CRISTINA (26 november 2006)
Judging from certain programs I see on television, there is a general interest in methods that are used to rob our fellow-men of their hard-earned cash.
The third click refers to a near-robbery in Romania. But the previous day had not exactly been very quiet either. I had rented an apartment in Bucharest at Boulevard Nicolae Balcescu. I'd read that a tourist in Bucharest ran a good chance of being robbed one way or another (at least at the time). Consequently, I had taken a few precautions.
The apartment looked as if it had recently been vacated; there were still many things present that must have belonged to the former inhabitants. A cubicle at the back of the kitchen was filled with large piles of old paper. I had to think of G. K. Chesterton, who answered the question "where would a wise man hide a leaf?" with "in a forest". So you'll probably understand where I hid my valuable papers ...
I was just preparing Nescafé when there was a knock on the door. When I opened it, I saw a young woman who introduced herself as Cristina. She had heard there was a Dutchman in the apartment and she came to see if it happened to be the Dutchman that she knew.
Well, I wasn't, was I? But maybe, she had something for me. She got out a plastic bag filled with Dutch coins. They were of no use to her here in Romania. Would I perhaps be interested? For some time, however, people in Holland had been paying with euros, instead of the Dutch coins she had in her bag. My answer visibly disappointed her.
Cristina seemed to be hesitant to leave. I saw her look around -- as if she was looking for anything that might be of value.
I was almost sure Cristina would never find my money and I invited her for coffee. In the kitchen she opened the fridge (where many people seem to hide their valuables). But whatever she may have been looking for, it wasn't there.
She went on searching on shelves and in drawers. When I inquired what she was after she said she was looking for sugar. She also searched for the milk in the most improbable places. But finally she gave up and we drank coffee together.
It is not very likely Cristina will ever read this, but if she does, she'll finally know where the loot had been stashed.
If she'd only read Chesterton ...