New Year’s Eve and everything is closed by 05:00pm. Rue Royale is like a ghost town. Even the Family Pub closed at about 02:00pm.

I go out searching for something to eat. Of course, Artisan Boulanger doesn’t let me down.

When I get back to La Citadel, there is a woman there with two very large and heavy suitcases. She has one of those medic style facemasks on……….in fuchsia pink. Her colouring, her general physiognomy, and the fact that these medic masks are used so much by Orientals, all make me think that she may be Japanese or Chinese. Turns out, she’s Mexican.

Yanis is having an argument with her so I try to help. She looks very distressed and Yanis is not the type of guy to lose his cool. But, he seems to be losing his cool now.

Her Name is Verniece and Yanis tells me that she is trying to stay in the hotel free of charge. She turned up a couple of days ago saying that she had been robbed. She had lost her cash and ID. She said that she was waiting for money to be paid into her account by her family back home. Yanis may have believed her or he may have felt sorry for her or, he may have simply wanted to shut her up. Whatever the reason, Yanis paid €25 out of his own pocket. He was not prepared to do it again and he certainly didn’t believe her anymore. I spoke to her to try and unravel her story.

Verniece had lived in the UK a few years ago and has a residency visa which expires in April 2020. This is the ID card which she says was stolen from her. Problem. My understanding is that the UK doesn’t issue such cards. Residency visa’s etc are stamped into a person’s passport. As far as I’m aware, from previous experience, a visa document is pasted onto a page of the passport. She says that she has her Mexican passport.

She had gone back to Mexico two or three years ago. She had now decided to go back to the UK for two reasons. First, to renew her residence visa. How? How was she going to do this when she had not been resident in the UK for two or three years and, by all accounts, had no reason to be granted residency now. Second, to marry some guy who had said that he would marry her. Where had she found this guy? Online? Who knows. Not another one! Seriously! I told her not to repeat that to people because it was grossly illegal. Is she really that unaware?

So why hadn’t she flown direct to the UK from Mexico? Apparently, she had gone to Munich and Berlin because she had things to do there. She had been robbed in Berlin. And had made it to Calais how? Perhaps a better question is why? Why had she come to Calais in the first place? What had compelled her to make her way to Calais, from Germany, with two massive suitcases and no money? An even more ridiculous proposition when one considers that there is no UK Consulate in Calais. So how was she going to sort out her missing UK residents card in Calais? She could do this in Paris, which would have made going through UK immigration (in Calais) a mere formality.

I could see why Yanis was dubious but, in the end, I felt sorry for her. So, I paid €40 for a room for her at La Citadel. At least she would be warm and safe and off the streets for tonight. It was freezing out there.