Last week, we had some friends over for dinner. It was a fun night. We had a good laugh about our travel experiences, little incidents, helps from strangers, strange food, and certainly some bad experiences as well. It made me realise that’s one of the fun parts for travelling. So I thought I probably can try to make some mini posts about short travel stories, encounters, maybe just things happened on the trips.
I used to like travelling solo before I met my husband. I loved the feeling that I could just pack my bag, get a ticket and go. Don’t get me wrong, I love travelling with friends or families. However, organising a trip is not as easy as it sounds, especially when everyone has a busy life.
It was a cold morning in the winter. I was walking down the Champs-Élysées Avenue. It was drizzling. All of a sudden, I found an umbrella above my head. I was taken by surprise. I turned my head and saw a middle-age man holding an umbrella over my head and smiling at me. I had such a mixed feeling at that moment, surprised, uncertain, scared, warm and romantic.
Then, he started talking to me in French. In my whole life, I only studied French for 3 months, which means my French sucks. I think I managed to tell him that I didn’t speak French. Not sure that he didn’t understand or didn’t care. Either way, he kept walking with me, talking in French and pointing at different buildings along the road. I gathered that he was telling me things about the buildings, about Paris perhaps…
I am very cautious generally with strange things and people when I travel alone. He held his umbrella over my head, but he kept his distance from me when we walked. I didn’t find anything weird from his tone when he spoke. Still, I didn’t feel comfortable to have an unexpected company. I tried my best to tell him that I appreciated his help and I had to go into a shop. I went into a shop and spent a good 10 minutes there. By the time I walked out, he was standing right next to the door and waiting. We continued walking down the street. He continued talking in French and pointing at different things. At the end, I needed to turn right to go to see Grand Palais. It looked like he needed to turn left. I thanked him again for the umbrella. He smiled, waved good-bye and walked away.
I will never know what happened and what he talked about. I would like to think it was a nice gesture from a gentleman in Pairs…