This is not a dream

In 2004 Matt and I were at a market near a coach station in Prague looking at the sort of crap people sell at markets all across the globe. Looking off a little absentmindedly, I was literally jerked back to attention as Matt grabbed my shoulders and physically moved me to prevent a small man from gaining access to my backpack.

He was dwarf-tiny (without being dwarfish), furiously wrinkled and brown. Like a pickled walnut with a face. Not really dark skinned, he just looked completely tobacco stained from head to toe. Foiled at pick-pocketing he then grinned broadly at me, took my wrist in the strongest grip I have ever felt and started to drag me away down an avenue of market tables. I can remember feeling incredulous that this teensy mini-thug had enough strength to haul my bulk away so easily. Matt grabbed my other wrist and after a brief struggle won the tug of war.

Much later at the coach station we split a slab of fried cheese and a pickle, caught a bus to Paris, watched the Charlie’s Angels movie repeat three times and our passports were taken away in a bucket on the German border.

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