Like a kid myself, I was most interested in buying some gummy worms in southern France— of all places to buy gummy worms. That’ s one aspect now that I find quite funny that didn’ t seem funny at the time. Who buys gummy worms in southern France? Anyway, it was then that I checked my watch, and realized with horror that I was going to be late in catching my bus to go back with everyone. Like a kid myself, I was most interested in buying some gummy worms in southern France— of all places to buy gummy worms. That’ s one aspect now that I find quite funny that didn’ t seem funny at the time. Who buys gummy worms in southern France? Anyway, it was then that I checked my watch, and realized with horror that I was going to be late in catching my bus to go back with everyone.
I was terrified. I had thoughts of being left in southern France, without going home, being penniless on the streets of Biarritz, cold and alone. I decided this could not be a reality. I had to find that bus, come hell or high water or no water at all! I paid for the candy hastily, thanked the woman behind the register, and left. I was out on the cobblestone street. I looked in a few stores, one of them being a store that sold winter jackets. There was no one from the trip whom I recognized that was in the store. I was panicking.
I remembered having come through some breach in the street to get to where I was now, but I could find any gap in the street, or exit to lead me to where the bus would be. I also clearly remembered a long, stringy line of knobby-kneed banana or baobab trees that led up to where the bus was sitting, but I saw no signs of any such trees— anywhere. This was also disappointing. I was really beginning to get frustrated. I must have walked up and down the cobblestone street where all of the little shops were located about ten or fifteen times because I was trying to look for the opening where I thought the exit in the street was so I could get back to my bus. Finally, exhausted with running and walking up and down the cobblestone street and frustrated from not having found the opening, I went to the end of the street and turned left.
There, on the left, I found two Frenchmen, who were casually sitting at a table. The table had a white tablecloth, and they were, I gathered, sitting down for a meal. I don’ t remember if they were at some kind of a restaurant or an eating establishment of some sort, but they must have been considering the circumstances. I believe it was an outside café setting. At any rate, I came up to their table and pulled up short, rather rudely, in fact, I might add, and interrupted their conversation to bother them because I was so flustered about not being able to find my bus. Here is what happened, roughly: I said, “ Excuse me. ” One of the men answered, “ Yes? ” I am lost, and I cannot seem to find my bus. Can you drive me there? ” I asked impulsively. “ Drive you to your bus? ” the Frenchman laughed. “ I cannot. I am in the middle of lunch! ” I’ m sorry. That was rude of me. It was a bad idea, ” I admitted. I was desperate at this point to find the bus. I was really worried about being late, being scolded for being late— or worse, being left behind! “ Where exactly is your bus? ”
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