Yesterday I was thinking to myself that I haven’t had a really good funny/scary story to tell about my year abroad yet and I also didn’t have a topic for my next blog. Today I stand by the maxim ‘Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it’.
Seeing as we all had the day off, Jo, Gun, Sarah, Ann-Kirk and myself decided to go café hopping in Metz and have a lovely day chatting. Moving from place to place, we were having a fantastic time and after quite a few hours and three cafés Ann-Kirk suggested that we move off caffeine onto alcohol and mosey on down to a great little wine bar she’d discovered a while back. We all heartily agreed and began the walk across town.
Ann and I walk quite fast so we were quite a bit ahead of the others and were deep in conversation about something or other. Now this wine bar was a little further into the suburban part of Metz than I’d been before so the streets were a little narrower and there were fewer people about as you’d expect. On the other side of the little side street Ann and I were walking on, there were two men. The first man was unremarkable – I can’t remember a thing about him apart from the fact that he may or may not have possibly been going slightly bald. The second man was the biggest black guy I’ve seen in a while and I was just about to turn to Ann and remark on the fact that I wouldn’t like to meet him on a dark night when he turned to us, pointed at my bag and said "Je prends ça." (I’m taking that).
We stood very very still, petrified and not quite able to comprehend what was going on it was all so surreal. The guy was a little hard to understand, speaking three words and then pausing no matter where he was in the sentence and so we strained to hear whether he was telling us how he was going to smash our faces into the pavement or just take the bag and stroll off.
He then asked us if we smoked, to which I hesitantly replied that I did. I then realised that the skank wanted to bum a cigarette from me. Now I usually smoke mini cigars and I can quite safely say that he wouldn’t have taken one of those, not many people do. Thank the Lord however, that I’d bought a pack of Gauloises only days previously.
I tentatively took the packet from my bag, opened it, pulled back the foil and held the fags in his general direction. He then said that he "couldn’t take one like that" and mumbled something about his fingers being fat or something so I pulled a cigarette from the pack and held it out to him.
He took it. He smiled. He commented that Ann looked tired, and promptly walked off. It was only then that the others caught up to us and enquired as to why we’d been talking to such a scary scary man.
Ann and I were understandably dazed by this encounter and so I grabbed the offending pack of cigarettes and proceeded to smoke myself calm. We then went for that glass of wine we so desperately needed. I had a nice, full-bodied red to sooth my nerves.
Yes – smoking kills. But a pack of 20 Gauloises saved my teeth from possibly being distributed about a side street in Metz.