Monday, 15 May 2006

Berliners and bikepaths - this is serious!

On our 'learn to ride adventures', we make use of the fantastic bike paths around Berlin. The only problem with them is the small number of Berliners who don't understand that kids, especially ones learning to ride, are wobbly and slow.

General description: Fat, sausage-eating old Berliner on a women's style bike. Often in bike shorts and with a moustache.
Attitude: I will not ride around you (even when invited politely to do so). I will give you a mouth-full and ride right behind you complaining until you move off the bikepath (note, the bike-path is 1 metre wide, continuous with the footpath that is another 2 or 3 metres wide. All other 'normal' bike riders understand and go round).
Number of times seen: 3 (twice with my boys, and once when out riding with a friend, whose son was also just learning at the time.

If it was just me, I wouldn't really care. But to sit right up my tail when I am trying to shepherd the kids makes me see red.

Benefit: It provides me with an opportunity to enter into a robust discussion with a Berliner in German, particularly using many new colourful words and phrases I have learned from colleagues in the office.

I simply cannot understand the attitude, and the inability to simply go around. But then again, I don't fit their general description (which I am quite happy about). One of the joys of an international placement - interacting with the locals.

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