[May 14 2015]
The scooter rental employee eyed me suspiciously as my girlfriend stated she would be the one driving the scooter and presented her drivers license. We were in a British colony in the Caribbean and maybe they aren’t as progressive in terms of gender roles, but I’m pretty sure we were the first couple they met where the guy was riding on the back of the bike. I was plenty fine with this as my girlfriend spent a large part of her 20’s driving a scooter in South East Asia and I was more pressed with being able to take photos off the back of the bike.
One of the things that drove me wild as we snaked along the hilly roads of Tortola, was the derelict cars of the island. With nowhere to put them, no possibilities of a junkyard, too expensive to ship off island, cars just rusted and rotted into the foliage of the island. It became this beautiful decay manufactured by sun, salt, and wind; rust buckets everywhere! There once was a goat tied up to the chassis of an overturned truck in a field.
Returning to the scooter to the rental place they seemed to be waiting in anticipation. Was I still on the back? Would we even return in once piece? I got a sense that the West Indian guys were a bit infatuated with my girlfriend. Who was this wild woman that would not be satisfied simply riding on the back of the bike? We all had a good laugh in the parking lot and said our goodbyes as we flipped our thumbs for a lift back to the last ferry leaving Tortola.
Text and photo Johnny Knapp