04 June 2012

Talking to strangers

In my post from yesterday I said that I would elaborate on the important friend that Dude made on the plane. That new little friend was key to us finding our way to our host's home.

While waiting in line to board our plane from Brussels to Berlin Dude made a friend. First it started out as peek-a-boo, then a chase, finally a full blown attack on Dude ending with his new friend slapping him in the face twice. Dude's reaction was unexpected. If you know Dude like we know Dude you know that he is a lethally trained ninja in the art of spinjitzu! (only parents of ninjago obsessed children fully understand what I'm talking about). Instead of attacking his new friend he just laughed. "Daddy, the baby hit me in the face two times!" The baby's French speaking mother was apologetic, we were understanding. His mom was beautiful! In stillettos in a flowing dress, perfect tiny braids, smooth brown skin, and a permanent smile.
Once we collected our luggage in Berlin and exited the airport we realized we had no idea how to get to where we were going. I could see our French speaking friends greeting and hugging their eagerly waiting relatives and I had to take that chance to ask for help, so I did! Our friend was unable to help, but her sister knew exactly where we should go. In French she tells me,"We are going the same way, follow us!". So there we were bags and kids in tow following our new French/ German speaking friendly African friends. I was elated to have a guide to help us find our way.
You know what happens next right? Zane my voice of reason starts asking questions. "Mommy, do you know these people? Where are they taking us? Mommy, are you talking to STRANGERS!?!"
"No Zane, I don't know these people, they are taking us to our host, and yes I'm talking to strangers.".
"But mommy, it's bad to talk to strangers!"
"Not all the time. Sometimes it's good to talk to strangers if they are friendly"
"How do you who is a friendly stranger or a crazy stranger?"
"You just feel it..."
Ok people, I need help here. How do you explain breaking a rule to you kids? How can I explain my unacceptable behavior to my 8 year old?
Well our helpful strangers accompanied us on our bus ride and got off of our train 4 stops before us. Once we arrived at the Wuhletal train station we felt relieved. I pranced over to the first taxi I saw, showed him the address and he looked at me like I was crazy. A nearby bus driver gave me the same reaction. It took me about 10 minutes to connect to directions on google maps, we were an 8 minute walk from our destination. We began following the blue line that marked our path in my iPhone. As we walked through East Berlin we watched our dot move along the directions' line. We arrived at our host's doorstep. He eagerly awaited us with a smile. He converted his first floor into a little apartment for us. The dining room had 3 comfy looking mattresses on the floor and they looked like heaven to us all. We slept for two hours then walked to the nearby Aldi's market, bought enough food for sandwiches, then we returned to our homestay and slept for hours. Dude slept 15 hours and the rest of us 12. That was the most urgent night's sleep we'd ever had.


  1. Is Aldi's like the ones we have here? I gotta respect Zane. lol. And good for Dude for making a friend. :)

  2. You could say: Adults talk to strangers all the time they have experience to tell them who is friendly and they can protect themselves more than kids can, but kids should only do it when they are with a care giver or if you are absolutely lost and separated from your care giver, you look for someone working at a store or in a uniform or a mama or grandma with children to ask for help.

  3. Talia I will definitely add your suggestion to the tips I've been giving. I like that one a lot. I do actually tell them to look for a police officer or a grandma if thievery get lost.