I am about to be featured on my favorite Blogger's site as an interview, and one of the questions she asked me was, "What is the most dangerous thing you ever did while traveling/not traveling?"...and I realized I hadn't blogged the story yet.
I don't even know if I ever told my big sister Kim this story. But it's been 11 years ago now, so hopefully she'll forgive me...here goes:
On a trip to London, I broke from Kim and our two other friends for some alone time. We agreed to meet back at 5pm in front of the British Museum. I got my hair cut, bought some jewelry, and then found an Internet Cafe where I checked my email, and surfed around. The man sitting next to me asked if I was an American. "Why yes", I told him and then we got into a conversation about a new game that he was working on. He really wanted to break it into the American market. It was an internet based game, but he would love to show me the mocked-up literal version, and would I like to join him for some coffee? "Why yes", I told him. He was probably mid-fifties, from Austria, and spoke in the coolest thick Arnold-Schwarzeneggar-accented English.
I finished up on the Internet, and then followed him out onto the street. We walked a couple of blocks down the busy street past shops and then down a side street. I kept on-a-following him even into the alley off the side street. No coffee shops anywhere. No shops anywhere. Keep in mind that this was back in the days before International calling plans, and so I didn’t have a phone with me. Soon we arrived at an unmarked door, which led into a stairwell. A stairwell under construction. There were plastic sheets hanging from the ceiling, draped in the way. I kept on-a-following him right on up, contorting myself to avoid the scaffolding. It wasn’t until the second story that the self-preserving thought popped into my head: "this doesn’t feel right." Did I turn and run? NO! I wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings! Just then, he opened another door, and there we were, in the coffee shop. Where he bought me a coffee and showed me his game. Then we shook hands and parted ways and I safely met Kim at 5pm. In front of the British Museum. As planned.