1. Your children aren’t wearing any shoes… (Most common in Germany and phrased more as an inquisitive statement).
Yes our children aren’t wearing shoes and that is because they don’t want to and we don’t feel it is an important battle ground to die on. As one of our Spanish friends in Berlin phrased it they are, “salvajes de la carretera” (wild things from the highway). After 2 and a half months of cycling and camping we are all a little rough around the edges and not wearing shoes is just a part of that. I think there are also some sort of cultural differences at play as well which we haven’t quite got to the bottom of.
2. How is it that your daughter is able to miss so much school?
This is a puzzling one for Europeans as they face strict rules in relation to school attendance and large fines if they don’t comply. This is true in Australia also but for some reason going overseas is considered a valid enough excuse to take one’s child out of school for large chunks of time.
We feel that the learnings that both our children have had during our cycle journey have been far more valuable than what can be achieved in a classroom.
3. Did you bring your bicycles with you from Australia or did you hire them here?
While this is a rather boring and inane question it tends to be one of the first things we are asked when people find out we are from Australia.
The answer is yes. We box up the bikes and check them in as luggage on the aeroplane. Most airlines accomodate bicycles as part of ones baggage allowance. I should probably dedicate an entire post to this one day as we have been transporting bikes on planes since 2004 and have a large amount of accumulated knowledge.