My 5 favorite things about coming back home

My 5 favorite things about coming back home

Another list, here it is: My 5 favorite things about coming back home.

Home for me is Belgium, it has been for many years even though I am from Canada. I only get to see my mom once a year, my siblings less. Not fun, I wish things were different, but this is our reality. (until I win the lottery, then the reality will be me having a jet)

This year I met up with my mom, auntie and two of their friends in Lucca, Italy and I feel incredibly blessed by this trip, it was pretty awesome.

Today my 5-year-old and I came back home, leaving my mom and co. to finish their trip to Rome. I wish that I could have stayed longer, but I (more specifically my son) was ready to come back home.

I always enjoy coming home after a trip, no matter how long my trip was and no matter how long I’m going to stay. Sometimes one night is enough!

Why?

Toilets

Try explaining to your North American family/friends that what they are looking at is actually a toilet in the floor. In other words a whole in the ground. People living in Europe will know what I’m talking about. It’s not the standard, but you find it here and there, usually in public toilets.

Also traveling with children, you know that even if you made them go to the washroom before leaving your “vacation home”, they will need a toilet at the most inconvenient of times. Like while waiting in an extremely long waiting line for a museum, while sitting in a bus coach for an hour and a half non-stop drive up the mountains or while sitting it the dirtiest train you’ve ever been in. Yep. All happened to us this past week. Mister Teddy is going into the washing machine now. You can imagine why.

My 5 favorite things about coming back home
The public toilet in Barga, Tuscany

Bed

I’m sorry, nothing will ever be as comfy as your bed that has your body imprinted in it, your favorite pillows and your favorite bedding. I always miss my duvet.

My 5 favorite things about coming back home
Our bed in Florence wasn’t too bad

Language

I’m trilingual. Mother tongue is English, went to school in French and learned Flemish. So I’m pretty used to understanding people around me while traveling around Belgium and it’s surrounding countries. But once we go a bit further like Spain or Italy I feel like an illiterate. Then coming home and being able to understand all the conversations around me can be quite overwhelming. And fascinating. I’ve spent a WHOLE week not having a clue what’s going on other than “grazie” and “ciao”, and now I can make out fully-fledged discussions. *insert mind-blowing emoji*

WIFI

Hey, don’t they say “Home is where the WIFI connects automatically”. Thank God for no more having to search for Wifi connections, having to then log on to Facebook (if you even have Facebook) to then agree to some terms and then maybe you will have a (probably poor) WIFI connection. Well, I’m glad that we now have free roaming in Europe, but no way am I letting my son use up all my data to watch “youtube kids”. I need my data for uploading pictures to Instagram. Ha!

via GIPHY

The beautiful beings left behind

One of my dearest friends picked us up from the airport. Even though we had been away for just one week, she greeted us with the most enthusiastic shriek and hugs, it brought a tear to my eye.

Then when we arrived home, my daughter just arrived home from work and that hug, wow, it’s the best of hugs. That was for me the best thing about coming home. I’m taking her on my next trip, no matter what. For my 5 yo son it was getting greeted and licked in the face by our two Dachshunds. Unconditional lover there. Priceless.

So those were my 5 favorite things about coming home from traveling. But when I have to leave my mom, not knowing when we will see each other again, like with this trip, it makes it hard for me to go back home. I would want to stay near her, but this is the life that we live and I am thankful for the chances that we get.

What are you grateful for when you get back home?

My 5 favorite things about coming back home

7 non-obvious things to bring or a trip.

Sustainable travelling with children

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Today I will be packing our bags for a trip to Italy! My (unduly kind) mother has invited my son and I to visit her and my aunt while they are visiting Italy. They fly from Canada, we fly from Belgium, we meet in Lucca. My mom has truly become a globetrotter since my father passed away, I’m pretty proud of her and cannot wait to get to spend some Italian time with her.

When my youngest was barely 4 months old I wanted to visit my parents in Toronto. I can still see parents faces when they saw us arrive with all our luggage. Two big suitcases, two carry-ons, a huge stroller, car seat and backpack. and the baby strapped on to my body in a wrap (plus, he had to wear a monitor in those days). It looked like we were moving in.

