Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Beware of kiwi cyclists on Belgian roads

The day began with a bike ride to kindergarten after a long night where kiwi guests were lost enroute to Antwerpen.

This morning we realised that they probably hadn't allowed for crossing a timezone after leaving England for that short flight across the Channel. I never thought to tell them but was surprised when they thought they could make all their train connections easily.

We waited with baited breath as the last train to us left Brussels, wondering if they were on it ... finally the call came, and despite hitching a ride from the airport with a friendly stranger, they just missed the train.

We phoned the Sleepwell Youth Hostel just after midnight and no worries, there were rooms for the travelers.

This morning the English cellphone Courtney's using will only speak in a series of high pitched beeps so I've emailed the train schedule and left a message at the youth hostel.

Why didn't we pick them up as we usually do with our guests?
Ahhh that would be the fact that there are 5 adults, 2 large suitcases and 3 big backpacks and we have a little blue car.

But the bike ride to kindy, it's a grand way to start a day ... well except that I don't know Belgian road rules and have to think before turning corners and etc ... 'which side of the road am I meant to be on?'
'That would be the one that feels most wrong.'

Sahara and I giggled a lot as we made our way through small streets, quietly singing the 'We're going on a Bear Hunt' song ... as you do.

The bikes ... our bikes are two old standard black ones, like the ones my father was riding back in 60's New Zealand. I love them and we have a cane basket on the handle bars while Sahara is on the back in her very own seat.

She loves it too and it was a huge moment in her life when we bought her the bike seat.

Coming home I stopped at one of the many bakeries near home (sorry ML) and bought a 12 grain brown loaf and a white loaf for our guests, when they eventually get here. That was me, standing in the queue, muttering as I tried to remember which 'g' word is 'cut' and which is 'divorce'.

It's preferable that I say 'not cut' in the bread shop, as opposed to 'not divorced' but I hadn't said the word in a while and couldn't remember. I mumbled it, with an emphasis on the 'niet' and waved my hands a little in the direction of the bread slicer.

Meanwhile I'm on kindy run this week due to the fact my daughter has taken her first holiday alone in 3 years and is over in Berlin with a friend she met back in New Zealand. It's under 90euro return to take an overnight bus the 900kms to Berlin - not bad, not bad at all.

Okay, tot straks from the one who is waiting ...


Jon said...

The bike & seat thing I suggested to Jessica for dunedin, as my mother has/had a mountain bike with a childseat on the back. But beind dunners and all Jess declined, I don't really imagine her as the biking kind of person.

I'm glad she loves it though, will definately be something I will look into in the future for those two... or me.

Di Mackey said...

Antwerp is completely flat Jon, I think that helps Jessie with the loving the biking thing.

Dunedin, on the other hand, is more of a San Francisco when it comes to hills :)

ML said...

oh how horrible to remind me of the bakeries!! I have not seen one yet!@@ Tho we are hoping to see some fairly decent bread products at the fabulous grocery store we are going to see today.... along with the casino gambling I am going to do!! Hoorah!

Di Mackey said...

Heheheheheheehehehehehe ...
xo ML