“How old are you?” the first question that little girl asked me was my age, as soon as I stopped my bicycle. I was going home from campus.
I got confused.
“How old are you?” she repeated her question.
“Why?” I repeated my question.
“Do you speak Finnish?”
Oh, she did not understand how I pronounced the word ‘why’. “No, I do not. But why do you want to know my age?”
There were two girls. The other one, who was a bit taller, did not speak anything. The smaller one was asking my age. There was some tear rolling down one of her cheeks.
“But how old are you?”
“Seems like you are drunk, right? 🙂 I am 26. But why do you want to know?”
“Where are you from?” I later realized she was trying to please me first. 🙂
“I am from Nepal.”
“Nepal” she repeated. “Do you want to drink?” Not exactly the same question, but she asked something like that, that if I’d like to drink something.
“No, I do not drink alcohol,” I said.
“Could you please buy some for us. Because we want to drink.”
What! I never drink alcohol myself. Will I buy alcohol for others?
“But you already seem drunk,” I smiled.
“We want some more. Please…!” she was almost pleading. “We will give you the money and you buy for us, okay. Please.”
Oh, I get it. They will bear the cost themselves. I just need to buy it from the store and give it to them.
Yes, I got the point. I knew why she asked my age first.
“How old are you?” I asked.
“So YOU cannot buy it right?”
“Yes, please buy it okay. I will give you the money”
“See you are already drunk. You should not drink more.”
She was not interested to listen to any advice, it was obvious. She was not extremely drunk but was at a level enough to stop a stranger and ask for help to buy them some alcohol.
“Please…,” she was still trying to stop me when I pedalled my bicycle ahead, saying “No, sorry.”
—- —- —- —-
See, how smart she was. First, she asked my age to make sure if I was at least 18. Then she asked if I would like to drink, probably thinking I would buy some for them too if I wanted to. At last, she told that she would bear the cost herself.
She was so beautiful, talking fluently and so friendly that I would have probably made her my beloved sister if she was sober and was asking for some other help. But she was an underage little girl, asking to help her buy alcohol!!
It was only after an hour or so a question came to my mind – “Can underage still get drunk even if they cannot buy alcohol here?” Because I do not drink alcohol, I did not take note of alcohol laws here (Finland). I googled and understood that they can drink but only under their parent’s supervision. But the amount they can drink, the level they can get drunk were not clearly mentioned.
Should I have informed the police? I do not know. Probably I should have done. But it is already late now. I do not know where they have gone by now.