Now, five years later and a few more trips wiser, we can call ourselves traveling pro’s! I am planning on just taking one suitcase and two backpacks. My son though is convinced that he is taking his step with him. Would they even allow that on a plane I’m wondering?

Whoever knows me knows that I am a sustainable wannabe, trying as best as I can to at least lower my carbon footprint and it will be the first time that I will be consciously doing this while traveling too. What I’ve come up with is pretty simple, I have already been using most of these items out on day trips, so it’s not only handy for travelling far far away places.

What are we taking for sure:

  1. Reusable straws. They take no space and my son loves to use a straw.
  2. Reusable water bottles. We will not fill them until we are checked into the airport. Most airports have water fountains. We like to use the dopperbottles, they are very light, and my son like to use the cup option. I don’t really. I find ours on the small side, so I am thinking of buying a larger one, that is insulated.
  3. Bentobox. We loveeee our bento boxes. We are not much of “sandwich” eater kind of type; we prefer to graze and so our bentobox are perfect for that. My son takes the Yumbox to school, but on our trips we take our large Goodbyn one. It’s lighter and has larger compartments.
  4. Tote bag, always useful. For when we go grocery shopping or if we come by a pretty market. I kind of collect them, so I probably will get a new one in Florence.
  5. I’m also taking a few small net bags for veg and fruit.
  6. If you have kids, you need wipes. I love our washable wipes, but where we are going, we will not have a washer & dryer and so for this trip, I am taking deposal ones. I have some from YES to, they are 95% natural and compostable. We can both use them.
  7. Child ID bracelet. Mainly for my piece of mind, but I’m pretty sure it would be helpful if he would lost. You can get all types of id bracelet, ranging in all prices. Ours is from a well-known Dutch company called “Goedgemerkt.nl” who mainly make name stickers. These bracelets come in different cool colors and what I like most is the fact that the name is engraved in the bracelet, making it impossible to fade out.

These things that I listed here are things that are not as common as what you would maybe find on other mommy travel blogs where they would mention snacks, extra pair of clothing, tablet…I am taking those things too, just don’t think it’s that netion worthy because most of you would have though about it yourself. I was trying to be original here. Did it work? Was I?

I feel like I am forgetting somethings.

Oh well, will just have to wait and see.

So I kind of made myself a packing list here and made a blogpost. Yay!

7 non-obvious things to bring or a trip.

Honesty is the best policy

Honesty

Honesty is the best policy

My adoptive mother passed away last January. She was not a good mother to me and I left home at the age of 16 with my baby girl as my adoptive mother was a drunk abusive alcoholic and the environment was no longer safe for my infant.

That has been 25 years ago and I have seen her maybe about 5 times since. So I can firmly say that we were not close.

That’s why I decided not to accept her inheritance and neither did my children. So yesterday we finalized the paperwork and the notary. But how to explain inheritance to a 5-year-old?

My youngest son always needs a detailed explanation about what we are doing and where we are going. A counselor once told me that it is best to be honest and tell the truth to our children, however old they are (keep in mind that it is age-appropriate). Like this, we can have a relationship built on trust. So, I have been trying to do this, but I am often challenged.

‘Those people are screaming because they are drunk. They have ingested too much alcohol and when you do this you become stupidly drunk and don’t use your best words.”

“We are not rich no; we can buy things but not everything”

“I don’t know why frogs don’t eat cheese; I think that they prefer flies”

“Well, do you think Santa exists?” (he still says yes, and he does not ask me back if I think that Santa exists, so I’m safe for now)

“yes, having a baby hurts, imagine having to poop out a melon”

“Uuuuh, the problem with the world is people?”

