Madness in Munich

 “Let’s get in the car and go anywhere the mood takes us!” shouted Zuma. It was summer on the mountain at Zuma’s cabin retreat and the stuffy air was getting too much for the little dog. He bounded around on his human’s lap, tail in the air, wagging and yapping with excitement and ran off to get his lead and blankey indicating it was time to go.

Inside the car cool air blew from its vents, giving comfort from the humidity outside. Zuma continued to bounce on the back seat, barking out directions for his human to follow. One bark for left, two for straight on and three for right and impatiently pining louder as they got closer to their destination.

“Wilkommen in München” (Welcome to Munich) the sign said as they entered the big city just three hours after leaving home. The car pulled up into a cosy spot close to the centre, the door popped open and out jumped Zuma ready for his adventure in this new city.

Thick clouds lay overcast and while it looked as though it could rain at any minute the humidity was stifling and with each breath Zuma took, what felt like wet fire engulfed his throat and lungs.

“I need water.” He thought to himself. “How silly of me not to think to remind my human to bring my water bottle. And to be honest what use is a blanket in this kind of heat?” Rolling his eyes, he dragged his blankey over to his human, who folded and popped it into her rucksack.

 “Right!” He barked. “Let’s find water!” And holding a folded map in his mouth, human trailing behind, head held high, tail wagging wide he trotted towards the old town within the city. “Doo be dooo, tra laaalaaa. Doo bee do be doooooo.” Zuma sang to himself with all the confidence in the world as he trotted along the busy main road that circled the old part of the city. Dodging trams, small cars and weaving in and out between electric scooters silently whizzing by. “Wow!” He mumbled to himself. “You gotta watch out for those ones. They’ll get you if you don’t look properly.” He passed beautifully constructed old buildings, a giant, ornately fronted designed building that must only be the Haupt Bahnhof (main station) of Munich and then a park. This park had and extremely large fountain. “Water!” shouted Zuma, through the map he’s still holding in his mouth, and curious, he quickened his pace towards the piercing blue lagoon way up in front.

His approach was hasty, hoping to get a taste of the pure cool water and as he got closer the shape of the fountain became clear. Two imposing creatures, one horse and one cow high above him with humans riding them, sat proud on either side on top of the fountain. Zuma pinned his ears back and cowered close to the ground in search of his human for reassurance. Water flowed over the centre of two tiered cups between the creatures and squirted out from what appeared to be frog mouths into a half moon shape and collected at the bottom. Zuma quickly curled around his human’s legs unsure of what the wide mouthed frogs would do if he took another step forward. The water churned and bubbled as it splashed from the fountain.

 “This just ain’t for me.” Sighed Zuma. “it’s far too splashy to get a good lick.” And he slid off, dragging his human along to consult his map for another place to find water.

“This way!” He barked pointing to a new place on the map. “it’s a park!” He shouted back at his human. “The map shows a big green square, so that means there must be water there.” Zuma marched off, cutting his way through the old town of Munich, dodging passed other tourists taking photos and posing for selfies as he dashed through the city. Every once in a while, he turned to check on his human to make sure she was keeping up and rolled his eyes while she fumbled with her rucksack, filled with Zuma’s belongings as it bounced around on her back.

“Ahhh, here it is!” Zuma ground to a halt and allowed his human to catch up and continued to trot through an archway once she had reached him and caught her breath. The stone arch opened up into a beautifully manicured garden. Flower beds adorned the edges of each grassed section with pathways that pointed towards a raised section in the centre. Park benches were dotted around the pathways where tourists sat, enjoyed the ambience, talked with friends and others walked their pets. Zuma had no interest in any of these things, just focused on the tall round raised building in the centre of the park.

“That place will have water, I’m sure.” He pointed, looking back at his human. Desperate for a taste of wet in his mouth and chomping his jowls, he dashed forward, gathered speed, leaped over other pets and small children, span in mid air and landed four paws spread wide in the middle of a string quartet setting up for a concert. The surprised musicians gasped as music stands, sheet music scattered in all directions and people scrambled to stop instruments from falling to the ground.

“Where’s the water! Where’s the water.” Zuma snapped and bounced in circles looking for somewhere to drink. In the time it took for him to realise the chaos he had caused; his human grabbed him and scooped him up.

“it’s a bandstand Zuma.” She said softly as she, embarrassed by the kafuffle, ushered him out of the park. Leaving the musicians confused as to what had just happened.

“I’m so thirsty!” Zuma cried as he snuffled at his map once more. “Where can I get a drink around here?”

He studied the map one more time and could see at the other end of the park to the left was another green area with plenty of blue in it. “Uhhhh, If that’s not water.” He growled, “Then I’m a pink pussy cat.” Annoyed with himself and the lack of water he stomped on, remembering to take in some of the sights of the park as he trotted on, human chasing behind.

Clack, clack, clack went his paws on the concrete, tongue lolling from his mouth, eyes rolling with thirst. “It’s super-hot.” He thought to himself. “I’m totally melting.” He gasped some more as he began to slow his pace as he tired from the heat, until he came to a stop. Human close behind, Zuma raised his paws in the air, signalling to his human he couldn’t go on any longer. And as she approached, picked him up into her arms and continued following the map.

“I can’t go on.” He moaned.

They turned one corner and then another and then silence as cool air rushed over them both. He looked up, eyes rolling around in his head, delirious from thirst, he surveyed his surroundings. Grass, trees, ducks.

“Ducks!” Zuma’s second wind returned. “There’re ducks here? Ducks can mean only one thing. Water!”

He bounced out of his human’s arms, sniffing the air to follow which ever duck he could see. The grass under foot felt damp as he followed a green headed duck with a fancy white collar. Damper and then wet and wet became…………

“Water!” He shouted, jumping into the clearest stream of the most silent, tranquil liquid he had ever seen. Scooping it up with his two front paws and splashing it over his head. Licking up as much as he could, he didn’t care what he looked like or even worried about scaring off the ducks. He needed that liquid in his body and now.

Moments went by with Zuma as he made the most of the quality H2O. He didn’t realise the noise he was making. He didn’t notice how smooth the water flowed, how clear it was and how all the ducks appeared to be floating as their feet were so visible under them. What he did hear as he slowed from gulping down water was people cheering, loud splashy water and the noise of something familiar to hm. He gazed up. Paused from his thirst-quencher. Tilted his head as his attention was drawn away from the cold liquid to something fun and familiar to him.

“Mmmmm.” He thought, eyes narrowed, ears pinned back. “What’s going on over there?” He padded his way over, wiping water dribble from his chin, curious as to what was going on. Head tilting from side to side, still curious as he saw gushing water as people bobbed past at great speed. “That can’t be right?” He questioned. “Uh? I see people in wetsuits, carrying surf boards.” Still confused. “But we’re in a city. There’s no ocean here? Is there?” Closer drawn to the activity to get a better look, he jumped up and tried to walk on his hind legs to appear taller, he could see. He shook his head in disbelief as he saw a gushing river before him with a dip. On that dip formed the most perfect surfable wave he had ever seen. Unlike the huge monstrous waves, he was used to at Guincho Beach, these were small and perfectly formed, much like Zuma himself. Surfers lined up along the riverbank to take their turn, throwing in their boards first and jumping in on top to catch the flow of water. Spectators gasping or cheering depending on how well and how long the surfer, surfed.

 

Open mouthed, Zuma stared for ages, shaking his head in awe of what he’s saw. “Well, well.” He muttered, stunned at the merriment in front of him. “Keep an open mind. You just never know what to expect when you visit a new city.”