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Back then we had open sewers. He was a filthy kid, always riding his bicycle into a drain, falling into mud etc.

Back then we had open sewers. He was a filthy kid, always riding his bicycle into the drain, falling into mud etc.

Now, I understand that we use the when we're talking about something in particular. And sure the drain the the kid rode his bicycle into was one specific drain. But still it comes to me as though the kid falling into the/a drain bears little significance here, putting it in perspective of the overall meaning. So here, are a/the interchangeable? The first sentence is still grammatically correct, right? Like i could say, "I was on a bus when this happened." Or "I was on the bus when this happened.", and the overall meaning would remain the same, right?

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Your statements about the sentences being correct are also correct, but the nuance in the first sentence is that the "kid" is likely to ride his bicycle into any nearby drain, while the second implies that he rides into the same drain or a specific drain repeatedly, or at least more than once. This is implicit in the use of "always."

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