So the second half of day .5 involves the most stressful and traumatizing journey to Paris.
Yes Paris, the city of love and romance, so what the hell where Caeleigh and I, two single girls doing there? We might not have fallen in love with two dashing French boys (Europeans are overrated anyway) but we certainly have come home with tales to tell.
After thinking we would miss our flight due to traffic, we arrived in Paris Orly earlier than expected. With luggage and directions to our Airbnb in hand we headed toward the 18th. Now, it is important to point out, I know absolutely nothing about Paris other than Pablo Picasso, Hemingway, and Gertrud Stein all hung out in the same spots. I also know a fair bit about the Sainte Chapelle and Notre Dame (gotta love the catholic liberal arts education). So naturally I book us in the 18th, I’m told it’s a popular gay scene near Milton rush so how bad could it be? After all most of my friends are gay, they just come find me I guess gay men or more attracted to me than straight ones…
Anyway, it’s about midnight when we get off the metro. About 400 feet from our Airbnb. Naturally, Caeleigh is trailing a fair few feet behind me. At the Grande Nord station, one stop prior, I was uneasy. It was obvious we were being sized up. Two American girls, fumbling with suitcases trying to figure out a metro station in a different language. By the time we got to our stop I was ready to run, Caeleigh figured I was being my neurotic self.
Each time I looked back to ensure she was behind me I saw the same man following close behind. Caeleigh has since informed me she kept turning to give him dirty looks and swerving in front of him. I now realize I was a mere 400 ft away from our destination, he had given up. However, I had my phone in my hand as well as my suitcase to ensure we wouldn’t walk past our shelter. Out of nowhere, my phone was ripped from my hand.
I recall what happened next as me screaming running a few feet and being outrun by another man. Apparently, I shrieked as though I had been stabbed. I proceeded to sprint the entire block staying at arms length, except my arms were full with luggage so I couldn’t reach out. The whole street stopped, people began to call the police. A car pulled over and another man took off when I vaulted before turning down a side street, still screening in a voice I have never known to be my own.
With triumph, the second man held my phone in the air. He grabbed the waist of my thief forcing him to be caught or throw the precious phone. Now only a few hundred feet from our home we returned shaken with the neighborhood in shock at the American girl that refused to be a victim of the 18th.
Needless to say, we quickly moved to a new home in a very posh district to turn the week around. But the first night in Paris was sleepless and traumatic, to say the least. It was the mere experience of having something ripped from my grasp that terrified me the most. If I cannot even hold onto a phone, how can I hold onto a child? He could have had a knife, or a gun (my brother was mugged at gun point). The truth is this could have played out in 100 different ways and I was lucky enough to walk away unscathed and with my cell phone.
Kim Kardashian didn’t even get her heels back! (Ironically the next morning men were arrested for that crime)