As I had a hair appointment this afternoon I decided to go into town early to stop at the bank beforehand to get some cash. Since I was really early I figured I had enough time to have a drink before walking over to the hairdresser's. When I got to the café I spotted a guy called Stephan who I used to see quite a bit when Stan had his little bar in the village. Now Stephan has the most piercing blue eyes I have ever seen and was probably a pretty handsome guy in his time, but the Stephan I got to know was just plain weird. He was obviously pretty intelligent and spoke several languages, but for some reason he got it into his head that as I was English it was ok to speak to me in German. I know some German but in the end I had to tell him "hey, I'm English ok. If you want to speak English to me fine, but please quit with the German"! It didn't work though - I reckon it was just his way of showing off. I came to find out later from Stan that Stephan - who is about my age - had worked as a language teacher but had been placed on a disability pension some years ago (due to schizophrenia I think). While that was sad he had a more than decent pension and in any case he lived with his wealthy parents in town and wanted for nothing. He was also, sad to say, an alcoholic and alcohol had obviously ravaged his looks over time. Still, I got on ok with Stephan - or at least that is until my husband moved out. At that point he must have seen me as a good target and I remember being shocked one time when he asked if he could borrow €100. I decided to give it to him, writing it off to myself as a bad loan, but to be fair he paid me back about a month later. Stan told me I was a fool as Stephan probably had more money than I did but at least I learned from the experience. Shortly thereafter Stephan again asked me for €100 but this time I just said no, that I was not a bank, and that if he needed money I suggest he speak to his parents! Then, I found out that his parents took his car off him because of his drink-driving, so while it is more than feasible to walk up from town to my little village, after that I didn't see him very often unless he came to Stan's with his dad.
A few months later I saw him again and he had the nerve to ask if he could rent a room from me "because you've got this big house with so many bedrooms", saying that he was tired of living with his parents. Thank God I learned long ago that "no" is a complete sentence, rather than faff around trying to find excuses. So I simply told him that it had taken me a long time to gain my independence and that I treasured my privacy so sorry, but the answer was no - regardless of how many bedrooms I might have! Actually, another guy contacted me about the same time asking if he could rent my camper and live in my driveway when my ex moved out. This guy lived about 200 metres from me with his stepfather in an identical house to mine but yet he wanted to live in my camper? So I wrote back saying that I had bought my camper for my personal use so the answer was no! I already had him figured, I reckon, because when I would want to be out in my camper he would be thinking he could move into my house - and then presumably never move out again! Not long after that Stephan phoned me, but since I had an idea as to why he was phoning I never answered and that seemed to be the end of it. That is, until today!
As I mentioned above, I was early for my hair appointment and I went off to have a drink, and that was when I spotted Stephan, who said hallo to me. I figured after all this time it would be ignorant not speak to him so I sat and ordered a drink for him and me and we chatted for a while. He told me that one of the guys I used to see at Stan's was a relative of his and had died about 18 months ago of a heart attack at the young age of 52. I was shocked as he and his partner were pretty nice people - but 52!!! He'd been walking in the mountains when he had the heart attack, but even the air ambulance was unable to save him. What a shock! Anyway, as I went to pay I saw Stephan look at my wallet - and that's when he asked if he could "borrow" €10 to "buy some smokes"! Damn, any time I ever saw him in town he would be at the bar, and he must have smoked five cigarettes while I was with him! He told me he would stop by on Saturday to give me the money back but as I don't want him coming to my house I told him I would be out and that he was welcome to keep it. But there you go, never again. He's a user and I just can't be bothered with this shit any more!
So then, as I was walking back to my car, guess who came running up behind me - if you guessed "white van man" you'd be right. If you remember, he was asking for "a few coins in order to get out of here" when I was doing my shopping last Thursday. It's not as though he needed money for the parking because parking was free - and then I saw him in the shop with a €50 note. Nope, this time he was "€2.30 short and needed to buy his train ticket". I was a bit more with it for once so I asked him where his van was .... and at that he just ran off. Next I saw him at the Post Office pulling the same stunt. Damn I get so fed up of these people!
Anyway, after that I seemingly had no choice but to head off down to the gym to sign up for the year. It's a bit weird at the moment because if you want a shower you have to "book it" in advance as only so many people are allowed in the locker rooms at once. I also have to let them know via their app that I'm intending to go the gym (because of contact tracing), but I guess these measures won't last for ever. So there will be nowhere to leave your valuables because the lockers are out of bounds, no showers and the need to use a contact tracing app to boot. Still, I signed up anyway and have my appointment with a coach on 15 September (I think). But get this, as I was walking out I heard a voice behind me asking if I had a spare mask. Oh damn, here we go again. But when I turned round it was a young girl who I reckon had forgotten her mask and couldn't get in to the gym without one. As luck would have it I had put a spare mask in my bag so just this once I didn't mind handing it over!
When I got back home my neighbour (the wife) was out front of her house so I stood and chatted to her for a while. So then, as I'm sick and tired of her husband's "aw shucks did I park in your driveway again" routine, I thought "in for a penny" and said "would you mind asking Jan not to park in my driveway when he comes next time only it's getting to be pretty annoying having to ask him or your husband to move when I come home". She was surprised and said she hadn't realized they were doing that because "oh you know men, they don't think". So I just said "well thankfully we're here to think for them, but just so you know, I'm getting fed up of having to ask them to move off my driveway when I come home with my groceries". Not that I should have to have an excuse like groceries for wanting to be able to park in my own driveway of course - but at least it's a start don't you think!
