In the third year of my undergraduate degree, many years ago, I did a semester of school at what once existed as L'université Canadienne en France, a school run by Laurentian University up in the hills above Nice. I turned 21 that fall in France and learned a couple of life lessons there that would stay with me for the rest of my life. Let me tell you about one of them.
Life at UCF was idyllic. We lived in villas scattered over the mountainside and our villa-mates became like second families to us. We drank rosé wine and cappucinos and felt very mature and independent having our bilingual "big world" experience. About halfway through the semester, many of us started dreaming about what to do in the future: stay in France a little while longer or return back to Canada for second semester as we had originally planned.
One day, my roommate Melissa and I took the bus down into Nice to do a little bit of shopping. While waiting for the bus to head back to campus we struck up a conversation with a friendly man who introduced himself to us as Michael Moses. Soon Michael was telling us about an opportunity to be au pairs for the second semester, and we each eagerly paid him a deposit (equivalent to about $100 Cdn as I remember) so that we could take advantage of the opportunity. We liked the idea of being au pairs in a mountainous ski town, or somewhere else exciting in France that we hadn't even dreamed of yet! We exchanged phone numbers and Michael told us that he'd be in touch to continue helping us set up our au pair work.
Back on campus, we started to have second thoughts about the money we'd handed over to Michael Moses. We only had one pay phone on campus (as this was in the days long before the use of cell phones) so we missed the one phone call that he made to us in the week following our meeting. And we could never seem to get him on the phone when we tried to call him. Soon we realized that Michael wasn't actually a friendly guy, he was - you guessed it - a complete fraud who had just taken us for some of our ever-dwindling pot of student-sized spending money! We never heard from him again.
All we could do in the end was laugh at our folly and the lesson we had just learned about trusting strangers (that we met on the street!) too fast. Melissa and I told our friends that we'd been "Mosied" and it became our catch phrase to talk about other possible swindle-type situations from that point on. And it sure made me think twice - and ask more questions - about handing over money for seemingly good deals in the future!
I love a good cautionary tale!
This is hard 'cos the resolution is learning... or acceptance... I think?
Trigger: Moses not returning calls (I think because this prompts the quest)
Problem: Can't get hold of Moses to get what was paid for.
Quest: Calling repeatedly.
Resolution: No resolution - accepting fate.
Purpose: Lesson learned - that could have been way more costly.
Does that sound right or am I missing some critical point?