Sunday, October 7, 2007

The time a middle aged German woman tried to kidnap me

When I was probably about 10 years old the family went to Arizona to visit some relatives and see the Grand Canyon. At the Grand Canyon I saw a large shiny red Mercedes tour bus. Soon, two German women came up to me and started speaking in German. I had seen enough old World War 2 movies to know how to say "Sprechen sie deutsch?" but in the movies no one ever replied "No, I don't speak German" in German so I didn't know what to say and I said nothing.

Soon, she was barking orders at me in German. I stood there. She glared down at me. Suddenly, she grabbed my arm and started to pull me back to the bus. I regained my balance and dug in my heels. Then I gave her a look of "Are you crazy! Are you trying to kidnap me! What's wrong with you!" It probably would have worked better if I had said the words instead of trying to express the thoughts in a look.

I should mention that I have a fair amount of German (technically Prussian and Swiss) heritage and I've been told that I look German. More than once people have walked up to me, assumed I am German and tried to start a conversation in German.

The other woman was now back with the bus driver. Apparently everyone else was on the bus except for the two old women and the little blond boy they were trying to kidnap.

With the arrival of the bus driver the old woman crossed her arms and started looking smug. The bus driver straightened himself, put his nose in the air, looked down at me, outstretched his arm, pointed to the bus, and started saying things loudly in German.

At this point, I considered getting on the bus. I was somewhat bored and I thought it would be an adventure. I thought I could go for a ride and when they found out I wasn't German they would be obligated to take me back where they found me. I bet that fancy bus has a refrigerator in it. I could get a nice cold Coke. Who knows where they would go next.

As I stood there looking at the bus, the bus driver grabbed my arm and started to drag me back to the bus. His grip was much tighter and he lifted me off the ground as much as he dragged me. Startled by this, I finally spoke. He let go of me and turned and stared at the old woman for a little bit and turned red. Then he apologized and explained that "These women thought you were German." He sounded angry. He said "these" with the word drawn out and almost hissing. While they walked back to the bus, with the bus driver holding the arms of the women to guide them, the old woman, looking slightly confused, kept craning her head around to look at me - the little blond boy she was so close to having.


1618 said...

When my mother took me to Hong Kong for a shopping holiday as a little girl, I recall women coming up to me all the time, touching me and my hair. It was hilarious, and I remember being in a busy shopping street and there was firing on the streets, guns!!!!

I ran into the shop to avoid sudden death, and the robbers got away.

Col. Milquetoast said...

I have curly hair and women, usually older women, would come up to me (a complete stranger!) and mess with my hair and go on about how they wished their hair was as curly as mine. I've never looked at curly hair as a good thing (at least, for a guy) and so I thought it was simply bizarre.

Ash said...

When I was a little brat, I lived in the mountains just outside Torino (Turin) in Italia.

Quite frequently, I'd wander down the mountain, with not a single word to my parents, and spend the day in the city. I would have been about 4. And they'd call every police station in the city seeing if I was there, and they'd say no.

But being the good girl I was, dead on 5 pm, which was dinner time, I'd wander into the nearest police station and ask them to call Mama and Papa. It used to freak my parents out no end. I thought spending the day in the city was fun!

1618 said...

Dear Colonel,

I'm here, however, I'm not here.
Just checking in to let you know.


Hi Ashy

Col. Milquetoast said...

Ash, I think if i were your father I would have kept you on a leash!

Ash said...

Oh trust me Colonel, during my high school years, after we moved to Australia, he pretty much did. I found that every day, at 3:10pm, five minutes before the end of school, I'd get picked up by either Dad or two of his fellow boys in blue and taken back to the station and I got to sit in the corner until the end of Dad's shift, or when Mom got home, whichever came first.

I guess I kind of brought that on myself though, lol, with those little wanderings.

Anonymous said...

I used to wander out of the house on early saturday mornings, before my folks woke up, and go a few doors down the street and have a big ol' pancake breakfast with the couple that lived there.

I did that every saturday morning for nearly a year before my folks finally found out and made me stop.

No one was angry, I didnt get in trouble. The couple was an older childless couple and were really decent folk. Dad just thought it made me look "moochy".

He still laughs at me about it. Says he wondered why I ate slower than usual on saturday mornings when mom made us all breakfast.

I love eating. I shoulda been born a hobbit.

I was about 5 or 6 at the time.

Ash said...

Grimmy, that's awesome! If it had been possible for me to have that kind of rort, I would have done it!

But Saturday morning breakfast at my house was always pescruito, which is the most disgusting food you can imagine.