“Farts smell because we swallow air, and that air mixes with the food we swallow, and gases and somehow that makes farts stinky? I think…”

“We have two eyes to see one thing because God made us that way “(was my answer after having to google the question, this seemed the easiest answer for now) 😀

And then the answer (and discussion) to the question leading to this post that is not as funny as most questions my son asks:

“Inheritance is the stuff you get from someone after they die”

I also had to explain to him that I did not want any stuff, but that he could just not understand, he kept on whispering(loudly) in my ear while the Notary was reading the document out loud and my two other adult children were giggling;

When are we getting the stuff mommy?”

“We don’t want the stuff honey”

“Why mommy, why?”

“Just because”

“Because why mommy?”

Because mommy does not want the stuff, because this lady did not feel like a mommy to me and I do not want her stuff”

End of questions…

Being truthful is hard, sometimes you want to lie because the truth hurts, but I felt peaceful about it afterward. I don’t want to hide my feelings and real-life situations, I rather live like I have nothing to hide and hopefully, my son will learn from it too.

Honesty is the best policy.

Ponderings at 4 am

Ponderings at 4 am

Ponderings at 4 am…Woke up with some pain in my leg and decided to take a painkiller, but of course, I could not fall right back to sleep, so my brain lingers…

And I started to think about who my best buds were. I have lots of good friends all over the place and I love them very much. But I’m talking ones that I actually spend time with on the regular. It’s shifted over the past few years due to folks moving away, and having new babies, and kids getting older, and going to different schools, and just… Life. Nothing dramatic, just a subtle shift that happened so slowly I missed the changes. And now it’s all different. Here’s how I know who my good friends are when I walk into their house, my phone jumps on their WIFI without me having to do anything. Wow. Now that I know, it makes perfect sense.

Sadly, my phone also jumps onto the guest WIFI at Ikea. I think I know what that says about me. But it does the same thing at church, though. So maybe that redeems me slightly?

Ok, painkiller is working, drowsiness is upon me. Back to sleep.

Ponderings at 4 am

Damn him.

Broken single mother's heart

Damn him, DAMN HIM! I find myself yelling in my head.

That happens when I let my mind wander off to happier times. How I miss so much of what we had.

Damn him.

Or like today, when we went to the zoo with another family. This used to be one of our favorite family outings. We were having a nice time, but suddenly my son would curl up to me, brushing his face up against my shoulder, whispering “I miss our family”.

Damn him.

Even writing this post, those two words are repeating in my head, while tears are streaming down my cheeks.

Damn him for tearing all of our lives apart from us. All of us. We were not perfect, we had our issues, but I always thought that we would be together forever. Even with those issues, there were many more good things that were going on for us as a family. Our son was so happy, so loved. We had a stable life and a loving family.

How wrong can somebody be? How can someone be totally oblivious to what is happening right under her/his eyes?

My husband seemed to have it all (or at least a relatively good life), yet he decided to do things, unthinkable things, despicable things, that have ultimately destroyed everything when brought to light.

The biggest victim?

The 5-year-old child who only knew the adoration, love, and protection of two parents not realizing that there was evil, constantly lurking, endangering him too.

He is too young to understand what his father has done. He only wants his family back. He does not understand why cannot be that family anymore.

And it breaks my heart.

I don’t like those words, I believe in forgiveness, even when things seem unforgivable, and call me crazy, but I do forgive him, but still…that pain and the loss.

Damn him.

That’s all my heart can say for now.

Chronic pain adventures

Chronic pain treatment painclinic

Chronic pain adventures

The past

I have always been sensitive to pain, but it became profoundly worse just before I got pregnant 5 years ago. There have been multiple tests done over the years but no one could tell me why the pain was getting worse, why I started having tremors, why I couldn’t sleep at night why that when I drink out of a cup or a glass, the liquid pours right out of the corner of my mouth or why here and there I have started to stutter ever so slightly. I would just receive painkillers of all sorts. But now I feel that we are close to a diagnosis. I pray and hope that we are at least.

The present

My stomach couldn’t handle all the pain killers that it needed to digest and so as I am writing to you, I am starting a new trial pain treatment for people with severe chronic pain. I am lying in a bed, I can see my happy place through the window at a distance. I cannot really see the letters clearly but the yellow and blue are still very visible throughout the drops on the window. Can you guess which store it is, my materialistic happy place? Hehe.

