Friday, July 8, 2011

Foreign Fears

I was 17 years old and on a family vacation in Berlin, Germany several years ago, and we were getting ready for bed in our hotel rooms. Normally I, my parents, and my siblings stay in one room, but for fire hazard reasons, this hotel didn’t allow for 6 people to sleep in the same room. So my parents and little brother stayed in one room, and my brother, sister and I stayed in the adjacent hotel room next to theirs. I was fast asleep, but around 2 am, I was awakened by the sound of our doorknob jiggling as if someone were trying to come in. I just ignored the sound and tried to fall back asleep, but I was clearly shaken up and covered in sweat. I convinced myself that I had merely imagined it, but sure enough the jiggling on the door handle persisted again, debunking any of my imagination. I didn’t know what to do because I was in a foreign country, my siblings were asleep, and I feared that waking them up would draw attention to us. I didn’t know how to operate the room phone to call the front desk nor could I speak any German, and my parents were in the other room.

I coaxed my older brother to wake up, but he didn’t believe me. I can remember how utterly helpless I felt when this was all going on; it was like in the movies when everyone around you is skeptical of something that you heard. I remember there were very loud helicopters overhead for some reason, and I remember how I was sweating and burning up underneath the covers. I eventually fell back asleep and everything was fine the next morning. Luckily we stayed at a hotel in another town the next day so I never slept in that room again, but I never found out who that was trying to get in our hotel room that night. Freaky.

No comments: