Europe N to S: 23 Cents (11/21/16)


​Today’s Miles: 20.6

Total Miles: 2,904.3

Dreifelden, Germany – November 21, 2016

I got stuck in the candy aisle of the grocery store deciding between gummi bears and chocolate bars. Rain was falling outside, but it was early in the day and my will power was still strong so my usual answer of “why not both?” felt off.

I frowned and paced a bit in front of the bright packages. My eyes glanced over a bar of milk chocolate then skipped to sour gummi bears then down to a bag of jelly beans.

“Which one, which one, which one,” I thought.

Then a little voice interrupted me. It was a girl, maybe ten years old, who’d been standing nearby mumbling as she searched a rack of soda.

“Sorry?” I said.

She looked up at me oddly.

“Do you speak English?” I asked.

The girl scrunched her face up and thought for a second.

“A little,” she said. “From school.”

Her words came slow, but they came. And they were better than any German words I had. I smiled and she smiled. Then she thought for a moment, reaching deep for words from forgotten lessons.

“Can you give twenty-three cents?” she asked.

I laughed and reached into my pocket. I didn’t have the right change so I have her a euro. Her eyes gleamed.

“Thank you!” she said.

I grinned and shrugged, happy to help, surprised she choose the crazy-looking person to ask for help. She walked away, counting the coins in her hand. I turned to focus on the dilemma of chocolate or gummi candy again. What would I crave after a few more hours in the rain?

Then I heard a little whistle from down the aisle and looked up. The girl waved a chocolate bar in the air and smiled at me, her soda still tucked under one arm, the extra seventy-seven cents put to good use.

I gave her a thumbs up and she disappeared around the corner. I grabbed a chocolate bar and a bag of gummi bears.

“She’s right,” I thought. “Why not both!”

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