I am typing slowly and with much caution because I have a needle sticking in my hand, not liking it. I’ve decided that I better wear sweat pants next time because you try doing up jeans with a needle sticking in your hand, not fun. There are also some wires in the way, they will be monitoring my heart. I’m not alone, people are coming and going, many who look much older than me, but one or two must be in their 20’s…pretty sad when you think of it. But the atmosphere here is not heavy. On the contrary, the nurses are constantly talking, I hear them talking about future vacation trips, talking about their children. The other patients are not shy either. It’s actually quite pleasant. 

Besides for the needle sticking in my hand. 

The reality

In my experience of chronic pain, the most persistent emotional response is a discouragement. I can eat healthy foods, take vitamins, get regular exercise(hahaha), sleep nine or ten hours—and still wake up tired, stiff, and sore. The emotional toll of the physical symptoms is immeasurable but’s that’s where my faith makes me stronger and I’ve realized that it’s become a crucial part of my daily dependence on God. Don’t get my wrong, I’ve had heated conversations with God, I even realized that I was angry with Him. Why did He not chose to save me from the events in my life?  I mean, common, honestly. f you knew me you would agree that the things that I have experienced in my life would be great material for a movie/tv script.

The past again

I was angry because He had caused a lot of painful things to happen in my life, and I couldn’t understand what He was doing. Every plan I had for my future had been whisked away in one blow. I felt like I was treading water in the middle of a vast, dark ocean. Even worse, I was trying to reconcile the bad things that had happened in my life with the picture of the good and loving God I had always been taught. It seemed only pain had come from following Him. I’d felt deep loneliness since my husband went away. I felt even more lonely stuck at home day after day, unable to explain to my friends what had happened to me. Plus, I was desperate for answers that doctors were unable to give mine about my physical pain. They would just link it to my emotional pain.

And so one day, as I sat on my bedroom floor feeling worn, defeated and paralyzed by physical and emotional pain I yelled at God. I cried, and I yelled. I accused him of causing all my pain, and eventually, I had nothing left. No tears, nothing more to say, just a broken body and spirit on a bedroom floor. It was His turn to talk.

The epiphany

God does not cause my pain, but He will make all things work together for good. It’s His promise.

With the eye of faith, I saw Christ on the cross. God, in a human body, taking on physical pain far greater than my own. Thorns in his head, blood dripping down his face, nails in his hands and feet, love in his face. I felt his pain in my own body, the pain in my muscles and back intensifying as I looked at him. But I also felt him holding me like a child.

I knew in my heart at that moment that nothing can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:39). I was completely overwhelmed with the knowledge that my God not only knows what’s wrong with my body even when no human doctor does, he also knows my physical pain more intimately than anyone else ever could. The loneliness of suffering and the frustration of not having answers were taken away in an instant. I felt a physical burden lifted from my body and my heart.

Until that moment, I had never understood the relevance of Christ’s death on the cross to the details of my daily life, my pains and my joys. Only in the light of the cross could I make sense of my own suffering. This reminder is the positive result of my pain. In moments when I feel overwhelmed, I remember Calvary. I thank God for the precious gift of my salvation because on some (small!) level I have begun to understand the cost of my salvation.

So now.

Chronic pain is a constant reminder that my life is not my own; it has been bought with a price.

A note for those of you who do not agree with what I am writing here, my dear friends and loved ones, faith and belief constitute a journey. It’s a very personal journey and one each human experiences, whether you know you are traveling or not. To have faith in a power greater than yourself or not to have faith; these are choices. As part of the free will we are given when we are born, we can choose to believe or we can choose to think it’s all baloney.

Chronic pain adventures

A warm winter day is NOT a blessing.

Global warming is real

While many enjoyed the extreme warm February day today, many will have not realized at what cost. We have to do everything, and we have to do it immediately, it’s still doable but we MUST break our addiction to fossil fuels, meat, flying, reckless consumption in general, and above all confront the head-in-the-sand denial that has prevented us from making changes we knew we had to make ages ago, but somehow kept telling ourselves weren’t necessary just yet.

