Sofyan did the trick and got me on a Segway, I think he knew that I was absolutely itching to try one of those things, now I curse him for doing so as I know that very soon I’ll probably be buying one off him! Apart from being the perfect transport mechanism to take you all around the island, safely, it is one helluva fun way to get around! Absolutely fantastic!
Of course I was apprehensive when I first got onto the machine, even after the enthusiastic and very factual presentation and safety instructions Sofyan gave me, I didn’t believe him, well not completely.
Manhal (a very mutual friend) would tell you do a Nike and just do it, never think of the fall he suffered on an early model a few years ago! To be fair however, Manhal himself would unreservedly tell you that it was his fault: he had huge amount of fun on it and got it to do things it most probably never designed to do, like jumping, spinning around at the rate of knots, going full pelt up a hill and then trying to force it to stop mid-stream… of course the only thing that stopped was him falling off! The machine continued to behave itself in that when it didn’t feel there was a rider on board, it stopped in full balance 6 feet further on. Manhal being Manhal was more worried about the machine than his broken arm with the bone fully protruding from it!
That was Manhal’s experience; mine this morning was very dissimilar in how it ended, but very much like his in fun content. Sofyan as always was the excellent host and mentor. We went whizzing around his office building, up and down ramps, eventually I even felt the wind through my hair (singular. stop it!) as I was going fast enough for the Segway to start pushing me back to limit the top speed.
In short it was exhilarating.
Now to the practical thing is to ensure that it is used all over Bahrain. When you consider that it’s rechargeable batteries last more than 8 hours, a charge that would take you from Manama to Sakhir easily – a distance of 20 kms or so, and considering the amount of traffic and the congestion it creates, I’m surprised why more people aren’t Segwaying their way around town.
All you have to do to be convinced is try to come and park in our office building’s car park at ANY time in the morning. Waiting in line to get into the car park for more than 30 minutes is not abnormal. Had you used a Segway however, you would have easily come from your office anywhere in town, sorted out whatever you wanted at the bank, ministry, shop and gone back to your office in much less time than that.
The same goes for countless practical situations: hospitals, security beats, shopping malls, and other uses… I know that I’m sounding like an ad for Segway, but it’s just too much fun and practicality not to have something like this be put to proper and popular use!
Thanks again Sofyan. This morning was fun, but even more fun is having you back home!