It was a Friday and a rush hour. I was rushing to get home on time to pick up my younger son at the afterschool day care. The school gates are usually closed by 6.30PM; hence, I had to be in school before then.
When I drove out of the parking area of my office building and headed for the roads, I could not believe my eyes. What the #$@&! Where did all the cars come from? There were more cars than usual that evening.
Then something pretty weird happened at the crossroads.
As soon as the traffic lights turned red, a man walked to the middle of the road and distributed “something” to the drivers. Most of the drivers wound down their car windows and reached out for that “something” from the mystery man. When the man approached my stagnant car, I did the same – wound down my car window.
I had experienced this kind of stops before with some job students handing out samples or little try-out cans of beverage (e.g. pepsi max, coke zero, minute maid orange juice, etc) sachets of instant soup and cookies for free; however, that evening was different. The man definitely did not look like a job student at all.
I got a piece of green-coloured paper with a printed note – a plea, rather – with a rather faded pictures of children.
Here’s the original message, in the Dutch language.
For the non-Dutch readers, here’s the translation in English.Madam, Sir I am a refugee and I have 3 children. I am not working. We have nothing to eat. I have problems with paying the (house) rent, the electricity and the gas. We need help with some money. In return for your help, I grant you God’s grace that He protects you from harm and misfortune.
A chain letter? Then this must be one live chain letter!
Did I “delete” it?
Shucks! The light was still red.
Then I heard a knock on my window.
Should I, or should I not?
I knew what he wanted anyway.
By the way, I wasn’t the only ‘victim’. I reached for my purse, and I heard the man saying “two”. I did not know what he meant by that. Strange, but true, I had only a 2 Euro coin in my purse! I handed the 2 Euro to the man. He had really cold hands. Brrrrrr…..
Who was that man?
A soothsayer? An undercover social scientist? A beggar mafia?
Beats me. I have never come across such episode before and what intrigued me most is that the incident happened just a week before the Belgian Provincial and Munipical elections. Erm…. this must be Belgium! 😉
The traffic lights turned green. Whew! About time. I dashed homeward bound. I was glad I reached the school on time to pick up my son.
While driving, I couldn’t help thinking what happened just minutes before. It’s as if I could (still) feel the man’s cold hand on mine. Chilly and creepy at the same time….
Have a good week ahead!