vertrouw op God maar zet wel je fiets op slot*

Sometimes I am a bloody idiot. Like yesterday. I went into town to meet some people, spotted a friend while I was putting away my bike, and got distracted while talking to her, with the end result of me forgetting to lock away my bike. A couple hours later, I went to retrieve my bike and couldn’t find it. Then I reached into my pocket for my keys, couldn’t find them either, and I knew what must have happened. I hope my bike disintegrates while the thief is riding it (it’s been making disturbing noises for quite a while now so I’m quite hopeful that this might happen).

The worst part of this whole experience isn’t the loss of my bike. It’s that I’m a bloody idiot and don’t learn from my mistakes – this wasn’t the first time I forgot to lock my bike. I’ve left it unlocked in front of people’s houses, my own house, at the university, even at the train station. You’d think the fact that my bike never did get stolen would make me so thankful and therefore so repentant of my mistakes that I would pay extra attention to security in future. Nope. So I doubt that having my bike stolen now will make a difference. We will have to see. On the other hand, though, my track record isn’t that bad. Three bikes stolen in thirteen years of living here – and only one was actually my own fault. (Trying to look on the bright side here, have you noticed?)

*this loosely translates to “trust God but do lock your bike” (only it rhymes in Dutch and is therefore an easy to remember aphorism). For some reason, the saying got bandied around in my old church years ago, with the occasional teenager pitching in with the Muslim version: “vertrouw op Allah maar bind wel je kameel vast”/”trust Allah but do secure your camel”. That one doesn’t rhyme in Dutch either. Just so you know.

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