November 26, 2018

I still remember the first time I traveled abroad. It was 10 years ago with my parents. They chose Paris, a classic for first-time travelers and Disney Land is a bonus for children.

At first I didn't comprehend that much, but later I started catching up.
It was pre-GPS era so of course my father classically bought a map from the subway station and taught me how to navigate my way through the city.
It seemed like a puzzle to me; you connect point A to point B, follow the lines and double check by comparing the street names on the signs to the names shown on the map.
Well, it wasn’t as simple as that or apparently, Paris had another lesson to teach us.

The story goes like this; my father convinced me to walk home from La Defense instead of taking the bus. Why not, huh?
The only information given was our destination-street name; Georges Pompidou. We found the street on the map and started walking.
It was enjoyable actually, we passed by the river and admired the architecture all the way down to our destination.
We’ve never seen this place before, it’s Georges Pompidou but our hotel is nowhere nearby and nothing is recognizable.
After we double checked the signs, we tried to communicate with the people on the streets, we asked a taxi and even he told us that this is our street.
It’s getting late and the sun is setting. We’re lost and I started crying. My father’s phone was dead and we had no clue of where we were.
It seemed like an impossible task to get home.

We took a taxi back to the station and were able to catch the last bus going to ‘our’ Georges Pompidou.
Later that day we learned that Paris decided to not name just one, but THREE streets after their former president Monsieur Pompidou.
And guess what? All 3 of them just HAD to be within walking distance from la Defense. Google maps could make the same mistake though, I know, but it was a nice adventure and a good lesson after all!

Thanks for reading y'all,
Yousef (21)

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