More transport frustrations

We went to meet a friend for brunch today over in the East Coast. I had an ulterior motive; I wanted to visit the skate shop over there to see about getting a replacement for my scooter. To get there, I booked a car through Grab. On the app, I could see the car was a few minutes away. Then the driver sent me a message saying he’d be a bit longer. I asked how long. He said ten minutes. We went downstairs to wait, and then I saw he had driven halfway across the island to get away from me, and wasn’t responding to phone calls or further messages.

There’s a sort of brinkmanship with using Grab; if you cancel your ride, you get deprioritised for future bookings. If the driver cancels, they lose incentive payments. But if I didn’t cancel, I couldn’t rebook another car, so that was half an hour of my life wasted until finally I gave up and cancelled. I’m hoping they haven’t charged my card…

Anyway, eventually we got another car, although he seemed desperate to drop us off. We were going to a cafe at 237 East Coast Road, and from about a mile out he was asking if it was time to drop us off. Er, I guess if we said we wanted to go to 237, dropping us at 197 wouldn’t be so practical, right? We relented and disembarked thinking we were just a few yards away, then realised we’d come up three blocks short. Oh well, it’s exercise.

We walked the rest of the way, then got to the cafe where service seemed to be pretty much a demonstration of Browning motion. Food arrived eventually, but only occasionally coinciding with what we had asked for. Oh well. The kids were fine with this and especially because afterwards we took them for ice cream, then a routemarch to a scooter shop a mile away, and then (as that one was only selling electric scooters) another walk to Hvpersport, the strangely spelt skate shop in the East Coast Park that I’d been angling on visiting.

I arrived, scheming to buy a $430 scooter and hide the price tag somehow, only to find they’d sold out, except for the demo model which I could buy for $150. So that was nice. The new scooter is better than the old one because the handlebars turn at the same rate as the wheel, rather than rotating however they feel like, and because the deck (where you stand) doesn’t flex, but best of all there’s a easy quick release to fold and unfold it, instead of a fiddly little lever that seems to jam ten times out of nine. So that was good. Another way to reduce my reliance on the internal combustion engine. The only downside is there don’t seem to be many suitable surfaces to decorate with stickers.

We got home and I got to go climbing for half an hour. I scootered there and back (another win!) and spent my time trying to be careful and use my toes to climb, rather than yanking heavenward with upper body strength. I think that made a difference, although I may have sabotaged this by buying a grip training device, a doughnut of rubber that you squeeze to make your hands stronger. Well, better that than angrily squeezing your phone in protest at the unreliability of rideshare drivers…

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