(From yzwb) Starting from September, there were netizens posting on xici.net discussing about a strange scene they encounter every morning on Zhujing Road, Nanjing City: a foreign father riding a tricycle with two adorable kids bubbling in the back and their mother escorting from behind on an old bike. Many netizens adored how sweet the scene was and soon led to the discussion of lifestyle difference between foreign family and Chinese ones where car is always first choice against bike.
“Did anyone notice in the city there is a foreign man riding tricycle with his kids in the back and his wife following behind on an old bike? I am sure it is not that they can’t afford electric bikes!” A netizen started on xici forum.
Comments soon followed, “Yes I saw them too the other day, the dad is buying barbeque at the alley, his two beautiful kids are as adorable as dolls, I think they are from northern Europe.” “Indeed, very sweet scene.” “I don’t know how to ride a tricycle, always end up in gutter.” “True, I tried to ride one when I was little, very hard, toke me lots of practices to get the hang of it, how did a foreigner manage to pull that off?”
Then some others praised at the foreigner’s green lifestyle: “it’s good to the environment, save money and by the way some exercises for them too… Our kids in kindergarten nowadays are already sensitive enough to compare whose dad’s car is fancier. Those who doesn’t have car often feel inferior.”
On Oct 27th, a journalist from Yangtze Evening News interviewed the couple, Erik and Angina Herrmann. It was 5 pm when the journalist reached their home and the couple just got the kids home from kindergarten. Erik’s shoes were covered in mud, he explained that it was from the road in the new school yard. They don’t worried that the kids will get chilled from the rain, “it is from the nature, we like to let them get in touch with the nature more. When we were in Finland, we spent hours playing in the rain, they can play as long as they want… What fun there is to sit in the car? You don’t move, you don’t get the exercise, and you don’t get to enjoy the view on the street.”
According to Erik, 34 years old, they moved from Finland to Nanjing in May to teach and carry out his physics research in Nanjing University; his wife quit her job and came along to look after their children. “We spent 370 yuan to get the tricycle and bike for sending our kids to kindergarten, takes about 20 minutes to drop them off school. It is cool to ride a tricycle, convenient and good exercise, and the kids love sitting in it.” Speaking of people’s attention on the street, Angina immediately put on passers-by’s surprised face, “they were walking and walking, and suddenly they spot us and turn their heads back even they have already passed and give us all kinds of surprised look.”
They send their two little girls to kindergarten to learn Chinese, they even have their own Chinese names – Mi La (米拉), 5 years old going to middle class and Lei La (雷拉) 3 years old at little class. To the journalist’s amazement, they have never talked to the kindergarten about how their girls are doing in class. Angina said: “I was a bit worried at the beginning, but they seem quite happy everyday after school. They don’t understand what the teachers are saying of course, but the teachers will use body language while playing with them; as for with fellow children, there is even less to worry about, kids have they own way to communicate.”
The couple said they won’t require their kids to learn extra things since learning Chinese is hard enough. They did sign up for a dancing class, but only for fun, didn’t care about what kind of dance it is.
Besides dropping the kids to school, their tricycle is also very helpful for family outing and shopping. They find it very nice that Nanjing City has set up bike lane, wide ones that they don’t have back in Finland. It is a bit annoying sometimes though when cars park on bike lane. But overall they are having fun and their kids like the city a lot.