Today, I took a baby step toward making a life here. I went to the grocery store-alone and On My Bike!!! This may sound like no big deal, but, for me, stepping out on my own in another country is huge. And, in fact, I felt like it was a multistep process.
Step one-get on the bike path and make it to the store-check. Step two-lock my bike in an appropriate “parking spot”-check. Step three-get in the store and put a Euro in to use a shopping cart-check. Step four-pull up my app that allows me to scan as I go and pay at self-check at the end-check (one of the machines wasn’t working so this almost sent me into a panic!). Step five-maneuver around the other shoppers and get what I need whilst scanning and loading my shopping bags-check. Step six-use my phone translator to translate a few items that I haven’t learned yet-check. Step seven-successfully use the produce scale to weigh and print a ticket for scanning the item-check. Step eight-return the scanner to download my purchases and then scan my app and pay-check. Step nine-return my cart successfully so that I can have my Euro back-check. Now here’s where it gets tricky; step ten-carry my three very large and heavy bags to my bike and get them loaded on. This was a bit of a struggle. Two bags went into the carrier that I have attached to my bike, but the other bag had to hang on my handlebar. Nonetheless, I got them on and the bike unlocked-check. Step eleven-and here’s where I was really panicking because this bike was weighted down-balance the bike and pedal hard enough to get home with that extra weight-check. To complete this process, strong legs were required!
But here’s the funny part-strong legs weren’t just required for the pedaling. I felt like I needed “strong legs” to get through the whole eleven step process. I may or may not have had to talk quietly to myself today to reassure myself that I was, in fact, going to successfully complete this, but I did it. My legs, taking those baby steps, were strong enough to get me through. Perhaps, in a future step, I’ll need more strength, and I won’t quite make it. But, if I keep trying and moving forward, I’ll make my legs stronger, and by the time I’m done with this experience in my life, man will I have some “strong legs” to stand on!