Here is the best thing about Lazola – she knows how to ride a motorcycle. She’s eighteen and has her licence both for cars and motorcycles. Yes, she had to take two different sets of tests. Getting her driver’s licence wasn’t enough to drive a motorcycle. Nor could she drive a car just with a motorcycle’s licence. Which is a lot of tests. But that’s what her daddy does, he’s a motorcycle mechanic. Which I think sounds like the best job in the world.

Her mother is a nurse. I think it is the most disgusting job in the world. They have to change sheets after people do their business all over them. People are puking, there is blood, and all sorts of gross stuff coming out everywhere and it is the nurses that have to clean it up. And act happy about it.

My parents don’t have disgusting jobs, but they’re not very exciting or interesting, either. They both work in the local dairy factory: milk, yoghurt, cheeses and on and on. My mother works in administration doing something that makes her tired and cranky every day. My father is part of the maintenance team, keeping everything together, I guess. I like working with tools, so his job sounds much more interesting than mommy’s, which involves sitting a lot at a desk. But whatever he’s doing is still not as fun as working on motorcycles.

Motorcycles have to be the best machines ever on the planet. They are also a sport which women can do along with the men. Take Ana Carrasco from Spain. She is the first woman to win a world championship motorcycle race. That’s right, she had everyone eating her dust – men and women. She drove faster than them ALL. I have a poster of her up on my side of the room. Which is a lot better than Jade’s poster, which is of Justin Bieber.

I don’t understand the love for Justin Bieber. I just don’t.

The problem with motorcycles is that you are supposed to be eighteen to drive them (I’m only sixteen, remember?). Ja well no fine, you can drive those tiny scramblers at my age, but not the real ones, above 125cc. I think it is dof we have to wait so long for a licence. In most places in the United States, Canada and Mexico, you only have to be sixteen. There are areas in the US that let you have a learner’s permit as young as fourteen. In Australia you have to be sixteen years and nine months for your motorcycle learners – which is longer, but it is still earlier than South Africa.

Not that I have the money to own a motorcycle, hey? But that’s not the point. I am old enough to drive a scooter, or anything with a small engine. Not that I have the money for that, either. But Lazola has one. It is a Yamaha 125cc, in silver and black. She’s given me a lift on it a few times, and that was fun. Wind rushing past, and all that. But it isn’t a motorcycle.

Here’s the thing, Lazola’s daddy has lots of motorcycles, at least five. He does let her drive them, just not to school. And that’s what I really want to ride. I want to FEEL the speed. The power of those big engines. Hug those corners.

That’s where happiness is. Going fast, through the air. So that’s why, of course, I had to phone Lazola.


Tell us: Do you think the age restrictions in South Africa are fair? Why or why not?