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Report 926: My Dream Trip To Italy and France

By BGE from Fox Creek, Alberta, Canada, Spring 2005

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Page 27 of 38: "Yeah, right! You're Americans!"

photo by BGE

All set up for the tourists

I sleep in this morning. I was so tired last night from the trip to Chartres yesterday, the emotionality of the trip and all… it feels so good to sleep long and deep like that.

I meet M. and D. and we walk along Rue Lepic. It is hot and humid today, and definitely migraine weather for me. We go under the Louvre, to the shopping area and it is cooler there, thankfully.

The shops are great, the prices are high, my VISA stays in my pocket.

My son recommends that we walk to the Tuileries Jardins and take a little break, sit in the cafe and have a bite to eat. It will be cooler there, as well, I think to myself. The heat and humidity is beginning to take a toll on me... the headache is progressively getting worse.

Seated at a table underneath the trees, our server asks us where we are from.

“Canada,” we tell him.

“Yeah, sure… you’re Americans!” he says.

“No, really, we’re from Canada!” M. replies.

“Yeah, right! You’re Americans! That’s what they do… they all say they’re Canadians!” he insists.

“No, really, truly, we are Canadians,” I insist.

“Right…where in the U.S. are you from?” he asks.

“No, look here,” we tell him, taking out our passports and opening them to the photo page.

“Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, you really ARE Canadians! Well, then…welcome to Paris! What can I get you folks today?”

We are laughing ourselves silly over this! That’s the first time I’ve ever had anyone challenge my nationality before!

Later that evening, after a few hours sitting in the café and walking in the beautiful gardens, we stop for an ice cream and then head towards the exit. Suddenly, we are surrounded by guard dogs on leashes, with armed security guards blowing whistles loudly, over and over again and yelling at everyone.

We ask what is going on. “Leave the gardens by 8:30, M’sieur, Madame... OUT! OUT! OUT!”

Looking around, we see that everyone in the gardens is hurrying for the exits! Truly, an armed guard escort out of the Tuileries! That’s weird, if y’ask me. I think they must have a problem with people sleeping in the gardens overnight. Whatever, it is a rough way to end this day, I think to myself.

Later, I catch the bus home and go directly to bed. I am still teary, feeling very scared and really crappy since finding my luggage trashed, my belongings smashed and the theft from my carry-on. I can’t shake the feeling of being afraid, and I don’t understand this. Here I am in Paris, with two of my favourite people in the world and I can’t stop crying…

Best Things Today:

~ spending the day with M. & D.

~ Tarte Tatin in the Tuileries Jardins

Worst Thing Today:

~ I'm still feeling really scared and I'm really, really teary since the theft.

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