So last week, I finally made it to Paris. Yeah, those who know me are surprised that it was my first visit. I’ve probably been to 30 countries in my life, but not France.
OK, technically, I’ve been to France a few times, jf you count Charles de Gaulle Airport. I don’t.
The reason I’ve put it off so long is simple: All of my worst travel stories involved a rude Frenchman, Charles de Gaulle Airport or AirFrance. Some of them involve all three. There’s the time it took 27 hours to fly from Dublin to Atlanta on AirFrance–and 11 of the hours were spent sitting on the tarmac. There’s the time in the security line in Charles de Gaulle when security confiscated my money belt–with a credit card and $120 in it. They refused to return it. There was no one to complain to. Security officers are gods. Or devils. Another time, I was pulled out of line for a “special” security search. They have you spread your arm out, so it’s hard to react quickly, but before I knew it, the officer had put her hand down the front of my pants and into my underwear. I couldn’t stop myself from striking her in the face. I’m surprised I got to leave the airport, but she didn’t even flinch. Probably it happens to her all the time.
So I’ve avoided France. But I decided to give it a try. Luckily, Shelley, another teacher here in Istanbul, agreed to go, too. It’s a lovely city. And as long as the French are not in line with you (or work for security or AirFrance) they seem to be good people.
One of the highlights was Notre Dame. Enjoy!