October 2nd – Motorino

Aloha kakou e na hoa heluhelu

It’s the second day here in Roma and today was quite the adventure. Let me tell you about my very first Motorino ride, which happened to be yesterday. After walking around for hours waiting to see Cristoforo (Alohalani’s son) we came upon a motorino rental store. A motorino is what we call a moped at home. It looks the same as any other moped only the folks here in Italy have their own rules for motorino drivers. Before I launch into this story, let me preface with facts. Fact #1,
have never driven a moped before…. Ever. Fact #2, I’ve never ridden a moped before either. My only recollection of a moped in my younger years was kind of tragic. I remember my father once got on a moped and started down a small hill then at the bottom he hit the gravel and then got thrown onto the pavement. So when we walked into this store, that was the
story that was swimming around in my head. But I figure, when in Rome… right?
Anyway, the rental agent handed us some head panties which were to be placed into the helmets to keep us from getting ukus or something. I’m not sure. I just did it. I climb on to the motorino first because I’m the one
being packed along. Alohalani is the driver. We don our head pantied helmets and zoom…. Off we go. I had a grin from ear to ear but then I remember the number one rule for motorcycle riding which is….. Shut your

mouth or you’re gonna eat bugs.
Then we get into traffic and the grin disappeared. There are no rules for motorinos. They zip in and out, up and down, between cars, in front of buses, in back of trucks and side by side other crazy ass motorino-ans. I decided I would only look to the side and not forward. BIG mistake. Then I thought maybe I should trust in Alohalani’s skills which I did and then all I could do was cling on to the side bars or Alohalani. The only problem was that I hadn’t put away my camera or the camera bag so one hand was to hold those, and the other was to grip on the side bar. Then my knees went into horse rider mode and clamped down onto the sides of the seat. My thoughts were, “it is better to take the fall than to lose my camera an

y day.” We zipped in and out of traffic, zoomed forward, switched back and forth like the z trails on the Waipi’o valley face or the Makali’i tacking on the sea. Hawaiians on motorinos like we were navigating ourselves through the rough Pailolo channel. We got back in one piece exhilarated and wind blown.
Today was my second day on the motorino and we actually were zipping along on highways, back alleys and street corners full of people, historical sites and cobblestones that have memories of horse drawn chariots. So this time I was ready. Camera bag on back…. check. Camera around the neck… check. And stink eye for any car brazen enough to honk at us, Va fan culo!…Check! I love learning Italian swear words……
The only complaint I have is that I still cannot get off the motorino without getting my legs stuck on some part of the seat. Shit….. So much for ack’ing cool….. Tomorrow will be another day of dashing and flashing through cobblestone streets and historical sites. I think I’ll do some yoga before I get on the motorino. Buno Fortuna, Tsa!
Ciao ciao Gangeh!
Kalei Nu’uhiwa
(c) 2009 Kalei Tsuha

4 thoughts on “October 2nd – Motorino”

  1. A motorino ride in Rome is something of unusual in a western civilization. Is more like an experience in Calicut, I think…


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