Usually I really like not having a car, though it does make carrying things around town more of a challenge. Brian went to a bachelor party on Saturday for one of his fellow teachers. They started with a soccer game at school and Brian had offered to bring a case of beer for the guys to drink after the game.
In our former lives, Brian would drive there and make a quick stop at the liquor store to buy some beer on the way. In our lives in Hannover, it's another story. I have two bikes. My older bike is the one I take around town to do errands and such and it has two saddle bags on the back. While Brian started walking, I rode to the Getrankmarkt, which is the store where you buy beer and and any other sort of beverages. I then bought a case of beer, which is 20 beers. (Why do Americans like to have things in dozens? Eggs come in boxes of 10 here too). I had to unpack them and load them into the saddle bags, putting towels in between so they didn't clank too much as I rode down the street. I met Brian at school and we wheeled the bike in to unload, making sure the kids playing basketball in the gym didn't see us.
I am thinking about riding my bike to Ikea. I have to go there to buy shower curtain liners, which Ikea must have a monopoly on, because I can't find them anywhere else. The other times I've gone there I take a tram and then have to walk about 15 minutes to the store, so riding my bike seemed easier. Plus I could get my exercise in and save 4 euros by not having to buy a ticket. Now I am debating about just how much stuff I can fit in the saddle bags (you can't go there and only buy shower curtain liners), and wehther it's a good idea to wear a backpack too. I won't be buying any furniture, but I wonder if I could manage to bring home a floor lamp somehow...
Of course, it could be raining and sleeting when I decide to go, since that's happening about every day now. Then I might chicken out, or I might still go and be totally miserable doing it. If only they sold shower curtain liners somewhere else... There are times I really miss Target.
So far the saddlebags have worked well for carrying boxes to the post office and for carrying bottles of soda and wine. I even carried a bike pump in the saddlebag last week, though half of it was sticking out of the top and I thought it might fly out if I made a sudden stop.
Even though carting things around this way seems odd to me, it's pretty normal for Hannover. A few days ago, I saw a couple carrying a Christmas tree by balancing it on a bike and walking the bike home. I've also seen someone walking a bike home from the flea market with some furniture loaded on it. I guess cars aren't the only things with wheels that you can use to cart your stuff around. They just move faster and don't clank as much when you go over a bump.
- Thanks for coming to my blog. It started as a way to keep in touch with family and friends, and now has become an ongoing project. I'm an American living in Germany and trying to travel whenever I can. I write about my experiences as an expatriate (the interesting ones and the embarrassing ones), and about my travels. There are some recurring characters in this blog, particularly my husband Brian and several of our friends. The title comes from the idea that living in a foreign country means making a lot of mistakes. So the things you used to do easily you now have to try over and over again. Hopefully, like me, you can laugh at how idiotic it feels. If you have happened upon my blog, then welcome. Knowing that people are reading what I write makes me keep going. Feel free to write comments or suggestions for future posts.