german yin and yang.

a tranquil moment in a stormy sea
a tranquil moment in a stormy sea

First, I am in a hurry. I usually edit these things for typos and to make sure they make sense and I don’t say anything too bizarre or off-kilter (which I am notorious for doing). But I have no time. I am about to go back into the fray again.

I have been through a battle, but without the lasting psychological negative effects (possibly). My lower back aches. My thighs and calves are groaning. My feet, when I put them on the floor just now to go get this laptop, were all: Seriously, Amy?? Surely you’re joking.

And we’ve only been to one park, you guys. There are two more we’ve scheduled, and four more days of this.

If you know me well then you’ll know that 6 days out of 7 I’m a pretty even-keeled, calm, sweet, rational person. I go with the flow, I don’t really care what the frickin’ schedule is just tell me where to be when to be there what to wear how to act what I need to do. You lead, I’m fine following; it’s less stressful. I don’t lose my temper too often, and when I do I’m usually able to contain it so it’s just an internal raging that I wait to let out until I’m somewhere private where no small animals will be freaked out. It’s that 7th day that’s a doozy. Particularly if, on that 7th day, it’s very hot outside, I’m in a crowded place, and my phone’s battery is about to die and I have a whiny child with me who doesn’t care about Germany or the Great Wall of China; she met all the princesses and now she just wants to go swimming. And didn’t want to wear her magic band even though it was magic and had her information on it and all the things in case she gets lost and/or needs something to eat and to get back into her hotel room. Magic is stupid, at 5:00 pm after you’ve walked all day and met all the princesses and aren’t getting to swim at a hotel pool which is what you really came here for anyway.

To my credit, I did not lose my temper in any way that would make small animals nervous. I just got down on my knees so I could be at child-level and used my very-controlled, very-low, I’m-really-working-hard-not-to-do-something-in-public-right-now-to-you-that-will-get-me-arrested voice. Which I find is far more effective than screaming.

But it also made the happiest place on Earth a tad less happy for about an hour while we tried to get the heck out of there. At some point, you just have to say: you know what? This park is awesome and all, but it’s really more for adults. I think Disney could totally do that with Epcot and still make billions of dollars hands over fist. Because that is how I will now sum up our Epcot experience: more for adults.

Yes, there are children out there who would be fascinated by China and Germany and all the different countries, I’m sure. This does not change the fact I am now convinced Epcot was built with adults in mind and all the Phineas and Ferb and cute Nemo and princesses stuff is really just so parents can feel justified about why they’re drinking their way around a theme park on a sunny morning at 9:00 am. Seriously, I am not even joking: you can literally drink your way around the world, once you hit the the World Showcase area. I know, because at about 5:00 PM we’d hit Germany and I finally understood the need for Oktoberfest.

God bless you, fake Germany.

I had a beer, is what I’m telling you. I had a beer. Not because it was hot, not because I was thirsty, not because I was in faux Germany. But because the only way I was going to make it, at that point, back to that big ass white ball at the front of Epcot was if I had a beer first.

On the other hand, there were moments of magic. Disney is diabolical. I cannot even tell you how many times, over the last 24 hours or so I’ve looked around and gone: these people should be running the planet. I mean, they clearly RULE the planet; now they should just be responsible for everything that happens on it. They are a machine. They are a well-oiled, very precise machine, and I seriously think they pull in a trillion dollars per day. I think they’ve far surpassed The Vatican, which I’ve been told has more riches than all the world. They could completely wipe out all the world’s debt while eradicating poverty and hunger. And they’d do it with a magical fireworks/light show while teaching love and acceptance and how to dream big.

Which, for someone like me, is why you’re totally going to get all my billions of dollars if I ever get that many. I am a terrible sucker for dreaming big and magic. Terrible. I mean, you guys. We took a time travel ride up the big, fancy, white disco ball and I cried. I cried. And then, when we were at the Crush Talk place where you get to talk to the sea turtle from Finding Nemo, Miss M and I sat on the floor in front of a big tank of two manatees because my mom went to the bathroom so we knew it was going to be awhile, and we were tired of standing and it was the ONE place there that was actually kind of quiet and calm. And it was magical. (The two manatees were rescues – one’s tail had been chopped off by boat motors. Stupid humans.) I could probably sit for hours in front of a big tank of majestic, gentle giants like that and just watch them. It was literally my favorite moment of all of Epcot.

After our meltdown in China and a beer in Germany, Miss M and I were done. We went back to the hotel and had a rest and a swim. But we were scheduled for a fireworks/light show at 8:40. So, refreshed, we went back. We were hardened soldiers and we went back into the fray. (Which is not that difficult, because they drive you everywhere. I have no idea where I am or how to get anywhere here, because they drive us around in big buses everywhere.) And we had another meltdown. Because mommy can’t read maps, and we thought we’d have time to eat before the show but no because the line was queuing right then get over here, even if you have a Fast Pass (another brilliant concept that could totally make this planet run more efficiently).

At any rate, my point is: the fireworks and light show was amazing – I totally get, now, why people become addicted to Disney. Disney understands storytelling. And they do it in a way that will turn a grown up who didn’t get quite enough beer and is really sad she didn’t get to have fish and chips in faux England and is standing on aching feet and really really REALLY would like to crawl in bed, into a big, gooey dreamer who freaking loves the entire world for about 20 minutes or whatever and can see all the love and light and goodness.

And then it’s time to go! Park’s closing! You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here! Hit the road, Jack, and come back with your money tomorrow!

The mass of humanity as we left was astonishing. ASTONISHING. And that was only .000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of all the people in the world. I see things like that and think: wow, there are a LOT of people on this planet. And then I watch one try to steal a rented stroller and a Disney worker calmly look at him, point to a stroller return thing, and silently go: I see what you’re doing there you sneak – park it over there, and the guy look at the Disney worker calmly, return the stroller to the return thing, and silently go: Oh, heh, yeah you caught me dammit. And that’s when I think: there are too many goddamned people on this planet, and about half of them are sneaks. THAT’S the problem.

Anyway. It was a day of yin and yang, and we never figured out how to save the pandas from Doofenschmurtz’s Depandinator. But I had a German beer, served to me by two German boys with cute accents who tried to give me a hard time when I couldn’t pronounce the beer I wanted until I just looked at them and went: “Does it matter? I’m not really here for a certain KIND of beer from your land; I actually need alcohol. RIGHT NOW.” And they went: “OOOOOOHHHH!!!” and served it right up. I think they overfilled it on purpose, too.

There were friendly people at Epcot (like the man who offered to let me sample some of his grapefruit German beer when I walked up to him in desperation and asked where he’d located the beers in his hands), and there were some butthead people at Epcot (like the Disney worker who kind of snipped at Miss M who needed a Phineas & Ferb clue from her…but god, I understood that girl’s impatience at that point). And there were a lot of people. A LOT OF PEOPLE. And there were magical moments at Epcot (like the fireworks show and the quiet moment with manatees) and not so magical moments (like when M spilled an entire bag of German caramel popcorn all over a sidewalk in France).

This is proooobably why I prefer beach vacations – you just sit on sand and occasionally venture out into the water, praying Jaws doesn’t eat you that day. But it’s still amazingly magical, and there are moments I get to see my sweet girl completely happy, and so this is good. This is very good.

Today we’re going to Hollywood Studios to do something with Star Wars. I hope I meet Kylo Ren, because I really feel like I understand him now.

8:00 am! excited! happy! anticipation! hakuna matata!


5:00 pm. hot. tired. spilled popcorn. i will go sailing no more.