That white van guy is scary. I do not like such coincidences but, I guess you live in a comparatively small town. Apparently, he is getting away with his scheme so, he is hanging around. I wish someone would call the cops and file a complaint. At least, he would have a record.ReplyDelete
I am glad you spoke to your neighbor lady. You are a very patient person.
This particular white van man is obviously a scam artist. He wasn't threatening at all but damn I'm sick of it. I used to always feel guilty because of their sob stories. Now I don't. As for my neighbour, I love her to bits and want to stay civil with them, but I'm getting sick of him and his BS!Delete
There are a couple of folks around here in the same car who go from parking lot to parking lot. Every time the tale is "I just got a call, my mom is in the emergency room in Montgomery (about 100 miles south) and I don't have enough money for gas to get there." The first time I heard it I was willing to help. I am not a hard hearted creature so I told them even though I had no cash I would be happy to fill their tank at the gas station across the street. I drove across the street and did not see them again until few weeks later when they came up to me as I was getting in the car with the same story.ReplyDelete
That was a good answer to them. I'm not hard-hearted either but I'm finally seeing that they are scam artists. I remember once in the supermarket parking lot I was asked to sign a petition against female genital mutilation - I mean who wouldn't sign that right? And then of course they wanted a donation, but if I gave them an extra €10 they could buy polio vaccines also. At that point the police came screeching into the parking lot and they ran off!Delete
Oh Anna I know exactly where you are coming from. When I worked I had other colleagues asking me repeatedly how to do things which roughly translated meant you do it you're much quicker. Then I spat my dummy well and truly out. I asked if they received existing packet each month for work they did. They replied yes. I then said so do I and strangely enough I dont get more money because I do your work for you. End of conversation.My higher office heard me and sheepishly slid away because he was just as bad.ReplyDelete
I've never been confrontational but when you've had enough you've had enough so good for you, that was a great answer!Delete
What a weird bunch of requests for money!ReplyDelete
Things like this are part of the reason that I am not too upset about having to stay home most of the time. Quite frankly, I'm not that fond of a great deal of humanity and am pretty happy with my own company and that of my husband's. If that's self-centered, then so be it.
Some people have no shame do they, but white van man is obviously a scam artist. As for Stephan I can't remember what he asked for one time but I simply said that if I wanted another son I would adopt one - he didn't like that either. I so agree with you - leave me alone and then nobody will bother me. I am (slowly) learning not to be such a sucker, though it goes against the grain!Delete
I'm creeped out hearing your story about Stephan. Ish and Ewe come to mind, but I guess I should have patience if he has a mental illness.The white van guy though-sounds like a type that could go from annoying scam into dangerous scam man. I think I agree with T'Pol that an alert call to the local police might be a good idea.ReplyDelete
Stephan gets decent money apparently, but if he spends it all on cigarettes and booze it won't last long (ask me ex-husband how I know that). As for the scam artist, I'm not sure what the cops can do since it's not illegal to ask for a few coins if you "just happen to be short at the moment". As I said previously I think he is one of the gypsies that camp round here for seasonal work so hopefully should be moving on soon.Delete
Stephen's stuck on a sympathy bender I suspect. People feel sorry and... well... there you have it.ReplyDelete
Over here there is much of a focus on a tracking app, which I kind of appreciate.
If Stephan is my age his parents have probably got to be in their 80s at least so at some point I reckon he will be coming into a lot of money - that is, if he doesn't drink/smoke himself to death beforehand. I've seen him around town a few times but I definitely won't be stopping to have a drink with him ever again as he obviously has no shame!Delete
You never know when the van man will up his game and become dangerous. When I got a divorce, I had a huge house (4000 sq ft) and a fancy car that had to be order from the dealer and never was seen on any lot anywhere. We bought it with 1,000 miles on it and for cheap, so not a great cost at all. But, I was a good target. Men wanted me to pay our way into the movies and they would pay me back when their "ship came in." A woman had a tale of all sorts of things coming her way and could she rent a room in my house. Well, she was nice and helpful, but I had gathered she was hooked on valium. When I told her "no" I never heard from her again. Men wanted to live with me, but that was not happening. Thankfully, I was wary from the beginning. Good for you for being aware and not giving in to these men wanting money or favors.ReplyDelete
The other guy that wanted to live in my camper actually asked me out previously so I reckon he thought that was a good way to have an "in" to living with me. As for Stephan, he lives in his parents' home rent free. In any case, there's no way I would have him living with me. Or anybody for that matter. Even when I was young and single I never shared an apartment so I sure as heck ain't gonna start now. I agree though that some people see that you have "more" than them (more money, bigger house) and think you're fair game, especially if you're a woman!Delete
Gosh, what a pair. It's too bad you couldn't introduce Stephen to White Man Van, they could panhandle together and Stephen might have a new place to live?ReplyDelete
Sir you are a genius. Why didn't I think of that?Delete
You really do get into lots of 'interesting' situations! Given the small town I imagine your town to be I can't believe all the goings on you tell us about lol. You really do get into some scrapes!! You really should write a book about it all. Change some names to protect the 'innocent'! lol. xReplyDelete
I guess because it's a small town (and I live in an even smaller village) people know each other's business. The other thing that intrigues me somewhat is that maybe some of these guys think that as I'm a single woman "with money" "i.e. my own home and a decent pension) - that I'm a ripe target. Dream on sunshine, I will NEVER be that stupid!Delete