Monday, February 21, 2011

Angels In the Metro

I've been to a whole lot of great cities around the world, but ask me which city is my favorite and I will answer without hesitation. . .

Paris

Unbelievably amazing, gorgeous, exciting. . .there are no words to describe my love for this city. And for those of you who think all French people are rude, have I got a story for you. . .



It was 2003 and I was on an art history study abroad tour through Europe with Brigham Young University. We finished our incredible two-week stay in Paris and were all packed up and ready to hop on the train to Belgium, our next destination. We had to navigate our way through multiple stops on the Paris Metro (their subway system) to get to the train station, and lots of the metro lines were on strike and not running reliably. So we got up at the crack of dawn, thinking we'd have enough time, only to find ourselves literally running through the metro station, trying to make our train.

The problem for me with running through the metro station?

My suitcase.

My giant, mammoth, behemoth of a suitcase, dubbed "The Titanic" by the other members of my group. It was holding me back big time.

In the middle of our mad dash between metro stops, we came to a massive flight of stairs. As I struggled with my suitcase, I soon came to realize that my group was gone. Nowhere to be found. Nobody had noticed that "The Titanic" and I had fallen behind. I started stressing out, as I pulled that darn suitcase as hard as I could and tried to get it up the stairs. My mind was spinning as I realized I was almost certainly going to get left behind in Paris, and I had no idea what I was going to do.

Right at that point, two Parisian natives were walking by on the level above me and noticed me struggling my way up the staircase. They stopped, came down the stairs to me and helped me get my suitcase and backpack and other bags up the stairs. I told them my group had left me behind and I was trying to get the train station, and these two kind people (a man and a woman, who didn't even know each other!) walked with me to my next stop and gave me detailed instructions about which metro trains I needed to take to reach the train station. I felt such relief and such immense gratitude towards them. I couldn't believe that they had even noticed my plight in the first place, and then gone so far out of their way to help me. I hope that I would do the same for someone else.

I will certainly never forget that act of kindness from the two French strangers who I will never see again. I wish I could let them know how much that meant to me. I ended up getting on the train. . . barely, by the skin of my teeth! Without their help, I would have been stranded alone in Paris.

Should I write more of my travel experiences on my blog? I realize I hardly ever post about them, and I'm wondering if people are interested in reading about them. I've been having a down kind of day, and I really wanted to write this story about my two "angels in the Metro" to uplift myself and anyone else who is reading this post.

18 comments:

  1. What a great story! Loved hearing about it.... do share more!

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  2. YES! More travel stories! I loved this account. :) how wonderful to find angels in unusual places.

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  3. What kind strangers!

    I'd love to hear your travel stories. Since I don't often travel, it's fun to experience it vicariously! =)

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  4. Great post. I totally remember when this happened - we were so relieved that you got on the train. I remember that Byron ran back to find you, and you two barely made it back. What a day that was!

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  5. Wonderful post! I do want to hear more!

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  6. I loved the story. It is always nice to read about other people and their adventures.

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  7. I have had some very kind people help out when I was in other countries. You have a lovely blog! You have a new follower from the hop! I look forward to following your blog. Come and enter my Erno Laszlo giveaway and pamper yourself. Visit my blog network and join a fabulous group of bloggers. Have a great night!

    Mama Hen
    www.mamaslittlechick.com
    www.mamaslittlenestwork.com

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  8. Blog hopping today and am your newest follower. I hope that 1 of my blogs interests you too.

    http://tawnasplan.blogspot.com
    http://btrbb.blogspot.com
    http://tawnassecret.blogspot.com

    I also do a weekend blog hop, you can link up on tawnasplan.blogspot.com open every Friday-Sunday!
    Thanks
    Tawna

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  9. Yes, write about your travel experiences. It has been so long since I have done any interesting travel. Right after college I did the whole work in England thing and then backpacked through Europe on $40/day. Can't believe I did that. Sometimes I think it was wasted on my youth, but then again these days, I would never be willing to stay in some of the hostiles I stayed in, and it was really part of the experience!

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  10. yes yes yes. i love reading about travel.

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  11. Absolutely write more travel stuff! Maybe I'm biased since that's pretty much all I write on my blog, but I love travel stories.

    You know Philadelphia and New York were voted #2 and #3 for rudest cities in America. But when I was there, people were incredibly kind to me. Those two native New Yorkers bought me cheesecake and insisted I share their other New York cuisine. And several people gave me directions and helped me carry my huge bag (the wheel was stuck) without my asking for help. They could just tell that I was confused and directed me where I needed to go. There are kind people and rude people everywhere. I really don't see how they judge that one place is ruder than any other. It's all just from people judging a whole state/country because someone was rude to them.

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  12. Post more Paris pictures if you've got them.

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  13. What a great story! And I would love to hear more about your travels. It's definitely a niche that the average mormon mommy blogger doesn't generally fit into. Meaning: something new for a lot of us. :o)

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  14. I am sorry I was one of the people who teased you about your suitcase.

    Monica and I were talking about this last night but we thought the door closed on your suitcase.

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  15. Great story wish I had one like that to tell. One of my dream destinations is Paris so far I've been there once via House Hunters Intl, lol!

    Thanks for joining our hop on Mommys Online Garage Sale, hope to see you again next week.

    I am your newest GFC and FB Follower!

    Have a great day.

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  16. Love all the photos! I am following you on GFC as RambleSAHM!
    Come check me out when you can!
    http://ramblesahm.blogspot.com/

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  17. I love your story. I was in Paris years ago and thought everyone was so kind. I'm glad you had people there to help you when you needed it!

    Thanks for joining our I love Blogging Hop! I'm your newest follower on GFC and facebook.

    I'd appreciate it if you follow me back! :)
    Thanks, Mickey

    www.ahelicoptermom.com

    http://twitter.com/ahelicoptermom

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Helicopter-Mom/185172891503716

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  18. Thanks so much for participating in my simple Sundays blog hop. Already following you.

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