Germany ain’t what it used to be.

The trains are running late, the clocks aren’t showing the right time, and last night, when I was trying to get from the Hauptbahnhof to the hotel, I couldn’t even get out of the main station because police had blocked the exit. Why? – Because Pegida has decided to stage a protest in the Düsseldorf’s city centre every Saturday and every Monday. So this huge police presence was not a once of, it now happens twice a week in Düsseldorf. My guess is that there are probably more police than Pegida “protesters”.

The second day at REHACare was really interesting. Asian participants are not just taking pictures anymore, they are exhibiting and have a really big, visible presence.

And look at this.

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Yes: it’s a wheelchair mounted on skies! The second person can stand on the back of the skies and, by pushing down his heels, apply the breaks. If you look closely, there is a line hanging from the back of the seat. This is connected to the ‘driver’ and when he either falls of or pulls it, the emergency breaks go off. – There is a requirement though to do a course over a few days (in an indoor arena in Holland!) to learn how to handle this gadget…

It’s just one example of really brilliant ideas around mobility. There are other engineers who have applied the same idea to bicycles and scooters. Check out this video.

Isn’t it amazing? There is a version of this where a ‘driver’ can stand behind the person sitting and by using a joystick-type of remote control, drive the scooter/wheelchair. This thing is as fast as a small moped!

Over the past two days, and again in the train when someone saw me with all my bags from REHACare, when people asked me what i was doing professionally, I said, for the first time, that I was working with young people with severe acquired brain injury. – First, I thought it was strange. But, really, that’s what I’m doing.