"The ‘90s called – they want their means of transportation back", I wanted to shout after the school kids racing down the pavement on their scooters, which randomly re-appeared this summer. It felt weird to be noticing a recurring trend that was already around during my lifetime – but it is certainly comforting that even 10-year-old me knew that scooters were not only dangerous and expensive, most importantly, they make you look incredibly stupid.
But this time around, things are worse. Even business people are using them as a fast and easy way to get to work. Scooters (unlike bikes) can be taken on public transportation – and some can even be folded, to be stored inside and therefore don’t get stolen like bikes.
By now, however, it is common knowledge that the Viennese don’t like to share their sidewalks (just look at Mariahilfer Straße). And while scooterists are permitted to use the sidewalks, many of them – especially kids – are a high-risk addition to pedestrian traffic, making a calm morning run an obstacle course.
Since I was around the first time the scooter craziness started, I am confident that it will eventually subside, hopefully leaving behind embarrassed scooterists, in denial of their lack of style. Let’s just hope those other atrocities from the 90s – Tamagotchi, Buffalo Boots and Boyzone – will stay forgotten.