Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Scooter - Vespa

John Wayne when not on horseback loved his Vespa.

In the 1960's and I was already in secondary school, but still too young to have a driving license, the Vespa took Sibu by storm. Pretty young office girls were riding Vespas and their huge skirts were flowing in the wind, making them such unforgettable and lovely sights to behold. Handsome young men were driving them around and very often had pretty pillion riders to show off. One guy in the school had a Vespa and he was admired by lots of girls. He has the nice guy who gave me the one and only Vespa ride in my whole life!! Even though it was only around the Methodist School compound in broad day light.

Then there was the news in the papers that a young lady died in a terrible road accident with her Vespa. Her burial was reported in detail as it was attended by a lot of people since she was from a noble family. We were told that the Vespa was part of her burial ,to accompany her to the other world,besides other valuables. This was a Melanau burial practice at that time. For years we remembered that. As it was one of the first young deaths on Sibu roads, I felt sad and that it was a great waste of a young life. Road accidents had always been painful to us in Sibu where there were many pedestrians and cyclists .

Several years later the Vespa lost its popularity to the Hondas which were more versatile in the rural areas. My relatives found that Hondas could carry more people, and more goods!! So they were good value for their money.

There are probably only a few Vespas left in Sibu. And it is still a good ride if you can borrow one!!

According to articles I have read there are millions of Vespas in Italy,the birthplace of Vespa, today.

Think of a Roman holiday. Ride a Vespa! Perhaps a Malaysian can enter the Guinness Book of Records by riding a Vespa around the Island of Borneo.

6 memories:

Philip said...

My first and only motorbike was a second hand Vespa bought at RM1,700when I started working. My mum loaned me Rm1000.I used it for about 3 years then changed to driving my first car, a Mitsubishi Colt Lancer. Unfortunately that Vespa was left to rot under the old house.

I Am Sarawakiana said...

Do you still have a photo of yourself with your Vespa. I thought it would be just a really good collection for my posting!! I understand that there is even a Vespa Club Malaysia!
Thanks for writing.

I Am Sarawakiana said...

By the way, are you related to Angela Yong?

I Am Sarawakiana said...

We bought our first car a second hand Volkswagon,MA7766 which broke down every other day. Then we bought a brand new red Colt Lancer L1256 , a Limbang plate. I think it is still around. It served me well in Sibu for many years.

Miss LuLu said...

WoW! I want a Vespa =) i love classic stuff~ its awesome..

I Am Sarawakiana said...

Hi Miss Lulu,
Nice of you to drop by. Vespas are now collectors' items.

There is a Miri Vespa Club. I know a very nice man who keeps his Vespa is perfect condition and still rides it around. I must catch him and photograph him one day. He reminds me of John Wayne.

May be you will meet a Jude Law on a Vespa in KB one day. Be happy


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