Stranger Danger

A lifetime of adventure in a single day…

My legs were sore from sitting for 8 hours straight in a cramped space. Getting up felt shaky and unusual as if my legs had never stood on its own two feet. I marched in place for a bit to remind myself of what walking really meant; consciously taking one step at a time.

As I made my way out of the plane I decided to head straight to the information desk. They told me that my connecting flight was in 8 hours and I thought that was plenty of time to explore this airport I had never been to. However, in just an hour or so I had seen the entire Frankfurt airport from one end to the other.

So I weighed my options: sleep, eat, walk, or read. None appealed to me. I had already slept, ate, and walked around. The WiFi wasn’t great so reading was out of the question.

Then I came up with a brilliant idea to visit my family friends who lived nearby. Or so I thought.

When I went outside to look for a cab, I quickly realized that these guys didn’t know English fluently. And I knew no word of German. So the entire line of cabs brushed me off and I was pretty much forced to get into a giant taxi van. Once we had fumbled our way into understanding where I wanted to go, we were on our way.

Frankfurt looked beautiful I thought. The light snow dusting the city and the lack of people was a nice change of scenery. I got absorbed in its minimal beauty and I didn’t realize that we had reached. And that the cab driver was lost.

As if that wasn’t enough. We were stuck in a tiny alley, too scared to move in case the van giggled and grazed against the stone walls. I could feel the struggle of the driver as he swiveled between the twists and turns, barely touching each side of the street wall with his car.

We were in deep trouble I thought. The car couldn’t turn or really go anywhere. We couldn’t communicate properly with each other. And of course, we couldn’t find the house number.

So when I saw house number 42 and 44, I knew that 43 should be right here somewhere. Placing a huge bet on my logical thinking, I took my backpack and hand luggage and got out. As I paid for my ride, I watched as relief washed over the driver and he left in a rush.

I wandered for awhile with an obvious case of wanderLOST. I didn’t know I was being so obvious until a nice lady in her yard looked at me with a pleasant smile, indicating to me that she was there to help. I looked left and I looked right. When it was obvious that she was my only life line, I grabbed on.

I approached her timidly to ask about the address but as it turned out her English wasn’t great either. So she called her husband who was this medium built man with a bald head so high that my neck craned up to see it.

He very nicely told me that the house was just around the corner and that he’d drop me off because I couldn’t walk there. I was in panic mode so I didn’t think twice and took up his offer. I placed my hand luggage in the back seat and got in with my backpack in the front all ready to go.

After we drove for about a minute, he declared that we were a bit lost. So he looked at the address again and exclaimed that this place was in the adjacent town! I had no words so I just watched as he adjusted his GPS and took me where I needed to go. Once we arrived, I took out my stuff and generously thanked him.

When I turned towards my friend I saw that she had a slight shock on her face. And I stood frozen there having realized what I had just done – I had just violated one of the first rules we’re taught as kids: don’t get into a stranger’s car.

 

This post is written for WordPress’ Writing 101 topic: recreate a single day.

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