Hello Peeps, it’s me PaDi. I wanted to tell you about some of my experiences meeting new friends on my travels. Yellow Bean Ducks are not shy, so it is quite easy to find someone interesting to quack to, and perch with for a while.
When we travelled to Cape Town, one of the things we did was go on a harbour cruise from the V&A Waterfront. My parents chose the Tigress Catamaran as our cruiser and we all settled in to enjoy the super weather . Out of the harbour we sailed, and on into the bay. My mom was trying to take a photo of me with the seals lying on the buoy near us, which got some attention not from the seals, but from a lovely couple who were on the Cat with us. The friendly lady even offered to hold me while my mom got her photo, which was very kind. Friendly Lady’s husband also wanted a turn and smiled all the time while he held me up so that I could see the seals nicely! I also got to ride on the Skipper’s shoulder as he steered Tigress across the bay in front of the impressive Football Stadium and Table Mountain, and back into the harbour. Captain Emile, thank you, you’re an officer and a gentleman!
In Europe we went to Vienna in Austria, and one of our first excursions was on the Danube Canal Cruise. Sadly being winter, the Danube River is closed for cruises so we made do with the canal instead which was still fun with plenty to see, particularly the colourful paintings on the canal walls. I think my dad said it was Grafeetee, but I didn’t see him in person, I only saw the artworks he had drawn. When I had went out on the deck to catch a bit of the cold breeze, I met some nice ladies who oohed and aahed when they saw me sitting on the rail, and asked my name. My mom told them and then they said I simply had to meet Charles, and I did! Charles the Spaniel from England was now my new friend! The two ladies seemed very glad that Charles now had someone to talk to, I think he was a bit bored in the young lady’s pocket and also wanted to be out on the deck. Just before we got off the boat, we got to meet the Captain! We asked if I could get a photo with him, and suddenly his face lit up in a sunny smile and he popped me on his shoulder. So this is Captain Mattias next to a photo of Charles.
Now Yellow Bean Ducks are not native to the icy regions of the world, so when I heard my mom call me an “Icebreaker”, I didn’t really understand what she meant. She did say it very affectionately, which was nice, so maybe she is just happy with me for being able to meet new people so easily and get them talking to us. So in the meantime I will take it that an Icebreaker is a good thing to be, and I will wait till we go to either the Arctic or Antarctica one day to see if Yellow Bean Duck relatives live there, cracking ice and making themselves useful. Maybe then I can join in the Icebreaking too, sounds fun!
While we were in Vienna we also visited a fabulous place called Haus Des Meeres where we saw all sorts of fish, snakes, birds, animals and other weird things. It’s an “Aqua Terra Zoo” so maybe that explains it better. My highlight was meeting a very pretty little Japanese girl who had a PaDi all of her own! The girl’s duck was bigger than me but she seemed pretty fascinated by my plump bean body. Unfortunately her Yellow Flat Duck spoke only Japanese so we couldn’t talk much but it was cool to meet him and his cute mother.
In Prague we were treated to a delicious dinner in the Municipal House’s Plzenska Restaurant, that serves traditional Czech food. I got to taste bread “Dum-pling” which is a bit different to the bread I usually eat, but still nice. Mom gave me some money to tip the waiters, and the manager Alex allowed me to have a photo taken with him and my dad! What nice manners the young man has! He asked my name and made sure all the other waiters saw us together which I think made them pretty jealous, even though they hid it behind smiles and laughs.
When we visited Nuremberg Zoo I had so much fun taking photos with all the animal statues so I think I will have to make Statues a story for another day. My highlight was seeing a Manatee for the very first time, what an amazing and beautiful creature that is! I couldn’t get close enough to touch Mr Manatee because he was very busy patrolling his underwater area, so I went to meet Soft Manatee instead. What a lovely fellow he was, telling me all about eating sea grass which sounded quite yummy. He introduced me to Seal who was also very cuddly and said hello in a funny language. It sort of sounded like Quack but with an “R” in it, so more like Quark, which Mom translated as Bark. She’s very clever , my mom, she even speaks German! Do all seals speak German though, or is it only the brown ones? Do they learn it as pups? I must Google it.
One more friend from our European trip was Huff, the handsome dark horse belonging to the policeman in Milan. Huff’s owner was not so friendly, but he was being photographed by loads of tourists in the street – at least he probably thought it was him being noticed, but I think it was really Huff and his friend that were getting peoples’ attention. Both horses looked quite cross at all the fuss. Anyway, I stroked the horse’s shoulder and he turned his head, I was afraid he might bite me but when he saw it was me he immediately pricked his ears. I said “I’m PaDi” and he said “Huff” with a bit of Italian flaring of his nostrils, and we became friends.
Okay that’s all for now, I will find you again soon somewhere on the road or in the water.