We were at the train station, full of excitement for the next leg of our journey and hoped to get the next train to Paris. We had just returned the canal boat after an adventurous week of traveling the small canals of France. We were discovering and enjoying France in a different way, just by ourselves.
Our little group consisted of my husband, Ed, his son, Cov, his wife, Suzanne, and me. It wasn’t easy at first, but we soon got the hang of steering and maneuvering on the water, and it turned out to be a remarkable experience, one that we will never forget. It was like taking the backroads on a bicycle and worth every moment of anxiety, and we were proud of our accomplishments along the way.
After leaving the boat we found our way to the local train station hoping to be in Paris in a few hours. There we were, looking a bit worn, trying to read the signs on the platform. Everything was written in French of course, and the question was: how are we going to choose the right sign? That was the dilemma. I seemed to be the only one able to speak and understand a little French, after taking a two-month course in the language from Alliance Francaise at home. I was immediately looked upon as the “knowing one” and I have to say it elevated my standing momentarily! All of a sudden, I was supposed to get us to Paris with my vast new knowledge!
There was no one around us on the platform to ask for help, so I intensely studied each sign hoping to find a clue for the correct route, all the while everyone was yelling and talking giving me their advice until I shouted in frustration “shut up and let me think!” There was complete silence, and I made my decision while shaking in my shoes hoping they wouldn’t notice that I was still unsure.
We boarded the train and sat down, cautiously looking around to find some clues until I was able to ask a fellow passenger if this train was going to Paris. The answer was, “Oui, Paris, oui!” A big sigh of relief was heard all around and smiles remained on our faces all the way to Paris. It felt good to have made the right decision.