After our journey to the top of Rundetaarn we had a little logistical discussion. We had an hour left before we had to move our car from the primo parking spot at our rental apartment, but there was more that we wanted to see in Copenhagen. Our discussion was interrupted by several repeated request for mini-donuts and finally we decided on this plan: Jeremy would head back to check out of the apartment and get the car, and then he would use the GPS to guide him to a parking lot near the Little Mermaid. The boys and I would get a second breakfast and then walk to our rendezvous point. We’d finish seeing a few things and then we’d head out of town.
The snack of choice was right before our eyes: A mini-donut stand was just being set up (we noticed that many Danish are not early risers) and said it would be maybe 10 or 15 minutes before the donuts were ready. No problem: for donuts we could wait.
While we were waiting this tour group walked by. I had heard about this tour guide who dresses up like Hans Christian Anderson and gives tours of the city, and had considered taking his tour. I thought it was pretty cool that we got to see him anyhow. That’s a little bit of serendipity.
Ten minutes of waiting became fifteen; fifteen became twenty. Apparently the key to a good donut is the temperature of the oil and that was not rising quickly. I debated ditching the donuts – I didn’t want Jeremy to be waiting at the Little Mermaid, wondering and worrying about us – but the boys were pretty determined to get donuts. Besides, we’d invested this much time…surely it wouldn’t be too much longer!
I should explain one point that is critical to the story: Yes, we do have cell phones. And if we were delayed meeting up with someone while in Germany (or in America) we’d do the logical thing and call or text. (I’ve been known to call Jeremy when I couldn’t find him in Wal-Mart for pete’s sake.) However, roaming charges are ridiculous so while travelling so we usually avoid making calls.
Waiting for the donuts wasn’t unpleasant. The donut guy was quite friendly. He chatted with the boys and explained that he was an Albanian, currently living in Sweden but working in Denmark. We discussed the great donuts of the world – of course he had heard of Dunkin’ Donuts but had never heard of either Krispy Kreme or Tim Horton’s. I tried to explain the old Dunkin’ Donuts catchphrase, “It’s time to make the donuts…I made the donuts” and I’m pretty sure that reference was completely lost on him (though I did tell him he should check youtube.) The boys debated and discussed what topping they would get on their donuts (the final decision was half chocolate, half strawberry) and in the back of my mind I imagined Jeremy standing by the water, wondering what had happened to his family.
Finally (I didn’t check my watch, but it was definitely more than 15 minutes) we had donuts in hand (and even got some extras for free since we waited so long – which Andrew thought was the coolest thing) and were on our way. I explained to the boys that we were on a mission – we HAD to get to the Little Mermaid as quickly as possible so GO.
We were powerwalking through the streets of Copenhagen when suddenly these guys walked right in front of us. They were on a mission too: on their way to the changing of the guard. If we’d left the donut man any earlier (or later) we would have missed them. Serendipity!
We did stop a few times: once for the restroom (of course) and a couple of brief pauses so I could get some photos.
I was happy to get a close- up look at this church since we’d seen it from the boat tour and at Legoland. Again a brief stop to take a photo and then we powered on.
Here is where those guys in the funny hats were headed: Amalienborg Slot, the site of the changing of the guard. We caught just a bit of the action as we walked by. Serendipity.
By this time my little donut-eaters were tired. And thirsty. And tired. We were almost there, and I really, really hoped Jeremy wasn’t concerned about us.
We took another 10 second pause to take a photograph of this guy and we raced on.
At last we reached the Little Mermaid…and Jeremy was no where to be found. I thought maybe he had gone looking for us and wondered how we’d find him. We sat down on the grass to rest our weary feet (our dogs were barking!) and I figured now was a good time to use a cell phone, regardless of the cost. I opened my purse and saw…the GPS navigation system.
Gulp. A bit of panic set in. How was Jeremy supposed to get to our rendezvous point without a GPS? Did he even have a map? Is he lost somewhere in Copenhagen? How annoyed would he be when he realized that I hadn’t left the GPS in the car?
I tried to call him but there was no answer. I started to strategize just what we should do next when I heard a familiar voice say, “Were you worried about me?”
He had just arrived, moments after we had. He had no trouble getting back to the car, or getting to the rendezvous point or finding a parking spot. (He did have a map and can navigate very well without either the GPS voice or his wife telling him where to turn.) It took him just as long to get there as it took us, and the whole time he was worrying that we would be worrying about him.
We had a good laugh.
Some would call it serendipity. But as a Pastor I know would say, “That is just the way our God works.”