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Word Count: 1,181
It was a windy day in late September with the first traces of autumn just beginning to pull the golden brown leaves from the aspens As I sauntered towards the caf I found myself thinking about the stark realities of life in this strange yet beautiful land Passing a man who smelled of alcohol and piss I tossed several coins into his box which elicited a blessing or possibly a curse in a foreign tongue The reek of diesel fuel and garlic hung heavy in the stagnant air as I passed a small meat market packed with boisterous women haggling over their idea of a fair price Continuing on I came upon a beautiful clearing Between two apartment buildings behind the twisted frames of playground equipment laid a huge body of water I knew not whether it was the sea though it made no difference at the time I inhaled deeply through my nose tracing the smells as well I could A whiff of fouled sand came from the shoreline where gulls wheeled and the sun baked the remains of a large fish From the grassy hillside came the scent of green alerting me that someone had just passed this way And fainter still was the hint of the huge evergreen that leaned over the path some three hundred meters ahead I took these things in at a glance barely noticing them for they were natural These smells at least where normal Passing through the apartments and edging up a short incline I found myself upon a road Here the scenery became distinctly foreign I saw a filthy white automobile rumbling towards me but instead of being reassured by its presence I was quite alarmed The driver nosed his vehicle to a stop directly in front of me and demanded that I get in the passengers seat Not understanding the request and being slightly taken aback by his dwarfish features I refused wholeheartedly
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