Saturday, 15 November 2008

Our Daily Bread

The characteristic twist of the paper that wraps the bread.

This is one of those posts that I have been thinking of for ages, but could be written any time. Today's (yesterday's) events have triggered the writing of it now.
The "kiosque" in the village is our local deli, with fresh bread and croissants every morning, the newspaper, magazines, lollies, cigarettes (essential to some) and a small collection of packaged foods and other necessities. Veronique who runs the place is a super woman who always has a smile and a chirpy voice. And she tries to help Roger with his French pronunciation. The kiosque makes a difference to the village. Villages without a boulangerie or a deli lack a heart - the people have to go elsewhere to get their bread, newspaper and cigarettes.
After I have put the kids on the bus in the morning I usually grab a baguette (the kids love to make a "tartine" with Vegemite!) and maybe a croissant or a pain au chocolat (depending on how devilish I am feeling).

Veronique handing Bread to Bonnie at the kiosque.

Several times a week I buy the local newspaper, and on Saturday mornings I like to buy Le Monde with the New York Times supplement in English for Roger. I don't have to worry about having the cash on me because Veronique has an exercise book in which she writes down our account, which she tallies up every now and again so I can write out a cheque.
And so it was this morning that Bonnie and I walked into the kiosque to be greeted by the familiar cheery voice and smile from Veronique. There were a couple of customers in the shop and they were talking a lot, but we didn't take much notice. Then I realised they were talking about a robbery and I asked if the kiosque had been broken into. But no, it was worse than that. Veronique made a gun shape with her hand and held it up, describing how she had been the victim of an armed robbery on Friday evening. Apparently it was about 7pm, closing time, when the robbery occurred. Obviously someone was very desperate for money, and they knew what time closing time was; a single male, who left on foot, after threatening Veronique and her father, plus a customer who happened to be in there at the time. Luckily Veronique was calm and collected and handed the man the money from her till and a couple of cartons of cigarettes and nobody was hurt.
And we thought this was a peaceful little village...

Still I give thanks for our daily bread; and for Veronique, who is a bit of a hero.

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