This is a crazy crazy story, and some of you won’t believe me. But that’s okay too.Story-Time
I bussed to Brussels from London, about 9 hours. On the bus, I sat next to a woman who was raised in Brussels and now lives in London. We got to chatting of course. She was so sweet, but slightly secretive.
I asked her about what she does, and she got rather shy. This intrigued me of course, but I didn’t want to push it. I moved on to different topics of conversation. We discussed the reason we were going to Brussels, and she informed me that her sister and mother were still living there and she was visiting them for the weekend. She said, “Now that Halloween is over, I have time to go see them.”
I wondered why Halloween was so busy for her, but I hesitated to ask, especially after she wouldn’t answer my question about her line of work. She cleared her throat *ahEM* and changed the subject as if she had read my mind and still didn’t want to answer.
“Are you meeting anyone in Brussels?” she asked me.
“My friend is coming from Madrid to meet me here today.”
“Do you know when she is coming?”
“Yeah we are meeting around noon!” I replied confidently.
Her smile faltered. “But… the bus is getting in at 6 am, what are you going to do until then?”
“Well, I’m going to have a look at the city and see what there is to see, of course!”
“But you are so small, and there are dangerous forces in the world. Let me help you.”
“No no, you are meeting your family. Don’t put that on hold for me. I am confident I can stay safe. I have done my research, and I am sticking to the well trafficked areas.”
Her face broke into a wise smile. “I am glad you have prepared, but I can help without compromising my family time. What if I told you that I had some special powers?”
My face begged her for clarity.
“It’s true. I can’t get specific about it, but it’s true. I want to help you by, erm let me think… I can make you at least a bit bigger for the day. Just for the day. Would you be okay with that?”
I stared back in a confounded silence. What on earth was she talking about.
“Okay I’ll take that as a yes! Magna wellgna, diem salutem puella! There! now you will grow to be large enough to keep you safe! Just for the day, don’t worry I wouldn’t make it permanent. Unless that’s what you want?”
“Umm, I don’t think so?”
At this point I was convinced she was just a little strange. I let it slide because I was stuck next to her for another few hours and I didn’t want to make her mad.
Fast forward to Brussels. I arrived as expected, nothing unusual. I said my goodbyes to my funny bus friend and made my way to my first couple of sights. As I walked, everything started to shrink. And shrink. And shrink and SHRINK. I was mortified! What on earth was happening to me?! Her words rang in my head… Magna wellgna, diem salutem puella! You will grow to be large enough to keep you safe!
Uh oh. Here I was. Growing (for the first time in my life really). But also not STOPPING. The buildings shrunk to knee height. I started to panic. What could I do?? I had never been tall before, let alone GIANT. This was how big I had to be to stay safe? I sat and despaired. I despaired for my own monstrosity and the danger of the world I lived in.
After these sobering thoughts, I began to look around. I realized something very special. I could see all the way across Europe. Everything in Brussels was a few steps away. The Eiffel Tower was visible, and seemed only a few minutes stroll through the country. Why on earth was I sitting and moping when I could be over in Budapest in 20 minutes? I began to understand that I should take advantage of such a huge opportunity (pun intended). So I did. Everywhere from Sweden to Portugal to to Italy to Lithuania.
The time came, of course, when I had to meet Alicia, my friend from Madrid. So I headed back to Brussels to see her plane arrive. As we met, I shrunk back down. I’m assuming this is because now I had a friend to look after me and to look after myself, but your guess is as good as mine. I don’t know how this woman’s magic worked, and I don’t think I want to. I am just grateful for the incredible day I had!