The reality is that experiencing the absence of a thing is the best way to gain a healthy appreciation for that thing. Being unable to inhale as you struggle to get back to the surface in a pool is one way to appreciate air. Being on an involuntary fast at the end of the week as you wait for your paycheck to clear is a way to appreciate the plenty of the full refrigerator. Walking five miles to the next exit for a gallon of gasoline will make you appreciate the pleasure of a full gas tank! Likewise, walking every morning to the office really makes me miss the bike that was stolen last week! Everything takes longer and costs more.
Instead of being able to get to the office or back to the villa in a couple minutes on demand I have a ten-to-fifteen minute walk each way. The grocery store is exactly the same distance away, but it takes more than three times as long to traverse the mile between there and The Villa. I certainly can walk the three miles to the pub (and in fact, used to for the year I was here before Terry and Angie lent me a bicycle last year), but in the rain it is far easier to call a car.
Even that is not, necessarily a faster way to get to the pub as it usually takes at least fifteen minutes for the car to come. (Although I have had them tell me it would be as long as an hour-and-a-half when the weather is particularly nasty.)
The reality is that I can certainly replace the bicycle. A colleague here at the office directed me toward a nice shop (a lot like REI back home, in fact) that sells a large selection at great prices. I went there yesterday and picked one out. The stolen bicycle is covered under my homeowner's insurance policy so I can afford to replace it.
Heck, if I want to borrow the one that Terry and Angie originally lent me a while back, they have kindly made that offer as well. The truth of the matter is that I do not know what I want to do. I have no idea what action to take at this time because I do not know how much longer I will be in the United Kingdom.
Until I know that, I am going to sit here and bask in the reality of being a guy without a bicycle.
I hope wherever you are today, you're having a great day!
Don Bergquist - 16 May 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, United Kingdom