Column: Christmas time in downtown San Antonio may inspire death-defying try at scooters
I love downtown at Christmastime. I also love trying all of the new things San Antonio has to offer.
But I have to admit I’m a little scared of something I’m wanting to try. Me da miedo darme un banquetazo, and I don’t mean the kind that comes with rice and beans.
I’m afraid of scooters. They are called patines del diablo for a reason.
Motorized scooters are all over downtown, and that’s a good thing. There have been many, many times when I was walking — in pain, of course — down Houston Street wishing for a trolley, only to see one stop and go about half a block away, which might as well have been a mile. I have purchased chanclas at novelty shops because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to take another step. I have been yelled at by cab drivers for asking them to take me five blocks.
Scooters provide an answer to this sore-foot problem. Riding a scooter, one can hover past several blocks quicker than one could if one were just walking. It also seems that it would be a considerably less sweaty proposition.
Pero le sacateo.
It looks like fun. I imagine zipping from the mall at River Center to Market Square, the wind in my hair and a big smile on my face as I hover past young women wearing beautiful shoes and pained expressions. I imagine slowing to a stop in front of the Alameda or Mi Tierra, as my imaginary self decides, hmm … I think I want to check out that shop I like at La Villita. Or me dan ganas de un sausage platter de Schilo’s. I decide it’s worth a little more scooter time, so I turn around and scoot back.
But there’s always another story, and that one has me waking up, patas pa’rriba, on the sidewalk somewhere around Main Plaza, with a well-meaning metiche telling a small group of onlookers how I came out of nowhere y SAS! I imagine sitting up in humiliation while a kid tries to take the bubble gum that fell out of my purse and a viejito shakes his head and mumbles, “Quien le manda.” Fortunately, I was smart enough to get a helmet in this scenario, which prevents serious injury but leaves me con el copete aplastado.
Still, downtown at Christmastime makes me very, very happy — and maybe a little brave.
It’s a good thing they don’t let you ride those things on the River Walk.