[pedal]ing? [pedal] on

February 23, 2013

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Now that I have just regained access to my own blog, working around internet restrictions, I figured I should restart the blogging journey by explaining a bit about one of this things I am smitten with at the moment.
• Biking. That is where it’s at for life here. Only 3 full days into life here, and I have already biked all over town. I say that as if it were the most matter-of-fact thing I could be doing, but the truth of it is that you take your life into your own hands when on a bike here. As my boss told me, off-handedly, as we finished our meeting yesterday, “Oh, and by the way, you will get hit by a car here. At some point, it will happen . . .”
And you know, it didn’t strike me as the least bit odd when he said that. In the 2 days I’d had on a bike at that point, I figured it would be true. I am no fearless biker, either. Frankly, being on a bicycle brings out my most weanie self. But I have had no choice, if I want to get around here, so have just hopped on and enjoyed [?] the ride. If it weren’t for the fact that I had to see where I was going, I’d probably have my eyes squeezed shut as I go, pretending I was not careening in and out of streams of honking cars, dodging pedestrians, or screeching to a halt behind another bicyclist who has just stopped abruptly.
So far, people have been borrowing bikes for me to use, so as I was visiting with a friend in her flat this morning, admiring her orchid [while I eagerly anticipate my own first orchid purchase], we were planning who I could borrow from for our meeting tonight.
An hour later, I called her from the bus I was on at the time: “Hey Val, never mind about asking Amy for her bike—I’m on my way now to buy one!”
It was top of my list of necessities by this point, so I figured it was meant to be when I ran into another coworker at a café. “How are you getting around?” she had asked. When I told her I’d been borrowing bikes, she offered to go with me to a bike shop. Another friend joined the party, so that one could bus there with me while the other went by bike, to bike back after I’d made my purchase. When we arrived, however, it turns out that a nicer bike on sale caught the eye of my biking friend. Sold. I bought her bike from her, we shared the purchase of a few new locks [bike theft is extremely commonplace here], and we all headed happily home from the outing.
On the way home [yes, still wondering at any given moment if I am still in the land of the living], we talked about the ups and downs of living an international life. I nearly crashed into her as we talked, apologized for my inability to multitask efficiently, and I almost said I should stop conversing as we went. But then I figured, you know, I might be just as well off if I keep my mind off what is happening around me at the moment, lest I get a bit panicky . . .
But we made it, congratulated ourselves for the successful transaction, and now I’m feeling happily independent, ready to transport myself to this evening’s event and to the morning service :-)

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One Response to “[pedal]ing? [pedal] on”

  1. Sharon said

    Loved your story about cycling around the city and buying your bike. Prayers are with you!

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