Even in the midst of a chaotic winter month, I still found myself completely mesmerized by the city’s old charm and simple things like the old cobble streets and the scent of freshly baked pastries drifting through the air yet my cold Paris memories were in the making.
You could say I was your typical non-French speaking tourist. I completely massacred every bit of French that spewed out of my mouth and exaggerated every single English phrase thinking that possibly someone would understand me. A girl can try, right?
I probably would have been aimlessly wandering around if it wasn’t for my old roommate Fanny who, lucky for me, is studying there. We made plans to check out the Musée d’Orsay and those typical touristy attractions. We walked around for hours just exploring in spite of moments of pouring rain and numbingly cold nights.
At last, after one of our museum tours, we stopped at a nearby restaurant ready to feast on some traditional Parisian delicacies. Just as the snails and duck liver arrived at our dinner table, my eyes began to sink in. Firstly, I couldn’t bear the thought of pulling these snails out from inside their shells. Secondly, the horror of spreading duck liver on a perfectly sliced bread! Lastly, the thought of disappointing Fanny made me think quick. And what do you know, after ten long minutes of analyzing the cooked specimens and listening to Fanny’s super convincing powers, I daringly plucked out what bit of snail there was, took a slow bite and realized I had been too over dramatic.
The first bite of a snail. Pure enthusiasm.
Finishing our dinner, we then were on our way to make the trek back home at around midnight. We walked into the entrance of the subway and took notice of a couple guys preying on this young lady. They were following her and just being the kind of pervs who want a peek underneath her skirt. Of course, she paid them no mind quickly walking off into the distance.
In the same way, we kept making our way through the tunnel trying to keep up but found ourselves alone in the subway with these four men who were making us their next victims. I kind of mumbled something to Fanny in English which possibly wasn’t the smartest thing to do. I was a tourist not in my own country, and after all, probably made this situation much more enticing. The next thing you know, we were being followed deeper into the subway.
So we decided to play it off not feeding them any of our attention and making our way to the escalator. All of a sudden as we were on mid-way, the escalator suddenly stopped dead in its tracks. I glanced back to see one guy’s hand over the emergency button while his friend perched right behind Fanny.
For the most part, these were the four initial thoughts just rolling around in my head:
1. Like, two girls against four big dudes.
2. If only I had my pepper spray.
3. Just aim for the jugular.
4. Who are you kidding Alex, just run for your life!!!!!
Also, my heart was racing fast but I dared not express how I really felt inside. As I saw Fanny looking back again, the main antagonist immediately shouted loudly in her face which makes Fanny erupt in a deafening scream.
I was in complete panic mode praying that somehow God would miraculously send out that gust of wind (any time now) so we could make a run for it. We’re racing to reach the platform, which seems like a mile long non-functioning escalator hike or workout.
Within a matter of minutes we reached the entrance to the platform, thankfully spotting a group of random people stretched out across the platform (phew, THANK GOD). Also, the men realized their reign of terror had just ended once they knew we were not alone.
And just because my experience was a little, well, not normal, don’t let it stop you from visiting Paris too. All in all, I would go back in a heartbeat and the key lesson I learned… Altogether, keep an eye on time and never stay out too late, ESPECIALLY if you’re traveling by yourself. NOTED.