Friday, April 15, 2016

German, or Something Similar

This was written by my daughter, Kaitie Elizabeth....It's very clever and I thought you might enjoy it. It's also a true story.
Kaitie, surrounded by a group of German tourists

German, or Something Similar

Once upon a time, there was a girl who was so socially awkward that she got herself stuck on a donkey. That girl was me. And that was the day that learned to speak German—at least, I think it was German.

 It all started on a European cruise that my family and I took. On this cruise, we stopped at Santorini, Greece. Santorini is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. With beautiful black beaches, spectacular scenery, ancient cities, and an active volcano, who wouldn’t have fun? But in order to see all these amazing things, you have to get to the top of the mountain village, and to get up there you can choose between cable cars or donkeys. My mom and brother wanted to take the cable cars, but my father and I wanted to have the traditional Greek experience. So, we opted for the donkeys. My mom was a little skeptical, being that she read every single horror story of people being tragically thrown off their donkeys down the mountainside and never seen again. But we assured her that we would be fine. I really should have seen this coming. This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten myself into an awkward situation, you know.

 Anyway, we stepped off the tender and the moment our feet touched the ground my mom says, “Oh look! There’s the donkey guy.” Thinking we were all on the same page, my dad and I rush through the sea of tourists and into the back alley where they were loading people onto the donkeys. 

Meanwhile, my mom has no idea that we'd left. She turned around, and in that split second we were gone! Vanished into thin air. My brother kept saying, “There’s no way that they would go get on the donkey without telling us first.” But we did. And after a while of searching, mother decided that we had gotten on the donkeys without telling her; she rushed to get on the cable cars.

 Back to my side of the story. We had already done our waiting in line, and a big Greek man picked me up and sat me on my donkey and off I went. These donkeys were trained. They knew exactly where to go. And there was no way to control them. They walked along a wide path all the way up the mountain. It was like a Disney ride. You could simply sit there and relax and take in the scenery. It was great. Except for about one minute into the ride, my donkey stopped walking. I sat there nervously trying to think of a solution. Nothing was coming to mind. So I just sat there awkwardly, rocking back and forth, sort of nudging my donkey with my feet, whispering threatening things into its ears, and petting it. Nothing. That stubborn donkey was not moving. Meanwhile, tons of other donkey riders passed by. Including my dad. They couldn’t help it. Like I said, the donkeys knew where to go. And they couldn’t be controlled. So, my dad was now way ahead of me, with no hope for return.

I’ve been sitting there for about five minutes now, and none of the workers noticed me. They were too busy lifting people up onto their donkeys. I continued to sit there mentally kicking myself. Then a group of about fifteen German tourists came along, and they were screaming something in German at the very top of their lungs, and their donkeys were moving. And I mean moving. Fast! So, I leaned down and quietly repeated whatever they were saying to my donkey. Nothing happened. I then nervously repeated it again, this time, a little louder. Still nothing. I was beginning to lose my patience. I then sat up, held on tight, and yelled that unknown German phrase as loud as I possibly could. And ZOOM!

My donkey started moving like it never had before, and it smashed into every single wall that stood next to us. And every pair of eyes in that area turned and stared at us, zipping up the mountain like mad men. Soon we ended up with the group of fifteen Germans, a woman wailing hysterically, and some person in the back who kept yelling, “HAW!” (and every time he would do that my donkey would ram as hard as he could straight into the wall that stood between me and a plunge down the mountainside). So, whenever my donkey got to close to the edge, I would have to scream in German again to get him to go the right direction. We were quite a sight, and this continued all the way up.

When I got to the top, a similar-looking Greek man picked me up off my donkey and sat me back down on the ground. I was relieved to be done. I said goodbye to my strange little group of fellow donkey riders and walked away to find my dad, who got dropped off at a completely different spot than me. Even after I found him, my troubles weren’t over. My father and I then spent an hour and a half searching all of Santorini for the cable cars. And my mom and brother did the same, only they were searching for the donkeys. After what seemed like ages, we all found each other and laughed about the whole ordeal.

So, next time that your mother says, “Hey, there’s the donkey man.” Maybe just take the cable cars instead.

The End