Look outside, it’s necessary.


Here is some help, to help you, help the world.

Get some tips here from the National Geographic site.

What are the things that you do that you think are helping?

Trip to the Natural Science museum in Brussels with kids

Dinosaur museum Brussels

I asked to tag along on my youngest child’s school field trip to the Natural Science museum in Brussels with kids, having been there 10 years before with my older children I remember that I really enjoyed it. So we drove (during morning traffic, ugh) in the school bus packed with children, parents and teachers to the “Dino museum”. Even though it’s called “Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Science”, locals call it the Dino museum and the children have just had a dinosaur theme in class and where all about T-Rex’s. My son was particularly excited to see his favourite dinosaur, the Diplodocus. They loved it so much that they decided after this excursion to make their own museum in school. P-r-e-t-t-y cool I must say. So let me tell you about this trip to the museum stthat inspired them.

Trip to the Natural Science museum in Brussels with kids

What did I think of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences?

It was a little bit more run-down than I remembered and many stuffed animals were covered in a layer of dust, many interactive activity points were broken which was a pity, but it did not really take away from the impressiveness of this all, especially the the Bernissart Iguanodons, one of the earliest and most important prehistoric discoveries ever. This exhibit does not disappoint, the nine black mounted skeletons are displayed in the same poses they were in the 1800’s. They look incredible and this alone makes the museum worth a visit. 

When you enter the museum you are greeted by a huge imposing whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling, it’s not the Smithsonian t-Rex kind of wow, but it still looks fantastic, and lets you know that you are in for a treat.

We unfortunately did not have time to visit the human exhibition or the temporary TEDDY and BEAR exhibition , but due to a friends daughter, who is a classmate of my son and was sick on the day of the field trip, we are planning on going back this month and we will hopefully be able to visit the rest of this very likeable museum, and I will add on to this post.

Our highlights were:

  • The children spent the longest time laughing, stomping and pretend running in front of the interactive dinosaur video wall. I think this must have been their most memorable part of the field trip.
  • The well preserved 30 Iguanodons that were discovered in a coal mine in the 19th century is probably one of the most significant discoveries of its time and the kids were impressed to say the least. Wow …when you walk into the main dinosaur exhibit room, you have a view of almost everything, this is impressive.
  • Another hit was measuring themselves next to a dinosaur leg bone. Got some funny face pics there.
  • Seeing a mammoth displayed in front of an elephant was pretty cool. (got many Ice age movie comments).

Opening dates and times:

  • On the 24th and 31st of December, the Museum will close at 15.00.
  • The Museum is closed on the 25th of December, 1st of January, and 1st of May.
  • Consult the dates of the Belgian school holidays.
  • Please note: the library is open Monday to Friday, between 9:00 and 12:00 and between 13:30 and 16:00. It is closed on national holidays and between Christmas and the New Year. 

Admission fees

  • Adults: € 7
  • Students, European Youth Card (EYCA), Seniors (65+), Friends of the institute, Disabled visitors, FED+: € 6
  • Children under 18 (accompanied by an adult): € 4.50 (from 6 years old)

There is also the possibility for a free entry for:

  • for everybody on the first Wednesday of every month, after 13:00
  • for children under four (for TEDDY & BEAR) and under six (for the permanent exhibitions), accompanied by at least one paying adult
  • for Museum annual pass holders
  • for one accompanying person per disabled visitor
  • for ICOM members
  • for teachers with professional ID

Practical information

  • There is a very small car park outside and is always full! If you go by car, you can park around the island but paying about 3€ or more.
  • You cannot really have a picnic there unless you reserve a table before hand in the lunch room. We did reserve a place (this was on a schoolday) and we really had to hurry the kids into eating quickly because there was already another class waiting, so I’m not sure how this works if you just go as a family. There is a cafetaria next to the room, but you need to order the food from there. I only ordered a well needed latte but I could see some of the stuff they had on the menu and it looked pretty decent and the prices a well. The typical Belgian lunch items like baguettes, pastries (croissants, donuts, chocolate buns). You could eat your lunch outside, but that would all depend on the weather, and hey, we are in Belgium…so be prepared.
  • There is a locker room if you want to leave your jackets and backpacks behind.

