J5: Lost in the Zoo

Well, here’s an interesting adventure I had.  I’d like to say this sort of thing is unusual for me, though unfortunately it’s fairly typical.  However, this was probably the most extreme– and the most frightening– case where I got lost. 


When I was eight, my family went on vacation in Austria.  One of the highlights of the trip was going to the Salzburg zoo.  It had very impressive exhibits, with more wild animals than I had ever seen.  There was even a simulated jungle you could walk through, complete with real miniature monkeys flying over your head.  After several hours of sightseeing, we decided to head towards the zoo restaurant for lunch.  When we arrived, everyone went inside to find a table.  Everyone that is, except for me.

Somehow, when they stopped, I just kept walking.  And I had no idea.  So I went on for about fifteen minutes, never realizing anything was out of the ordinary.  I can be slightly absent-minded.  Just slightly.  Finally, I reached the entrance/ exit of the zoo and turned to ask if we were leaving.  That’s when it hit me.

I was alone.  I was in a foreign country.  I was eight.  I didn’t know the language.  There wasn’t a way I could get help; there was nothing I could do.  And I was lost.  Very lost.

My head started reeling.  Where was my family?  Somewhere in the zoo?  Did they leave without me?  What should I do?    My thoughts drifted to a time in class we told stories about getting lost.  “If you’re ever lost, don’t go wandering around,” I remembered my teacher saying.  “Just stay put and let yourself get found.”

So that’s what I did.  I stayed right there, watching groups of Austrian school children and tourists float by.  None of them were lost.  When they got close enough I could hear parts of their conversations.  The words sounded so sharp, so unfamiliar to me.  Finally, I saw my mom walking towards me.

She explained everything that happened on the way to the restaurant.  I ate lunch, left the zoo with my family, and everything was fine.  When I first realized I was lost, I didn’t know what was going to happen or what to do, but once I was able to think clearly, I did the right thing and was found.


One thought on “J5: Lost in the Zoo

  1. Ahh, there’s always that world-spinning moment when you realize you’re lost huh? XD Don’t worry, you’re not alone in your absent-mindedness. Reading while walking is not a very good practice either, and getting so into a book that you lose track of time is not much better. ;D Good that you didn’t panic though. That’s one of the worst things to do when confronted with a situation. =P I can only bet how relieved your mom was when she found you.

    ~Michael Hollingworth
    Disce Ferenda Pati – Learn to endure what must be borne

    Liked by 1 person

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