[Estimated reading time: 6 minutes]

A little old grandpa from Romania cursed me. Best thing that's ever happened to me.

His name, as I later learned, was Miloslav, and he was behind me in line at the Starbucks when we had our little run-in. Well, to be perfectly honest, when I ran into him and spilled my coffee right down his back.

It was September three years ago and on that particular day the first chill descended upon the city and plunged the temperatures. Snow wasn't out of the question.

Miloslav, being about one hundred and fifty years old, or at least acting like it, didn't respond well to the sudden fluctuations. Even worse to the downpour of hot coffee I accidentally subjected him to.

He began shouting in a language I didn't understand, his limbs started flailing about, and he tapped me a few times with a gnarled but smoothed-down tree branch that he used as a cane. I was too shocked to do much more than stand there and try to apologize, all to no avail.

Miloslav's grandson, a cute boy in his 20s named Stanislav, tried to calm his grandfather, also without much success. As the tirade went on, the look on Stan's face went from surprise to embarrassment to outright fright, and Stan's so-far fruitless tactics went from pacification to moving his irate grandfather toward the exit and away from me. Stan placed himself between myself and Miloslav, but the damage was done.

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