It’s not even midday when I cycle past a couple of drunks on a bench. I realise I’m going the wrong way and turn back. Passing them again I notice a bicycle set up for touring and I stop to say hello. Andre tells me he is from East Germany and began cycling around the world long before the wall came down. In fact, Andre has been cycling around the world for 30 years! His drunken morning state is causing some of his words to be slurred, his face is a lobster red colour and he is in desperate need of a wash. At first I question whether what Andre has told me about cycling around the world for 30 years is real or a dream of the alcohol. Andre has many stories to share and as time goes on I realise he’s the real thing. Andre speaks many languages as a result of his travels and I learn a valuable lesson about judging a book by it’s cover.
Andre has a small dog called Sweet that he rescued along the way. He made Sweet a home on the front of the bicycle by attaching a crate and cover which protects Sweet from the rain and sun. Sweets bowls and toys hang from the bicycle.
I cycled away wondering how I would look if I reached 30 years cycling around the world and I vowed I would be careful not to end up like Andre.