Thom finally has a bike. It was a process. I was counting on the existence of some kind of Tiger Trade or Craigslist website and never found one. Bike shops are plentiful, but we didn’t want to spend hundreds of euros on a new one.
My teacher tipped me off on a good used bike store. Thom and I went and found one he liked. We tried to buy it, but they only accepted cash.
“Who just carries 120€ with them?” I asked Errol at home, feeling rather discouraged.
“Germans,” he answered.
Germans do seem to prefer cash transactions and be weary of credit cards. I am always taken aback when everyone else in the line pays for groceries with cash. I’ve been told that most restaurants in Freiburg don’t even accept cards.
It ended up being alright that our first try didn’t pan out. Bikes aren’t allowed on trams so we would have had to walk it back to our flat, almost three miles away. Thom would not have been happy about this.
The story has a happy ending. I found a closer store that sold both new and used bikes. Thom picked one out, we forked over the cash, and had a sunny afternoon for the 30 minute walk home.
Thom was thrilled to try out his new set of wheels. A month out of the saddle resulted in a bruised ego and a skinned knee, but we’re all happy the task is complete.
The next box to check is Thom and Vinnie riding their bikes to the tram stop. Hoping by Thanksgiving!