Visit the  Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences?

See more reviews of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

Intro to me:

I asked to tag along on my youngest child’s school field trip to the Natural Science museum in Brussels with kids.

This was a kindergarden class affair. I visited the Natural History Museum with my 5 year old son, two teachers, four parents and 30 children (yikes!) between the ages of 3.5 years old and 6 years old.

Have you been there before? Let me know about your experience and what is to your opinion a must see exhibition.

Trip to the Natural Science museum in Brussels with kids

UPDATE: My Babboe cargo bike e-curve review

Babboe e-curve cargo bike review

Today I will be writing a review for my Babboe e-curve cargo bike. The opinions are mine. I did not receive any earnings from this post, but as you will be able to read towards the end of my post, I have been compensated. Just not for writing this blog post. 😉

To be honest, I am a bit ashamed to say that I am a grown 41-year-old woman without a driver’s license.

I don’t know how it is where you live, but here in Belgium I only have one other friend without a driver’s license so I always end up having to explain to people why I don’t have one. I just never came round to it and I am actually a bit scared, but fingers crossed, I will be going for my theoretical exam (together with my 25-year-old daughter.

But even if I do pass, it will still be months before I have a full permit and even longer before I can afford a car. So, my cargo-bike is a must in my life.

I am since July 2017 the owner of the Babboe e-curve cargobike. I have 3335 km on it. It is my main way of transportation. I drive my son to school in it, I bring him to and from swimming classes, I do my groceries in it, I run my errands with it, I even drive it 30km (18miles) on Sunday’s to church (Antwerp) and back.

 

Sleepy Baby
Falling assleep is one of the side affects of owning a “bakfiets”

I want to make it clear that my views expressed in this post are entirely my own and entirely based on my experience with this cargobike. I have provided a link to the Babboe website above for anyone who wants to look them up. Nobody has asked me or paid me to write a review. My only aim in writing this is to help others who may be thinking of buying the Babboe e-curve cargobike.

I did some research beforehand, I found some helpful Facebook groups where I could read experiences from other users and I wish that I had taken their advice. There were many complaints (mainly about the spokes), but I really fell in love with the e-curve Babboe when I saw it during a test drive. I made up my mind that I wanted a three-wheeler, I wanted something that also looked pretty and because of my chronic pain, it needed the battery-powered pedal “assist”. One of the most well-known brands here in Belgium is the Babboe and I fell in love with the e-curve when I saw it.

When my cargobike got delivered (then you could only buy it online in Belgium and it was delivered 4 weeks later) I tried it out straight away of course and oh boy….it felt really weird driving it. I constantly felt like I was going to fall off. But I was determined to make it work and so I drove it 40km straight to our fixed camping spot and once I got there, I was a confident cargobike, or how they call it here, even my expat friends, a “bakfiets” driver. I loved it. My son loved it, heck, even my two Doxies love it.

4e484869-011e-4930-8a45-77aa60740846
Our Doxies do not fall assleep in the “bakfiets”

But…a few weeks later the first problems arose, my brakes and lights. One brake was not working, the lights were not working and so I emailed Babboe. I also inquired about when the technician would come by for the first maintenance (included in the price we paid. I had already received an email asking me if I was satisfied with the services…for the services that I haven’t received yet). It took exactly a month before the technician came. My brakes were then finally fixed and I had received new lights. My bike was riding smoother than ever.

Then the rain cover poles broke. I emailed again, Babboe said that they were aware of the poor quality of the poles and that they were looking for a solution. In the meantime they would send me new poles. And they did, the wrong ones. Emailed them again and soon after I received the first pair or rain cover poles. But the rain cover poles have broken off 5 times during the 18 months that I have owned my e-curve.

Broke rain cover poles
Picture explaining to Babboe where the poles broke off. The end bits are still sticking in the wholes and also needed to be removed.

