Sorry Grasshopper, no Saturday quote today.
I want to finish off the story I started yesterday.
If you’re in a hurry, feel free to skip this Qigong Daily.
So where were we?
Ah, yes by the side of the motor way 50 miles outside of Marseille, getting back on the horse after our first brush with a sexual predator.
I dusted myself down and jumped into the car that had stopped illegally to pick me up.
He seemed nice enough.
Turns out he was a bed salesmen heading down to do a deal with a hotel in Juan les Pins. Now JLP is quite a bit east of Marseille, but as my main destination was Nice, I figured I go with the flow head to JLP instead.
I got to know the guy quite well on the journey.
He certainly didn’t make my spider senses tingle.
Show’s you how wrong you can be about someone though – and there’s a lesson right there for you.
He stopped off to get some lunch at a restaurant and asked if I wanted to join him. I explained my financial situation meant I couldn’t afford to ‘eat out’ and declined, he said everything was covered by company expenses so if I wanted a meal all I had to do was say yes.
Now remember, I’d been surviving for 3 weeks on a main menu of water, bread and a vitamin tablet a day. So the thought of a big warm meal was irresistible.
Shortly after lunch we hit JLP and my lift, we’ll call him Monsieur Buffet, explained he was heading to Nice after he’d finished his business.
If I wanted to hang around, he’d see me back at the car in 2 hours.
If not, then au revoir and bon voyage.
Don’t know what JLP is like now, but back in 1990 it was gorgeous, but I couldn’t afford to stay and I couldn’t find anywhere to pitch my flysheet. So 2 hours later I went back to meet Monsieur Buffet.
To my amazement he was there.
Good as his word.
And we set off to Nice which wasn’t that far at all.
On the way he explained his company had booked him into a hotel, but he was planning to stay with friends, so if I wanted I could have his room.
Seemed like a shame to waste a perfectly good bed for the night. It was certainly a step up from what I was used to.
So I said sure.
Okay, time out.
I can hear you.
You’re shouting at the screen telling me to run a mile from this guy.
And you’re right.
What can I say?
Didn’t you ever do anything dumb, rash or impulsive when you were younger?
I know you did.
Right back to the story.
Monsieur Buffet dropped me off outside the hotel. Reminded me the booking was under his name and wished me safe travels.
And then he was gone.
The hotel was mega. We’re talking serious cash. I felt as out of place in my scruffy shorts, t-shirt and backpack as a fart in a meditation class.
But the thought of a comfy bed for the night drove me on.
I booked in, no trouble and went to my room.
It was gorgeous, sea view, en-suite and it had 2 double beds, that fact will become important very soon.
I’d planned to get a shower and clean up, but as soon as I sat on the bed, I went to sleep.
A period of time later, the light went on in the room and I struggled back into a wakeful state. It was late and to my surprise Monsieur Buffet was standing there! He apologised for making me jump and explained it wasn’t convenient to stay at his friends and so he’d come to the hotel.
I wasn’t bothered, there were two beds, I’d grown to like the guy and in my defence the effects of malnutrition were kicking in. And my judgement was severely impaired.
I said sure and went back to sleep.
A period of time later I felt a tapping on my arm.
Suddenly I was wide awake. I knew something wasn’t right. I hoped if I continued to pretend to be asleep the problem would go away.
Tap, tap, tap.
Oh, I forgot to mention.
Monsieur Buffet was over 6ft and about 25 stone (350lbs).
And as I turned over to see what he wanted, he was completely naked.
That’s what I thought too.
He went on to make some suggestions about what he wanted to do to me, or that I could do to him if I wanted.
Luckily I still had all my clothes on, I rolled off the bed away from him and grabbed my backpack.
At the same time I threatened him with serious violence if he didn’t get out of my way. And I meant it. It was the first time I ever felt like that (though unfortunately not the last).
Things got a little nasty.
But I got out of the room in one piece.
However this night was far from finished with me.
After being accused of being a ‘rent boy’, manhandled by German security guards, and witnessing the devastating affects of a water canon on humans – I sold everything I had and bought a ticket home the very next day.
If we meet on a course or workshop I’ll tell you the full story of what happened later that night.
I can also tell you a dozen similar stories about my travels if you like.
Say, the night in Indonesia where I had to put scalpel blades in the floor to protect myself, or when I had to flee a hotel in Malaysia before Chinese gangsters came for me to name a few – it’s amazing I’m still alive to be honest.
But after all of my experiences, I still choose to believe that humans are decent and will go out of their way to help another human if they can.
And I promise, normal service will be resumed with tomorrow’s Qigong Daily.
Have a great weekend.
Bye for now