This morning I was overtaken by an old Vespa, as always riding while tilted a few degrees to the left because of the engine weight asymmetry. The fellow on it wore one of those helmets that only reaches down to the equator and is leather below. The blue smoke behind him was deliciously fragrant. It has always seemed to me that Vespa smoke had two different smells, randomly depending on the day: an oily one, and an aromatic one. Perhaps this could be used for divination. This morning’s was aromatic, in the sky color of cigarette smoke. I remember my grandfather using one of those Vespas in the late ‘fifties and and every day asking me whether I wanted to ride in the back down to the village for shopping. My answer was always no, until one day I said yes. I saw nothing but his back, felt the buzz of the engine and was scared. Now I ride to work on a three-wheeled Piaggio, the evolved descendant of the Vespa. Postwar Italy was built on the Vespa, the amazing Ape (bee in Italian) and the rare, majestic Guzzi Motocarro.
Categories: off topic