Tourist Attractions

Image courtesy of greentheory.

A peaceful breakfast in a small town in Germany. There we were, minding our own business.

“Are you sure you don’t want any champagne? Whiskey?” Asked the passing waiter jokingly. We’d already told him we didn’t drink.

“No, thank you.” We smiled. Besides ourselves (and we were only visiting), the Muslim population in the city was limited to only one other person who had stopped us the other day as we were walking, only to exclaim how happy he was to see other Muslims. We returned to our breakfast plates, but not before hearing a lady’s voice coming from behind us.

“So how are you?”

We turned our heads to the lady who had been sitting four tables down. She had walked over to our table and was now smiling at all of us.

“I just came over to say hi,” she said with a heavy accent.

We made simple, idle talk, but the whole time I was confused as to why she had come all the way over to talk to us. Ten minutes later, and we were chatting like good old neighbours. She had asked us where we were from and when we had answered Canada, she had smiled and said, “Oh! Farmers!” To which I had tried hard not to laugh.

She then pointed out some tourist destinations, and even called her friend over from the table to help us with maps of the place and directions to nearby attraction sites. It was then that she looked at my sisters and I, and began a “real conversation.”

“So how do you like Europe?” she asked.

We responded that it truly was very beautiful.

“You know, it has good people. We’re not all…” Her voice trailed off, and to our surprise, she put her hand to her head and made a scrunching motion with her fingers as if to say “close-minded”.

Unsure of what to say, we grinned and remained silent. So maybe there are a few rare ones out there, I thought. Considering the past couple of days had been filled with the worst stares and rude attitudes, I had been wrong to assume everyone in Germany had hatred towards Muslims.

We continued our breakfast and the German women gathered their belongings, getting ready to leave. As they were exiting the place, her friend stopped in the door frame and looked back at us.

“Would you mind if we took a picture of all of you?”

I blinked, attempting to hide my shocked face. I hadn’t realized I’d become a tourist attraction myself! It was the woman’s friendliness, though, her concern that we enjoy our stay in Germany and be treated with kindness and dignity, that was truly heartwarming.