….is a long time ago.
Drawn to Paris for a few reasons.
MANY years ago an uncle corresponded with a woman there using ‘Esperanto’! Remember that? It was a ‘language’ that was international and tried to repair some of the damage caused by that Tower, of Babel. 🙂
To visit the lady my aunt and uncle went to Paris and invited my mother along, who LOVED the experience. It was rare in those years, for “working-class” people to leave the Netherlands. Brief vacations organised by my father’s ‘boss’, across the border in Belgium were “huge” events.
So, when, after having left the Netherlands, age 12, in 1956, I had the opportunity to visit a pen-friend in London, I took the opportunity to ‘pop’ into Paris where my daughter happened to be at the time.
Many years earlier though, when KLM was promoting charter flights for we Dutch-born in Sydney, to visit Holland, I took the train to Paris, in the winter, just for 3 days and “wandered around, lonely as a cloud”, as it says in a certain old TV show.
I visited Paris in the summer, when my daughter was there and so had a knowledgeable guide, to show my around. At Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport, I bought the book which was then so popular -The DaVinci Code – and that gave us an extra purpose because by the time I met up with my daughter I’d read enough to add meaning to some of the locations she showed me.
“But wait! There’s more!” My mother had read me the Dutch version of ‘Sans Famille’ by Hector Malot