Another issue, the wheel spokes. They too have been broken multiple times. This is apparently something that many, many Babboe owners have experienced. This is a pretty costly thing to have to happen regularly. One of my back spokes is even broken now.

And something they forget to tell you…not many bike repair shops repair your electrical cargo-bike, definitely if you have not bought it in their shop. I have two bike repair shops in walking distance of my house, but they have refused to repair my bike (one will repair the spokes but nothing else) and so I have had to rely on friends to pick me up and drop me off at another bike shop further away. Not very convenient. You can always book a maintenance and repair service at home from Babboe, but be prepared to wait many, many weeks and with a broken spoke, you need to get it repaired as soon as possible.

My Babboe cargo bike e-curve review broken spokes

Oh yeah, and my battery, remember at the beginning of this post I mentioned biking 40km to our camping spot? (I still drove around with it for a few more days before I had to recharge the battery) . Well now (18 months later) the action radius is +-15km. I alternate between modes 3 and 4 and transporting one child who weighs 21kg, I weigh 70kg. My friend who owns an “e-big” bike from Babboe even bought a second battery because she could not make the trip to school and back with her kids. Not ok.

I have emailed Babboe again (I have emailed them 8 times) I feel like a complainer, but when you pay almost 2.500euro’s for a bike, you expect it to work properly. Customer service is very unsatisfactory and while they are polite, they are evasive. They say they will get back but they do not and so I have spent a few hundred euro’s to date on reparation costs.

I am writing this post, review, because I am just so very upset about the quality of my bike, while it looks great. My brakes broke again two days ago, I have yet again a broken spoke and it is making a funny sound while driving, I am worried that it’s the motor. The key to the battery of the bike is so thin that it has been bent beyond use and I will have to get a new key made today, otherwise, I will not be able to recharge the battery. I am a single mom on a very low income and I have no way to get it repaired again, let alone the money to buy a new one might this break down completely. It saddens me, I have really enjoyed driving it, my son loves it so much too and it has given us so much pleasure and freedom and I really need it, I just cannot do without and so I’m again praying for a miracle.

The pro’s:

  • It is very pretty to look at. Classy.
  • The finishings are much nicer than the cheaper models. Especially the “leather” handles.
  • The display is nice and easy and it’s digital, so you know how far you can still drive before the battery runs out.
  • The rain cover (not the poles) is cute and you have velcro on the top for stopping it to flap down while children are getting in or out. You can also roll up sides on warmer days. It has to be -20c degrees here before my son wants the sides closed though.
  • Comfy seat for the driver.

The con’s

  • The spokes, just the wheel, in general, is not strong enough for the cargobike according to two repair shops.
  • The battery. I know, I know that a battery loses it’s power the older it gets and by usage, but going from +-50km a year ago to 15km now…that’s ridiculous.
  • The rain cover polls break very easily.
  • The brakes…ugh, I find that the scariest.
  • The rear light is powered by a battery. The two front lights are powered by four AAA batteries between them. It would be great if the front lights were powered by the battery or dynamo powered. The front lights don’t give much light, plus you need to slide them on and off, meaning that they also easily slide off by themselves. I have lost one like that.
My Babboe cargo bike e-curve review
I also like to pimp it up, here it is as a “red devil” in honor of Belgiums (euro)football team during the 2018 World Cup.

I want to again remind you, dear reader, that this has been my experience. I am not technical, so I cannot comment on the motor or stuff like that, I can only write about my experiences and how people have advised me. I advise you to do your research before buying your “bakfiets”. Go try some out or rent one for the day and even if you think that you would not be able to drive a two-wheeler bakfiets, try it out, it’s like riding a normal size bike. I wish that I had because I know now which one I would have bought then knowing what I know now.

Do you have a cargobike? Which one? I would love to hear about your experiences.

