I write from the Police Station in Cambrai France. Tonight, for a moment, I had nothing. I had stopped to check my e-mail at a MacDonalds, and left my bike outside. When I returned to check on it-- it was gone. Of course, on it were all my possessions, equipement, food and gear.
I jogged around the dark alleys of the neighboured and turned up nothing. I didn't realize til then it wasn't the best neighbourhood. I called the police. We jumped in their car and zoomed about.
There it was. I haven't been so happy to see my bike in a longtime! Everything was on it, except for my gloves, food, and bank card and passport. The latter are admittedly quite important. Tomorrow I will be feeling the wind on my hands. I have a few dollars to last me the next few days-- while I move my money around to the cards that I still have.
While standing in one of the dark alleys with no remaining material possessions, I searched myself for what I felt. You know it wasn't so bad. I actually started to get excited at the new bike and equipment that I would now be able to upgrade to! How materialistic!
I continue now towards the Beligian border. I leave with a great appreciation for the people of France. Asking nothing, I have been shown kindness and generosity at every turn. From farmers, to ex-presidential ministers, from professionals to students, from elders who have lived through the war to children who know nothing of it.
The police have let me stay in their barracks tonight, and even the thief insisted on leaving my bike with all my essential gear in a place where it could be easily found!