Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hungry Goats on a Segway

(This post was co-written by both of us since we spent the day doing different things with each child, and the first part is Suresh's.)

Well maybe not on a Segway...

Segways aren't just a popular way to organize lines of dorky tourists to take tours of European cities. You can also take rugged SUV-ized segways on obstacle courses, and they're a lot of fun.

Today I took Aditya to Segworld it's a warehouse around 10km from our house where you can ride Segways around a course, solve little challenges in a fixed time, and generally fool around on a strange beast that is both harder and easier to drive than one might think. It was just the two of us because Rohan is too short and young for the Segways, and even Aditya was only allowed to do a .

As Aditya put it later, this was actually an adventure in many parts, of which the Segway was only one:

1. Biking down to Segworld

This was a solid 10km ride down through the city center to Segworld. Most of our biking thus far has been an a careful convoy of three or four riders with constant checks to make sure everyone is in the correct lane and hasn't tumbled off into the road or been smashed by a car.

But this ride was a lot easier with just the two of us. For one thing, it was much faster. It's been clear that the boys have made rapid progress in biking over the past month, to the point where we will need to get them new bikes when we return. And now it's clear that Aditya needs a much faster bike, because of the ease with which he kept up with me. More on that later...

The ride itself was very pleasant: there's a fairly sharp transition between the city and the much more bucolic surroundings just outside, and once we got out of the city the grass got greener and more plentiful, the cars disappeared, and a calm descended upon us.

2. Segworld !! 

It takes some time to get used to riding a Segway. First of all, there's the highly nonintuitive "lean backwards and then jerk forwards" to stop, while your mind is screaming "DON'T FALL ! DON'T FALL". Secondly, you realize that the Segways don't actually move that fast forward. And finally, these things have a crazy turn radius that's much sharper than you might except, given how bulky there are. Aditya was confident enough by the end of his 30 minutes to provide the rest of us with a little tutorial.

3. Picnic time.

Once we were done Segwaying (and yes, I did it too!), it was time for lunch. We found a local grocery store and grabbed some bread, cheese and sliced meats to eat while sitting on the grass outside watching the cars go by. It was a surprisingly peaceful picnic, made even better by chocolate orange sticks and a discussion of advertising tricks that companies use to lure people into buying things.

4. The ride back

The 10k back seemed like a much longer haul, with many more water breaks than on the way out. Aditya started flagging on the last few slopes and I was tempted to walk the last km or so. But he persevered. 20km is about the furthest bike ride he's ever done.

Kids recover quickly. Once we got home he suddenly recovered enough to run up the 4 flights of stairs back to the house, and while I was forced into an impromptu nap, he was hell-raising as if he hadn't just biked almost a half-marathon.


While Suresh and Aditya were busy zipping around on Segways, Rohan and I made a visit to Børnenes Jord (Children's Land), a small free park with rabbits, chickens, and goats.  Rohan delights in animals (a love which prompted him to turn into a vegetarian over a year ago), and he was particularly pleased when the staff offered him, along with another small child on the playground, the opportunity to feed a wheelbarrow full of leaves to the goats. After watching the children for about two minutes, the staff person left entirely (we could not even find her later to ask where she'd like us to store the wheelbarrow) and we were left on our own with the goats.  

I was surprised that such well-fed looking goats could put away so many leaves in such a short time frame.

Interestingly, Rohan noticed that one goat in particular was quite aggressive, shooing away the other smaller goats with his horns.  Rohan decided he was only going to feed the smaller goats. After eating, the smaller goats took turns jumping up on a log in their enclosure and loudly bleating. Whether they were trumpeting their pleasure at having just been fed or registering their complaints on the food selection (or lack thereof), we'll never know.  But they were certainly entertaining.

And it is always special to spend the day tailored to the interests of just one child.


  1. I'm really impressed with your kids (and I suppose the way you raise them). Aditya sounds self-confident in a way that many danish parents would consider slightly obnoxious. But I'm sure he will do great things with his confidence.

    And Im always ecstatic with joy when parents respect their children concerning vegetarianism.

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