I read a post by Ashley Jillian what was the strangest thing that ever happened to you… here is a link to her post…http://ashleyjillian.com/2012/04/21/super-curious/
Of course, it is long winded, but i hope you enjoy my answer. I would love for you to contribute the conversation and share yours as well. These are always fun to read and remember!
Paris 1997, August.
I was traveling through euroupe in 1997. I was 22 years old. I had been traveling alone for about a month and a half. Long story short, i had booked one flight before the trip and the rest was done on a whim… But i had to be in Paris by a certain day in August. At that particular time, i was to Amsterdam. It would have been a lot less hassle for me to fly to London from Amsterdam, but i had to fly from Amsterdam to Paris so i could catch my already bought flight from Paris to London.
Of course, a half an hour flight, they loose my luggage. It had ALL of my clothes and of course, they were all dirty by then. I waited in Paris for 3 days for them to find my baggage. When i finally got it, i had to find a laundromat. I ended up on a little cobble stone street right off of Les Invalides.
I figure out how to use their machines and what Francs were which to go into the coin compartment. Buy a baguette and a bottle of water. Did my laundry and walked down a street. Now mind you i have NO idea where i am in Paris. I had not really done any sight seeing because i had no clothes and the city was FILLED with youth catholic groups invited to Paris from all over Euroup to see Pope John Paul II.
They were everywhere. Wearing matching tee shirts and singing and clapping while walking in orderly fashion throughout Paris. Where i ended up was at the very end opposite the monument. It is set up with if i can remember right, long lawns, i think 6 of them. They were sectioned kinda like the mall in DC except for a blvd that goes down the center as well.
There were like a half a million of these youths and i think that there was an event with the Pope at the Eiffel Tower that day because the lawns were FILLED with people. Huge groups. All but across from the lawn nearest me, a local soccer team was having a practice game. I was the ONLY single person i saw there period. I was not having ANY luck trying to find a cab back to my hotel so i finally decided that… what the heck, i have nowhere to go & no one to see… I may as well cop a squat and relax on the lawns for a few minutes. Enjoy Paris after all. I had a towel, a book, a baguette a bottle of water, a walkman and a cigarette. Everything i needed.
Wow. from the ground and 1997, the layout looks so much more elaborate! I just noticed the pope and the lawns i guess!
After about 35 minutes or so as the sun was starting to go down, all of a sudden out of nowhere, it started to POUR. I tell you, i have never seen so many people vacate an area in such organization and efficiency than i did that night. Within 10 minutes the only people left on those lawns was me and the soccer team who was so sweaty they could not tell the difference and didnt care about getting rained on.
So i walk up to the top of this bottom left lawn. And waited. There was just no taxi’s and the couple i saw were full. I decided to walk into the center and crossed to the bottom of the second lawn on the right (hopefully you are still with me here) i was on the corner of this intersection in the middle of these lawns and was looking all around me.
Suddenly, to my right, my eye was caught by a lot of flashing lights. Emergency vehicles. A convoy of them. They were coming up the side of the lawns and drove to the top by the monument. Then turned down the middle blvd. I was the only person standing there or anywhere around really and just minutes before there were about a quarter million people gathered here.
That is when i got a drive by. Pope John Paul ll drove directly past me. within probably 6 feet with the whole procession and the Pope-mobile and all! It was like it was my personal parade! I was so stunned that i just stood there with my bags of laundry in my hand in my baseball hat in awe. I wish i had thought to pull out my camera but of course i could not think of something so practical at that point.
(it was this corner that i was standing i believe when i got the popemobile drive-by!)
As soon as the procession crosses down the center, the very next second an empty cab crosses between the lawns and picked me up. It is the only account i can ever recall thinking to myself, maybe there was some devine intervention right there, because it was like living in a movie. It was a mind bending thing the way it all didnt work out for reasons and then did. Like it was master-planned!
For me to think all these kids came miles and miles to see him and I didnt even know he was there or cared much for that matter and I got a private parade. Of all of those people who were just trying to get a glimps of the pope, i got to see him without any crowd fighting or anything.
I have had a LOT of weird things happen to me but this one is the one that comes to mind right now the most.
Sorry this is so long. It is hard for me to do cliff note versions of my stories… I am working on it!