Living Vicariously As A Peripatetic Shutterbug

{ More musings from the Cantankerous Old Mule }

A lemon by any other name would still be a lemon

When I originally lived in Madagascar, from 2009 to 2011, I owned a Yamaha XT350 motorbike, which I called “The Beast”. She had power, character and a guttural snarl but was far from perfect. In fact, she was eventually in the shop, or broken down at home, more than on the road. But I loved her and was sad to part with her when I left here. In fact, I loved her so much I even wrote a poem to her:

Ode to an old friend

Me on the Beast back in the day

Me on the Beast back in the day

She’s taken me places,
has whispered about adventure,
wind in the hair (!)
and wide open spaces
yet to be discovered…

She’s stubborn.
She’s irritated me,
with her old-girl eccentric quirks
but in the end she’s served me well –
with a growl, grunt and roar
about how we should live our lives –

But now,
Suffering from severe smoker’s cough
And broken apart
By a country that knows how …
The Beast is on her last legs.
The Old Girl has eternity in her eyes…

I’ll miss you my old friend, my trusty steed
When I go,
When you go …
for good


But that’s all in the past. As much as I would love a motorbike again, for now I will be riding a 50cc scooter. Two days ago I went with a friend from church to pick out a second-hand Yamaha Jog 4. I don’t know how much of it is still authentic Yamaha, but the model is common on these streets, which means spares are in good supply. I asked the guy at the sidewalk shop for his most powerful model, which, it turns out, was bright yellow. He could have changed it to any colour, but I haven’t seen many yellow ones on these roads and I do like to stand out. It even came with a bright yellow rugby-ball key chain.

Which gets me to the point of this post – I’m looking for an appropriate name for the little thing. I thought of “The Lemon” but would hate that to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Are you willing to help?

150218 601_4612

Getting the bike ready to go.

The cool keychain. I thought at first that it was a lemon.

The cool key chain. I thought at first that it was a lemon.

Me, trying to copy my pose on the Beast and failing dismally.

Me, trying to copy my pose on the Beast and failing dismally.

For those of you with good bandwidth, here is a time-lapse video I shot on the scooter from Shoprite, going north. (I posted a similar one on Facebook recently, but apparently that one was too manic and alarming. Hopefully this one is sedate enough …)



10 comments on “A lemon by any other name would still be a lemon

  1. Patrice Webb Karey
    February 18, 2015

    How about daffodil?

  2. kvennarad
    February 18, 2015

    It’s the crocus… I mean, just look at it… the flying crocus!

  3. madasue
    February 18, 2015

    Colonel Mustard!

  4. Bianca
    February 18, 2015

    The Banana?

  5. Geraldine
    February 18, 2015

    The Gold Bullet … I know it’s not exactly a bullet, but there’s irony in it …

  6. Elaine
    February 18, 2015

    Yellow peril

  7. derekmidgley
    February 18, 2015

    Fantastic time-lapse street race. Brought back memories .. in my memory those streets were even more frantic, but we got there slower. Reckon it should be called the Wasp. Or maybe just the Bee!

  8. LaBelleza
    February 18, 2015

    Definitely Colonel Mustard..of it is a she: Little miss sunshine? Or Little ms Happy or what about Sponge Bob (okay that is not a girls name). flower names? Sunflower?Buttercup…Yellow submarine comes to mind too, but that could lead to an identity crisis..oops time to work! Enjoy Mada

  9. Rory
    February 19, 2015


  10. Geraldine
    February 20, 2015

    Thinking about it, I think my favourite name is actually Buttercup (as was previously suggested). It just seems like a Buttercup … especially in contrast to your previous “steed”, The Beast!

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on February 18, 2015 by in Madagascar, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , .
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