Back when we first moved to Malaysia, we had a eerily similar day of mismatched expectations. A new family friend said that he wanted to take our family out to the park for a walk. We were brand-new in town, and didn't know the park, but we got all dressed up, and headed out in his car.
It turns out that the "walk" he was planning on, while not 20 km in length, was in fact a jungle trail leading straight up a mountain.
This trail is one I've done many times in the years since then. Only at the times when I'm at my fittest can I actually make it to the top of this trail and back down without feeling ill--it is an intense climb, full of steep, uneven stairs and heavily rutted pathways. And...there are a lot of monkeys, ready to attack if you're foolish enough to bring any sustenance with you.
You have to remember, at the time of this "walk in the park," there were 6 of us kids between the ages of 13 and 2. In addition, we weren't dressed for nor were we wearing appropriate footwear for a serious hike.
Yep, that's a 4 year old you see clinging to a rope by herself. But it's Rebekah, so she was tough enough to handle a hike like this, even then.
This is now a cherished and exciting memory from days long past--but let it serve as a warning to others: When you're living in a different culture and you're not sure that you and your friends are speaking the same language, you might want to clarify the meaning of "a walk in the park" (or "a walk on the beach") before you actually embark on one. Either that, or wear sensible shoes at all times. That works too.
This is Day 21 in my 31 Days Series: 31 Days of Growing up in Malaysia}