I was walking around Marie Antoinette’s gardens this weekend in Versailles when I spotted a folded white piece of paper on the ground. No one else was in sight in the frosty orchard to claim it, so I picked it up and continued on our brisk walk, not thinking much of it until we returned home that evening.
What I would later unfold from my coat pocket, so unexpectedly warmed my winter heart. A note from father to daughter, words of caution from her loving Pa, guidelines for his little girl’s first time in Paris…
- Crossing the street
- Arriving at your apartment:
- Walk by the outside, don’t stop.
- Find the nearest coffee house with a view.
- Have a coffee, watch the entrance.
- Observe everyone in the coffee shop.
- Call to check in?
- Go check in, make sure no one from the coffee shop follows.
- Beware of overly friendly people that are super eager to help.
- If you want to meet someone, you initiate contact.
- Work in pairs.
- Never be alone.
- Have fun but drink moderately.
- Beware of anyone that asks for your help or tells you that they need to take you to your friend.
- Stay in the open always.
- Beware of guys that keep coincidently showing up.
On the back…
- Don’t be paranoid, be aware.
- [Have an] Alias ?
- Hot wine/ cider
- Panini sandwiches/ street bars.
- HAVE FUN!!
I have to admit, I was umming and ahhing about sharing this note with you, but by removing the identity of the company on the letterhead, I decided it wasn’t exposing anyone or doing harm. If anything, I hope it reminds the kids in all of us just how much our parents love us and want so desperately to keep us safe from harm. You can imagine this Dad, perhaps trying to focus at work, but unable to concentrate with his daughter’s looming trip to Europe for the first time. So he takes out his pen, grabs the notepad and begins scribbling away directions to keep his girl safe, remembering what he experienced as a young adult traveling around Europe. It’s just love.
So thanks to this Dad in Colorado or wherever you are, for helping to restore a little faith in humanity today. And if by some chance you’re reading this, maybe you could send your daughter my website which will help direct her away from the tourist traps of Paris– that’s the likeliest place the sort of predators you’re worried about might be lurking, although I’ve yet to meet any. However, I do appreciate your Liam Neeson ‘Taken‘ style of parenting!