To begin my story, I will once again share that I believe God has a hand in our lives. I have been praying for my son to stay safe and for God to get him where he needs to be. His plans for this trip have not been smooth sailing, but my feeling is – at least he is in Europe! All of our experiences help us to learn and grow. At his point he was supposed to be in Italy. I guess he is where is supposed to be now. Any way, being in Paris, he was trying to find a flight out to a couple of different places where he was planning on visiting. He ended up with a flight to Lisbon (noted in my last post), where he intended to stay at a friend’s house. He booked the flight and planned on leaving his hotel at 11 a.m. to catch his 5 p.m. flight.
Now, this kid is harder to wake up than a Koala on Ambien. This day however, he wakes up at 5:30 a.m. alert and ready to go. He decides to begin his day and heads out to the train station at 9 a.m. (two hours earlier than planned) to get to the airport. He gets to the train station to find a bit of a commotion. He isn’t sure what is going on because no one is speaking English. This part of Paris is lacking in English speaking people. As my son, Alex, puts it “out of nowhere” a little old lady comes up to him speaking in French. He says, “Sorry only English.” She begins speaking to him in English explaining that the trains are delayed due to somebody putting iron on the tracks or something. Without him saying anything or asking for help, she begins to tell him what he needs to do, what trains he needs to take, to get to the airport on time. Even my son, who doesn’t believe that God intervenes in our lives, says what happened was rather strange. Had he not come two hours earlier than planned, and had this woman not helped him, he would have missed his plane.
This lady gets him all situated and begins to talk to him about photography. My son is very into photography so he’s excited to look at her photos. Then she tells him she has 40,000 of them and proceeds to show them to him, including photos of her grandkids. 40,000 photos – WOW, I thought I had a lot of pictures!!! Luckily he had a train to catch! My lovely boy says “Mom, she talked more than you!” Heeeey, I resemble that remark! I always love hearing that. Well, the truth is the truth. As you can tell from my blog, I love to “talk.” I’m chattier than a romp of giant river otters! What can I say, I have an extremely high level of the protein Foxp2 (a verbal communication inducing protein). I just love communicating!
So, ADHD…(cough cough), Alex, gets on a plane to Portugal. Did I mention he studied Portuguese (as well as Italian) in college. He sat next to a Portuguese couple who couldn’t speak English, but he was able to have somewhat of a conversation with them. They thought he was so funny. They shared that they didn’t think English people (he thinks they meant from England) were funny at all, but that he was very funny. They also told him that now they like Americans because they met him! Lol. They were very concerned that he would make it to where he needed to be. They asked him how he was going to get to his friends – would he be able to contact him. He told them he would find some internet and be in touch with him that way. They insisted he use their phone to call his friend. Again, I think God placed the right people at the right time for him to get to his destination. Alex, who adores Italy, thinks that Portugal may be even friendlier than Italy (although Italy is still number one with him). They don’t just help you by telling you, they help you by actually doing things for you.
He called his friend only to find that, unfortunately, his friend’s grandmother had passed away and he was not home. Now Alex had to find somewhere to stay. After perusing booking.com, he searched the internet to see what he could find something clean that was a little less expensive. He found a website called airbnb.com. and ended up in a city called Chiado. At airbnb.com, people from around the world welcome you into their home and rent a room in their home. He really likes it. The cost is low ($30), the people are friendly, the place is clean. Plus, if you refer someone and they stay somewhere you will get $25.00. If you get someone to sign up to host guests/renters, you get $75.00! His friend is expected to return tonight, so he will spend the next two days in Portugal. His next task is to find a flight to either Milan or Florence. HIs friends in Italy are anxiously awaiting his arrival. Bring on the next adventure!