One of the greatest weeks of my life took place just over a year ago when we set off on a cycling trip across Belgium and the Netherlands, a bit of France and then onto the ferry back to Dover and London. Catching the Eurostar from St. Pancras International to Bruxelles and then getting on our bikes from there to Antwerp, to Rotterdam, to Gouda, to Amsterdam, Noordwijk, Den Haag, Brugge and Dunkerque, passing through several other lovely towns and stunning villages in the countryside and in the seaside. The mixture of exhilaration and exhaustion we felt in identical measures on a daily basis gradually neutralised our souls into a state of nothingness that only Siddhartha and his friends could ever grasp.
Back in London, however, with almost immediate effect, the enlightening experience had paradoxically triggered a rather depressive phase in our individual lives as we battled to come to terms with the appalling state of the cycling infrastructure we had to face again. This state of affairs eventually led one of the members of the glorious power trio to never touch or even come close to his bike ever again, whilst the second chap went on to work night and day in order to be able to afford a motorcycle as soon as possible so that he would only have to use his formerly beloved bicycle just for the occasional trip to the Polski sklep around the corner when in need of some kabanos to accompany his piwo, or perhaps some pierogi for dinner. I, for myself, kept calm and carried on. Nevertheless, the truth of the matter is that things have never been the same ever since our traumatic return.
Of course that what none of us pedalling prodigies had realised was that such a long-lasting dark age could have been overcome quite simply and easily with a brief visit to my hometown, the good old city of São Paulo, paired with just a single attempt at a short little bike ride around town. Shock therapy, it is called. It does work for some, or does it…
There is indeed a name for this particular type of logical fallacy narrated above, which I fail to recall right now. It is normally used as a consolation device so to speak. It is often employed towards the others, but it is also used by ourselves upon ourselves when in search of the bright side, or the half-full glass as opposed to the half-empty one. It can always get better, but it could always be worse. Is the eye of the beholder to be blamed?
Perhaps another short example of this rhetorical construct, whose technical term continues to escape me, might help to clarify what I am talking about: Do you know when someone starts whingeing about the fact that the food they’re eating tastes like nothing, to which someone else replies that at least there’s food on the table? So, there you go. I remain hopeful that someone in the near future shall be able to assist me in order to remember the name of this gracious piece of trickery.
In the meantime, though, may I leave you with a nostalgic selection of shots taken whilst on the saddle during this memorable occasion. Never mind if it gets too tedious.
So this is it, or rather, some of it. All in all, as the people on this side of the pond often say: one mustn’t grumble.