I ride a small Yamaha – 115cc scooter that is known by its model name – Fino. I know that I am not easy to see. There are multiple reasons. I am not riding a loud bike. Even at full throttle it is pretty quiet. I am not on something that is big. I dominate the bike; it is likely that I am heavier than it is. And it is not particularly fast, though it gets to the speed limit in Singapore. Well, it barely gets there, usually when going downhill and with the wind. In being small, relatively quiet, and light, it is only natural for others to miss the reality that I am on the bike and the road with right of ways.
Yesterday reminded me of the reality of Singapore taxi drivers. In general, with the note that there are always exceptions, Singapore taxi drivers do not see motorcyclists on the road. Even when s/he is riding big, as I was yesterday, their actions suggests that we were never seen and as a result, not considered. I went through the full range of emotions, anger and frustration that finally gave way to a victim’s laugh. With each, I found myself struggling to describe the situation. I do not hold any hope that things will change. Candidly, “I find myself in a pride of lions who are wild for a taste of human flesh (motorcyclists of course); their teeth are lances and arrows, their tongues are sharp daggers.” (Psalm 57.4)
As the taxi blissfully brushed close to me, I realized that I could hold my ground or concede. The real question was never about being right. It was always about responding. Every situation is different. Each requires our full attention. There is no script for one to follow. The situation is in and of itself unique.
My consideration did not have a big window. The car was coming through my lane. It was going to gather the scooter and myself up and into the rear door if I did not give way. Responding is critical.