 EDIT: 4 February 2019

Since writing this post about the Babboe e-curve cargo bike review, it has been shared around on social media and was the talk amongst my friends. My bike actually broke down, the crankshaft broke, leaving me in a bit of a predicament. But I am truly, truly blessed by all the wonderful people around me. People were texting me, asking if they could help with the groceries or if I needed them to bring my son to and from school. Then one mom in school even lent me her cargo bike!!! *happy dance* That was really a lifesaver for me. Thank you all again! Big love.

Now what happened next; Babboe contacted me through this blog post and I finally got to speak to this very nice lady Aimée. She said that they (at Babboe) were very sorry for all the difficulties that I have been experiencing with the Babboe bakfiets and said that they will be sending me a technician who will hopefully be able to fix all the problems. A week later the technician came (again a very nice person who really enjoyed my coffee and cookies) and he made me a very happy mom again by :

  • replacing the whole rear wheel (due to the crankshaft)
  • new disk brake
  • new battery and charger
  • and tightened the brakes and bolts

For my lights, I can also visit a bike repair shop to get some new lights installed and Babboe will reimburse me.

So I practically have a new bike now, all done under warranty, thank goodness!!! We are again zooming all around town overjoyed by having our little piece of freedom back.

Thank you all for sharing my Babboe e-curve cargo bike review.

EDIT 15th of April 2019:

So, my cargo bike has again, started to make funny noises. I’m afraid it’s the motor or something. So Babboe has gracefully proposed to replace my bike. They only do this when there have been many issues with a bike.

I am very grateful for this, it helps me to be independent, gives great joy to my son and me and I can continue to get groceries myself without having to rely on other people. It makes a big difference in our lives.

So thank you again Babboe, your generosity humbles me and alters my perception.

Thank you re-posters and thank you, dear friends, for sharing this post of my Babboe e-curve cargo bike review.

Be blessed.

EDIT 9th of August 2019

I was a bit late with this update but I am very very happy to say that since writing my latest update:

That we have been so blessed by receiving a BRAND NEW Babboe cargo bike!

*Insert party ballons here*

The sweet (patient) lady who had been trying to help me sort out the problems with our previous bike realized that the problems that I had been experiencing with the cargo bike were really abnormal.

So we started a new adventure with a new e-curve. Since June we’ve had our new bike and I’m glad to say that we have not had any problems yet. I’m not going to lie, I seem to be waiting for something to happen, but that’s just me. If you know me and my life, you will know that it’s just something that stems from the very unconventional life that I’ve had up to now.

I’m loving it again and we have been traveling all around Antwerp visiting museums, going to parks, getting groceries done and now I’m planning a trip with the Ferry!

So even though we did not have much luck with our first Bike, Babboe really came through for us and I really stand by my opinion that they’re practical, beautiful, and damn fun to ride. They can haul everything from babies to groceries, to large pieces of furniture. They make moving gear through traffic-choked cities faster, and more fun, than any big air polluting car. I’m totally smitten again!

Thank you Babboe and thank you all for reading and sharing my Babboe e-curve cargo bike review.

Edit 14 January 2020

Since beginning September 2019, I have started to regularly experience flat tires. This has happened 9 times in total, 7 times it was my back tire.

It seems to happen for no apparent reason. A couple of times it had to do with the spokes breaking and puncturing the wheel. Other times have been just tiny holes. The Local bike shop has checked the outer wheel, there seems to be nothing there.

I have taken different bike routes, checked my garden for any debris, but it stays a mystery as to why I am getting so many flat tires. According to my repairman (and he guessed my bike was a Babboe without me even telling him), that this company, unfortunately, does not use the best quality and that it for sure is not made for the long distances and frequencies that I use it for and that he has had many clients of this make, with flat tires, bad batteries, and spokes breaking off.

So, maybe that is what it is. It’s a pretty bike, works well if not used for long distances.

Too bad for me I guess as I now have to look for another solution for getting my son to school and back. Making that a total of almost 25 km a day at least.

What an expensive ordeal this has been.

UPDATE 28.05.2020

Flat tire number……

Babboe e-curve flat tire

  • Babboe e-curve flat tire
    Babboe e-curve flat tire review
UPDATE: My Babboe cargo bike e-curve review