Author's Note: The reading pleasure of this post will be greatly enhanced if you play this song in the background.
There are moments in life when you’ve just got to roll with the punches. You duck and weave in an attempt to avoid as many blows as possible, and when you do get hit (because you will get hit), you clench your jaw and work through the pain.
There are also moments in life when you get to be Rocky reaching the top of that staircase. You might not actually be on top of the world, but it sure as hell feels like it. Today I was blessed with one of those Rocky-inspired, mountain top moments, and, to be frank, it was awesome…
See, for the last several weeks I have been internally debating about where to go for my last trip before leaving Germany. I had considered Cologne, Dresden, Brussels, Prague and Amsterdam (so many choices, so little time!). In the end, due to rave reviews and the fact that the kids I take care of are half Dutch, I decided to check out Amsterdam before heading back to the United States.
My host mom graciously gave me next Monday off and so I headed down to the train station to book my tickets for a long weekend in the Netherlands. I told the lady behind the counter the dates I wanted and the times I preferred, bought my tickets and went on my merry way, feeling quite proud of myself… until I got back to my apartment and realized I had accidentally gotten the date wrong on one of my tickets. Ugh.
So, this morning I walked back to the train station to sort the mess out-- in German, no less. Of course, I knew I could have asked any one of the fluent German speakers I live with to help me out, but I wanted to do it by myself (a phrase that has been my mantra since I insisted on putting on my own shoes and jacket at two years old… just ask my mother how that one turned out). With visions of exorbitant prices dancing in my head, I walked up to the counter and explained what had happened.
And then, a miracle happened… the man behind the counter understood everything I was saying and I understood him, too. He fixed my ticket right there on the spot and I even got a small refund as the train on which I actually wanted to travel had a sale price attached to it. Less than five minutes after walking up to the counter I was out the door with a new ticket in hand. And as I walked through town to my next stop, the post office, I remembered one of my first German conversations way back in August when I had fumbled my way through buying an international postcard stamp. I smiled to myself and couldn’t help but think, “Piece of cake.”
And that, my friends, is how you rock it Rocky-style.