Sometimes things don’t work out quite as expected – and that despite the best of intentions. Sometimes you actually have to use the car!! (Shock! Horror! Gasp!) ‚Cos sometimes you get sick. And that, unfortunately, is what happened to me in my third week as a Starradler.
Thankfully it was nothing too serious. Just a summer bug which didn’t last very long, but left me feeling weak and totally without energy.
Now one of the things which makes many of us immigrants here in Germany different from the locals is the way many of us work …….. or rather, the way many of us are allowed to work. We learn very early on in our stay here, that our German isn’t good enough, or our qualifications aren’t really up to standard, or they won’t be recognized at all. Now while things are slowly changing for the better, this still means that very many of us make our living as self-employed.
What in heavens name has this got to do with cycling, you’re probably asking by now?
Well, being self-employed means that if you work, you get paid – and if you don’t work (‚cos you’re ill) you don’t get paid. Which also means, that we have to be REALLY ill before we’ll skip a day of work.
And that was the case for me last week – not too „under the weather“ to stay at home, but far too weak to cycle the, in all, 35 km to English classes. The only way to get there was the car.
Which brought me to thinking:
Sometimes cycling just isn’t possible. Sometimes we do actually need the car, especially if the alternative of taking public transport is terribly difficult or just doesn’t exist.
The problem is, however, that using the car tends to make us rather lazy. All too easily can driving sometimes become driving always. How often do we find ourselves on auto-pilot getting in to the car to drive to the bakery instead of cycling there?
And perhaps that’s one of the most important messages behind the Stadtradeln Project; changing our all too comfortable habits. No longer taking the bike sometimes but (almost) always and only taking that car out of the garage …… sometimes!