365:54 PSA Driving Safety. (I learn these lessons so you don’t have to.)

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This was what I looked at all day. The motorway on the way home from Helen’s. But I want to tell you about what happened on the way to France, on Friday. Please read and remember. I think I dodged a bullet here. No. I did. I dodged a big bullet.

I was just driving along the autoroute in France, minding my own business (in Mr Mac’s flash car). I looked up and saw a black Mercedes Benz C-class, with a German number plate, flashing his lights behind me and indicating that I should pull over. My first thought was that there was something wrong with my (Mr Mac’s) car so what did I do? I pulled over.

NEVER PULL OVER ON THE MOTORWAY UNLESS IT’S DEFINITELY THE POLICE!

There were two men driving the car. The man in the passenger seat got out and I rolled down the passenger side window so he could talk to me.

NEVER PUT YOUR WINDOW DOWN ON THE MOTORWAY!

Well dressed and polite, he told me, in German, he had seen my number plate from Zürich and asked, could I speak German? Of course, I answered yes. He gave me a business card, of a German car dealer, and told me in Germany he’s a millionaire. He started to take off his gold necklace and rings and told me I could have them if I would help him. Of course, I told him it wasn’t necessary and I let him continue. He was on his way to an important meeting in France and spoke no French. His wallet and phone had been stolen.

At this, I instantly lied and told him, “I have no cash on me.” I saw him looking on the passenger seat which, thankfully only held my phone, food and half-drunk bottle of coke zero. I am grateful that food and drink took the place of my handbag and/or wallet which were in the foot well. He started to ask me if I could help him by following him to a petrol station and buying him a tank of petrol. I said, “Sorry, no!” and started to wind the window back up.

He said “Don’t be afraid! Don’t be afraid!” but he backed off and I got the hell out of Dodge, as fast as the traffic would let me.

As I drove off, I felt guilty for not having helped someone in need. And, he was someone who may have lavished me with gifts for doing so (I am nothing, if not a dreamer; We’ve all read the apocryphal tales of famous millionaires asking strangers for a tissue/dime/their shoes, after all.) But, of course, I’d been pulled over by a con man. And within moments I felt like a total idiot for having pulled over and put myself in that position in the first place.

As I’ve told friends, they all seem to have heard the same story and the flash of recognition always comes at the same point, him taking off his jewellery. Apparently any of the following things could have happened to me:

  • he could have reached in and stolen my handbag and/or purse.
  • he could have taken some cash off me with the promise of his gold jewellery being worth millions when really, it’s junk.
  • if I had gone to a petrol station and filled up his tank, as I went to pay, he may have rifled through my car for my valuables and/or stolen the car, leaving me stranded in France.
  • I could have ended up dead, rolled up in a carpet in the back of his car as he drove my car off to Spain, or whatever.

Idiot! I should never have pulled over. Please, learn from my stupid, stupid mistake. Please, don’t put yourself in the same situation I did.

2 thoughts on “365:54 PSA Driving Safety. (I learn these lessons so you don’t have to.)

  1. I’m super shocked. This being you, I was sure the title was misleading and we’d all have a good chuckle about how you snapped off your own wiper or sat on your sunglasses or something. I’m completely relieved that nothing serious happened and that you listened to your inner red flags. Yikes!

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