woensdag 22 augustus 2012

Melancholy brought on by bicycles

I miss my bicycle. It's actually the first time I've lived outside of the Netherlands and really, but really missed my bicycle. It's gotten to the point where I wistfully stare at cyclists from the confinement of my taxi cab window. Ireland, Bolivia, I just walked everywhere, it was fine.

But the Singaporean heat doesn't lend itself gracefully for walking, and neither does the Tamtam type of pregnancy. It lends itself beautifully to cycling, however. Except neither do I have a bike, nor is Singapore particularly safe for cyclists (S. saw the remains of the bike and came home quite shaken). The government is looking into it, after cyclists stirred up heated feelings with a couple of letters published on the internet.

So, I'm reluctant to get on a bike. I try to convince myself to use the public transport more often, but seeing as how time tends to warp itself around me, I usually end up taking taxis. You'd think that the convenience and comfort of a cool cab would far outweigh the sweat and toil on a bike (let me mention here that Singapore is not flat in the sense that the Netherlands is flat, but flat enough to create strong wind). But it doesn't.

I suppose it's the Dutchness of me. Interestingly enough, even though as a child I had a bike in Singapore (a blue BMX-bike, this is before BMX-riding became an Olympic sport), I did not learn to properly ride a bike until we moved back home. And then I learned it in my grandparents driveway, before we even moved into our own house. My grandparents used to live opposite an old people's home, and my dad kept trying to shush me: "Don't make such a fuss, you'll wake the pensioners." I was six years old at the time, which by Dutch standards, is actually really late to be taught the essential art of bicycle riding. (I think my brothers and sisters were up and riding around three years of age.)

Little E. used to love going on the bicycle when she was little (she has now transferred this love to mopeds and motorcycles).

There are actually quite a few park connectors to facilitate cycling around Singapore, however. It doesn't offer the Dutch straightforward use of the bike as transport, but give or take a little time, would get me to some of the places I visit reasonably often quite efficiently. Of course, the public parks do not offer quite enough challenges in the form of distance or speed for Mr Tamtam, but they might do nicely for outings for me and the little ones, a bit further on. We're thinking of getting a balance bike for E.'s next birthday. (We're also thinking of getting her a big box of duplo - we'll have to make up our minds.) 

So, who knows, this time next year, the three of us might be toddling around, following in the wake of swiftness personified. 

4 opmerkingen:

  1. Ik was echt verbazingwekkend gelukkig toen ik op vakantie in Egypte vorig jaar een dag per fiets de koningsgraven bij Luxor kon verkennen in plaats van weer eens de bus te moeten nemen. Het zal inderdaad wel iets Nederlands zijn, die behoefte aan fietsen.

    1. Man Tamtam en ik hebben niet alleen gefietst naar Barcelona (hum, Figueres) en Rome, maar ook in Goa, India, en Bali, Indonesie. Noorse vrienden lachten ons hartelijk uit, totdat bleek dat zij enorme bergwandeltochten met hutten hadden geregeld. In India. Tja, die volksaard laat zich niet loochenen.

  2. Madrid op de fiets is ook heel erg leuk, maar ook daar zijn geen fietspaden en reden wij heel vaak op de stoep. Met een windje en zeker 30 graden plus was het een heerlijke fietstocht en zeker minder warm dan te voet!!

    1. De stoep, dat mag hier dan weer niet... Maar wel de busbaan! Fietsen is ook absoluut fijner dan lopen (brrr) maar klik maar eens door op die link... De sterftecijfers van fietsers in Singapore zijn niet om heel vrolijk van te worden.