Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fear of style.

by Vonnie Davis

Safety is never guaranteed.

Not here at home or abroad.

Danger can, and does, lurk everywhere.

Calvin and I went to see Tom Hanks in his new movie "Captain Phillips" this afternoon. Talk about suspense. It was a well-crafted flick about an American ship traveling in international waters, hijacked by a small band of desperate, money-hungry men. A true story that captivated the news a few years ago. By movie's end I was trembling and crying right along with good ole Phillips.

You see, I worry about terrorists...and criminals...and nut cases.

Any time Calvin and I travel abroad, a sense of fear niggles as I pack, a series of what-if scenarios playing on a continual loop through my mind. What if the plane crashes? What if we lose our passports? What if we get deathly ill? What if we're in a terrorist attack? What if we're mugged? What if...

So you can imagine what my state of mind was before our trip to Paris and Berlin last month.

Truthfully, there are less muggings there than in most cities in the States. But there are more incidents of pickpockets. So much so, that the rental agency through which we'd rented our Parisian apartment sent us an email a couple weeks prior to our trip, cautioning us to avoid places like the Metro and to not wear clothing that would identify us as Americans, like white sneakers or baggy jeans. I kind of snickered. Heavens, my pants haven't been baggy in years!

In response, Calvin decided we'd take taxis instead of the Metro for long distances across Paris. In this photo, this is as close as he'd get to the Metro, leaning against the entrance.

Remember the movie "The Bone Collector" where two unsuspecting travelers get in a taxi and the driver takes them someplace they don't want to go and locks the doors so they can't get out? And then kills them? Oh yeah, after Calvin's decision, that scenario ran through my mind like a rabid skunk.

So when the taxi we'd hailed outside of Galleries Lafayette, a high-end department store in an old opera house, took us to a part of Paris that resembled nothing of "our" neighborhood, I freaked. Heart pounding, I was ready to beat the driver over the head with the new purse I'd just purchased at the Galleries. Turns out he'd misunderstood rue Bertholett with rue Bertholo. Whew! I'd hate to have messed up my new bag.

Window at the apex of the roof of the old opera house, now Galleries Lafayette.
This place is an all-day shopping experience. Calvin was a very brave man in this store. He handed me the credit card and said, "I'm going upstairs to the restaurant. Come get me when you're done." A new wallet, handbag, six scarves, perfume and a pair of earrings later, I leaned over and kissed his neck. He glanced up and quipped, "Do we need to take out a second mortgage?" Gee, maybe I should have bought that watch that snagged my eye. Sometimes, safety comes at a price.

Visit me at Vintage Vonnie.


Jannine Gallant said...

Wow, what an incredible building. And you made it home safe and sound! I'm not a worrier when it comes to what MIGHT happen. I was never one of those parents who feared my child would be snatched out of the yard or hit by a bus crossing the street. I save my worrying for things like how are we going to pay for college and retirement! Things I KNOW are an issue.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I'm usually like that, too, Jannine. Yet leaving the safety of our country always sets off an inner alarm. I love going abroad, but I get antsy, just the same.

Margo Hoornstra said...

I'm a 'what if' fanatic, though I have mellowed somewhat with, ahem, age. Hilarious post, Vonnie. Enjoyed myself.

Diane Burton said...

I'm with you, Vonnie. I worry about too many what ifs. Of course that could lead to the beginning of a book. LOL Sounds like you had a great trip despite the worries.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

We do tend to mellow with the "A" word, don't we? Things that used to set me off, I merely shrug at now.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

We had a great time, Diane, moving at our own speed and being in the moment. Paris is a feast for the senses, and I dearly love it.

Calisa Rhose said...

Oh how I wanted to laugh, but couldn't. I stress over leaving the house unprotected. Of having enough money while away, packing enough or the appropriate clothing, meds, usual things we NEED, even if we don't... And that was just to go camping within 50 miles of home. I can't imagine 50K miles and no going back! I think we all worry about something while out of our comfort zones though.

The easiest, stress-free trip we ever took as a family was when we still lived in California. One night Mitch and our three daughters kidnapped me. Yes, told me we were going to the store--only I got suspicious that they were up to something (only one of the girls still lived at home-yet all were there at once- and we left Andee with her daddy, just a baby then). I ran back into the house for my jacket and something told me to grab the book I was reading and my hormone pills. Good thing because we ended up in Washington State by morning! I had never been to visit my mom's grave and they decided to take me for the upcoming Memorial day. Priceless. I wasn't worried about much of anything those two days.

I'm just glad everything went well for you and Calvin, so far from home.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Getting away from our routines is nice, but sometimes involves a bit of angst. Your impromptu trip sounds fabulous. Glad you snatched your hormone pills though. We each take pills 3 times a day, plus Calvin takes insulin. Just getting twenty-one days worth of vitamins and medicines packed took hours.

Alicia Dean said...

I am not sure if I'm a what if worrier or not, but I will admit, movies like The Bone Collector and Taken would cross my mind when hailing a cab or traveling abroad. Glad you and Calvin made it home safe...and that you had an amazing time!