuro lecture before I’m semi-happy with what I’ve retained. I would love to pretend that the reason it’s taking me so long is because the course is presented in a way that lacks narrative but its more likely that I’m dense. Neuro rules my life and I am lucky that Physio is still in first gear.

Speaking of gears, living off campus without a vehicle is no fun. The time it takes to travel back and forth for cooked meals, changes in books, and other sundry errands comes to 2-3 hours a day. Then consider that those errands happen an hour or two apart from each other and you have a day that is broken up into pieces that prevent any study-momentum. I need something.

My budget won’t allow me a controlling interest in a car among my roomates, so that leaves bicycle, motorcycle, and moped on the table. Last Friday I responded to an add and made a complete ass of myself. A vet student looking to unload a moped she has never ridden had to show me the clutch, kickstart, brakes and instructional panel on the gas tank tying all of these objects together. I decided to wheel it out and take it for a test drive. How hard could that be? I used the front brake the entire time not realizing there was one at my foot, because the front brake and the throttle are on the same handlebar I did an excellent job of lurching, and I almost killed a cow.

Dad, I know you are so proud of me.

Naturally I fell in love with the thing. There’s something about the speed that only a moped can deliver. She was asking $1400 and I was offering $830; it would be a while.

hangboard

climbing flapperIn the meantime, MY HANGBOARD IS UP! I paid someone squatting in the abandoned hotel next to us $28 to build a frame for it and am happy to report that the skin is tearing off every one of my fingers in righteous flappers. My roomates really don’t know how to handle my excitement. Needless to say I have made all of them use it during our Navy Seals workout.

There is once again a beach by our house and I am swimming every day. It got a little hard doing laps from the buoy and back with my head above water, so I went and bought some Swedish goggles (the ones without any rubber that make you look like you have glass insect eyes). They pinch pretty bad and it hurts to blink. I toughed it out the first day for about a half hour and then suffered for the next two while everyone laughed at “the racoon”. Har har. What’s worse, now that I can see clear to the bottom I don’t want to swim at my beach anymore: it’s too dirty and I can see little bits of things going past my mouth.

So this brings us to the phone call I recieved from the vet student on Thursday asking me to haggle a bit for the moped. I will also mention that I had two of my friends make offers on the bike and then reatract them saying “it just wasn’t worth it”. I asked her to meet me halfway between our offers to each other, then I refused again. I had my arms crossed and everything.

Dad, I know you are so proud of me.

She eventually settled at $1000 throwing in two new helmets, a lock and a waterproof bag for it all. Let the countdown begin to my first crippling accident! At least now I can ride to a cleaner beach.

Avoiding potholes and maniacs, topher.

Addendum:
1) A hangboard is a climber’s pullup bar that hurts in creative ways
2) A flapper occurs when a callous along with the underlying skin is torn away, revealing red, glistening dermis.
3) I was called “the racoon” because I had twin bruise circles around my eyes

P.S.

So it’s actually Friday afternoon and I bought the bike! The helmet does not fit my head. I rolled it down this girl’s driveway and (flashing back to my youth) taught myself how to work the thing in a parking lot. Every single scenario I could imagine I played out against imaginary pedestrians and reggae busses. It took about an hour before I could lean correctly, downshift quickly, and start from neutral on a hill. I probably wasn’t completely ready, but I went into traffic anyway. HI MOM!

learnerI have been somewhat responsible; I put two white “L”s on the side of the helmet to let every other motorist know that I have no idea what I am doing.

addendum:
4) In Grenada, all student driver cars are called “learners” and have a big white “L” on them.

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3 Responses to School is Hard, Moped Nation

  1. linda says:

    LOL, im simply adore you

  2. Molly says:

    Fellow climber! I wish you were still in Grenada

  3. Everything is very open with a clear description of the issues.

    It was really informative. Your site is very useful. Thanks for
    sharing!

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