Travel stories: This one time in Krakow-that one beggar kid

I’m pretty sure that this has to be one of my odder stories, first of all. When we were on our Central/Eastern Europe A.P. European History trip in the spring of 2010, one of our destinations was Krakow. By this time on the trip, we had our own little groups that we splintered off into once we were arrived at our destinations, so we spent quite a few hours together. After a long day out on the town, we decided to take a break, so we headed off to a side street. This street in question was pretty safe and well lit, so we had no qualms in making a short detour there. We were off to the side, when all of a sudden a little five year old kid came up to us. You might know how this is going, but it got a little more bizarre. He asked us for money, and of course we said no-we weren’t going to give money to people off the street. Then he came up to me. Not only did he ask me for money, but he asked me in French. Yes, French. Not Polish, but French. In Krakow, Poland. This was weird, but man did it get weirder. He was clawing at my chest when he asked me for some Polish zloty, which was a surefire way to not get your request granted. If you’ve seen how cats claw at things, that was basically that concept. This little kid also was right at my chest and seriously invading my private space; if I wasn’t wearing my jacket, he probably would have been on me, reflecting how close to me he was. I said no, and then he walked off. However, the kicker was that we watched him leave AND THEN tip a street musician as he was walking off to his awaiting mom down the street. I felt like it was a very quizzical request about cash, seeing as how he apparently had enough to tip street artists. To this day, I still cannot make sense of that little five year old, French speaking beggar that accosted me in a back street in Krakow, Poland.

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