I was cycling to work one summer morning and my bike wheel got caught in the tramlines by Alexanderplatz. I fell off my bike and cut my leg.
Blood started pouring down my leg. Not in a dramatic way, but enough for it to hurt. So I get up and brush the gravel off my leg, wipe the blood, and pick my bike up.
An old man starts walking towards me. I think he’s going to ask me if I’m ok or if I needed some help.
No. He comes over and starts speaking to me in German, and tells me that I should be wearing better shoes to cycle!
I am wearing a pair of Havianas (flip flops), which I wear most of the summer, and always cycle with. And I hadn’t fallen off my bike because my shoes were not suitable enough; I had blatantly fallen off because my bike wheel was caught in the tramline. He saw what happened.
I couldn’t believe it. My leg was bleeding, and this old man had come over just to rub my nose in it and to preach about my wrong behaviour. Typical German.
They seem to love to interfere or nosily point things out to you. Maybe they actually think they are being helpful. But most of the time I wish they just wouldn’t interfere.
Like the woman who stopped me on my bike to tell me my lights were not working. I stopped, pulled my earphones out to hear what she was saying, and then got my earphone cable caught in the bike wheel, so my bike ended up falling over.
Thanks! That was helpful. And I knew the bloody light wasn’t working anyway!
But the worst time was when one woman thought it was ok to tap me on the shoulder while I was cycling, just for joining the bike lane, because she didn’t see me. She tapped my shoulder! To tell me I was in the wrong.
How dare she touch me! I was outraged, but I held my tongue because I didn’t want to really lose my temper.