Okay, not everyone has the same destiny.
But why should it have been my turn to have seen the light in a dirty warehouse in District 4 of Saigon?
Couldn’t it have been in the middle of Montmarte, Paris, or Fifth Avenue in New York? Or in one of those Dutch towns where the terrain is flat, without slopes, and if you carry any overload, it is that of some thin, blonde child?
But no, it was Vietnam. And here I am, carrying fruits, vegetables, and other orchard products in baskets and boxes placed with forced balance on my two thin wheels, which, instead of rolling elegantly on the asphalt, drag half crushed by the weight, making strange noises.
And to top it all off, I have to display a stick with a sign announcing the prices of the products that my boss sells. I’m a hard worker, but I have my dignity, and when that stick came into my life, it hurt.
My boss is a good woman; she works hard, never gives up, and provides for her whole family with our trips from the orchard to the street stall and cultivating the land. But she could be more generous with the oil my chains need. I mean the chains that make the pedals and wheels roll, not the ones that have me tied to this coming and going under an impossible weight through the dusty streets of Saigon.
And to think that some of my distant relatives have a whole team of human servants at their service who keep them in top shape to win races worldwide!
I only hope my boss will sell my load so I can return home lighter and rest as soon as possible, leaning on the peeling wall of the hut she lives in.
I dream about a long dry season because when the rainy season arrives, out there, on my side of the wall, even though they cover me with a plastic blanket, the water soaks in, and the humidity makes me shiver.
Shiver? Yes, believe me: we, bicycles, also tremble from helplessness and fear when nobody is watching.