Found Out By Police My Papers No Good

Paris Travel Blog

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On that first trip in 1979 I actually was in Europe a little longer than 6 months with no idea what to do with my life. One day while I was walking the streets of Paris a Policeman stopped me asking for my Passport and asked me many questions. He pointed out to me that it was not valid because I was only allowed to be there for 6 months (at least during that time). After speaking to me the officer treated me fair and just told me that I must leave the country.

Where would I go. At that time I did not think about going other places, I guess my fears restricted my spirit to be expressed. After discussing it with my Uncle Yves he was trying to encourage me to go to Amsterdam because he had a friend up there but I was thinking "they don't speak English" I just did not know (I discovered Amsterdam years later.
..that is another story). I figured why not England, they speak English over there so I prepared my pack and hitched hiked to the west taking a hover boat across the water. I spent about a week or so here (if my memory serves me right) in London and Oxford. It worked out pretty good (like it always does). I did what many 21 years old person would do and that is spend some time in the Pubs having "Pints of Bitter".

After my time there I was able to get my Passport stamped then headed back with little money (but have family) to France. I hitched hike back towards Paris. Didn't get a ride that night and ended up in a town called Rouen. I was tired and hungry. Dosed when I could and walked some. I have family all over and found out later that I had a cousin that lived there.
Now because I never really spoke French or at least to pick up when my Aunt spoke of it I heard Wonn because of the "R".

I went back to work but was feeling like I was missing home (or at least what I perceived at the time). Shortly thereafter I came back to the USA to a City called Oxnard where I did one year of my high school and some time as a child with my mother. Six months rolled by, still no job, no direction and missing my French family but I think I was feeling prideful to go back, almost embarrass. I join the Navy branch of the Armed Forces which allowed me to see a few places.

My memories of my times in France filled some of the empty spaces and after some life changes I went back again in 1987 and continued 3 of the next 4 years during the summers. Since then 6 more trips and the upcoming August 2010. Another funny thing is that even after all those times I still don't speak French. Don't get me wrong I use to be able to get around and manage quite well but just pieced together words and used expressions (universal language) to communicate. My family would always say "Bonne Progree" (don't know if that is the right spelling) but I think they were only being nice. The main thing for me is that I get to spend some wonderful times with my family and friends.
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Paris
photo by: Sweetski