The first tuft of grass in Poland

Six months after we were originally supposed to land in Poland (when the virus hit us), we suddenly get the news that the borders have opened. We decide to take our chance. Everybody makes a last-minute trip to the bathroom. We play Tetris trying to fit everything in the car. Everything fits! Oh, and the dog also needs to do his business. Finally, everyone is in the car.

Queues and queues of chaos, because somehow it seems as if people have forgotten how to use airports. We receive instructions on where to drop off Jabu, our dog. I feel my heart sinking. How is he supposed to understand this? Is the cage big enough? Will he be safe with all the turbulence? What if there are delays and he needs to pee? Pee! He still needs to do his business one last time! Hubby takes him outside, frantically looking for a patch of grass that is non-existent.

At the drop-off point we struggle to get Jabu into his cage. Where is the dry wors? My daughter even tries to get into the cage to lure him in. He refuses to budge. My daughter does not want to get out of the cage. My patience is wearing thin. My nerves are spent. We finally manage to lure her out with a lollipop and get him inside with a piece of fish. I have to fight against the tears.

With every bounce and bump during the flight I think about Jabu and his documentation, what if something is missing? I frantically check the paperwork just to make sure everything is in order.

We finally touch down. We are here. I still don’t know how we managed to get got from the aeroplane to the luggage area, it is still hazy. My eyes dart around in search of an information desk. It is like a ghost town, there are hardly any lights on. I can’t understand anything I’m reading. I resort to Google Translate, but I first need to access the Wi-Fi. For goodness’s sake, it is also in Polish! Ah, an English flag. I notice a woman in uniform, she looks important!

I “woof-woof” to explain what I am looking for, but then I remember that dogs bark differently in other languages. I “bow-wow” in German for good measure. Just before I resort to going down on all fours, she stops me and indicates in broken English that she can understand me. That dogs go “hau-hau” in Polish. She takes me to where he is supposed to appear. There is Jabu!

At customs it is time for paperwork. And how the Polish love paperwork – almost as much as the fish moths in your grandmother’s linen cupboard. I yank out his documents and shove it into a uniform’s hands. She speaks English! She is so sweet. His paperwork is in order. She just needs to check his temperature to make sure there is nothing noticeably wrong with him. My heart misses a beat … He will never survive quarantine – WE almost didn’t survive it! I’m reluctant to let him out, I know even with all the biltong in the world we will not be able to get him back into that cage.

We open the door, and our lovable mutt showers us with licks from head to toe. The woman gives him the green light. I feel like giving her a hug! She recoils. I step back, thank her, and walk away.  

My bladder is full and takes it out on my legs. They refuse to function. But it will have to wait for a few more minutes, Jabu is looking for his first tuft of grass in Poland.

ALSO READ: Language bloopers abroad

Similar Posts