The curious incident of the wallet in the night time
I frequently have conversations in French that I later don’t believe to have correctly understood at all. For instance, last night, my landlady asked me if I had smelt anything burning earlier in the evening. I said no, but I couldn’t be sure. She explained there was nothing to be worried about, but a neighbour had found a wallet on fire in the basket of a bicycle parked in our communal hallway. He had put the fire out with the contents of a bottle of Coca-Cola he had with him.
I smiled politely at my landlady and wished her goodnight, and thought that I really should make more of an effort to go my French classes.
But then as I went out later that evening to find a nightcap, I discovered my French comprehension skills to be in reasonably good state. In the basket of one of the many bicycles parked in our hallway were the charred remains of a half burnt pink lady’s wallet. Charred cinema tickets had fallen onto the floor below, and the stairwell was filled with a strange aroma of burnt plastic and charred leatherette.