Fear is a Weapon of Soul Destruction, Last week I was in Paris celebrating my 33rd birthday and my 10 years marriage anniversary. Everything was planned from the beginning so that when I arrive I don't waste time and I actually start having fun “right away”. Starting from the accommodation and transportation plans to each and every attraction visit prepaid and timed to a specific time schedule that makes use of every second I was spending there to maximize the fun time. Little did I know that there was a different plan in play for me…
1st thing I did transfer everything I had to Euro so that I would be able to hang out and shop and so on, Then happened what I can only describe as a defining moment of my life, I was robbed. While I was getting into the metro to go to my rented place 5 African guys pushed me down inside the metro car and stole my wallet with ALL my cash for the vacation and all my credit cards, so I literally had nothing there except my passport and my mobile.
A strange adrenaline energy came to me that I never saw coming, I held the guy who stole the money and kept holding to him and the other 4 guys pushing me away from him. To my surprise, the metro was crowded yet no one offered to help even though it would have only taken 1 or 2 more persons to stop him. when the train stopped the guy ran and I did chase him leaving my wife with our 3 large luggage. No need to mention that the guy for sure while he knows the place well he out ran me and that was it, I lost 2000 Euro in just a few moments, and more importantly I lost any kind of financial support for food and transportation. Now I was up to another 2 tasks after failing to chase the guy, it was first to find my wife and 2nd to contact the police to report this, and I did both at the same time. While looking for my wife I started contacting the police by phone, this happened at a station called Gare du Nord. 1st of all for those who didn't go to Paris before metro stations there especially big ones are a mess, with 3 companies and more than 3 lines for each one it was a mess and it was my 1st time there, so It took me forever to find out where she was, and while she was moving with 3 big luggage alone and crying and shaking from what happened, no one even offered to help her with the bags. As for the police, they informed me the following:
1- They don't have officers at the station so I have to go to a police station.
2- There is no station security that can help me out.
3- They can’t help me find my wife, in their own words “You find her then come to us”
At that moment I asked her to find whatever strength possible to carry the 3 bags and go up to the surface out of the station so it would be easier to find her, and she did, again with zero help from every single person there.
We then headed to the nearest police station which was at a station called Gare de l’Est, which we found closed, yes police station closed and the officer that came out to us told me you can go find a police station or you can wait for 2 hours till we open again. At this moment I realized how great Egypt is. 1st of all we have police and security everywhere and in the metro stations, so never would have a similar thing happened, 2nd the people on the metro wouldn't have made you even need the police, they would have acted on the spot.
We had no other option than to get Uber ride to home, since with the shock there was no way to ride the metro again that day, for my good luck the Uber driver was from Morocco so I talked with him and he told me there is no reason to make a police report, they will never do anything about stolen cash.
Once I arrived at my place I thought to myself, right now I have only 9 euros and I have no way to know when will I have money to do anything. So I looked to my wife and told her to go out for a walk and have fun. I know we were at this specific moment screwed, but not for a second was I scared, I knew God will find a way to help me with, and at the moment all I had in my hands was to pray and to go out and have fun. And so we did, we walked till tour Eiffel and watched it and took photos, I kept laughing about what happened and how it happened and how we were lost from each other at the station for almost an hour. For me, it changed into a thing I would laugh about, a new learning experience that was there for a reason. Maybe it was to test my patience, maybe it was to test my faith, or maybe for another reason that I don't know about. But in all cases what was done was done, and now I have to not let it affect my vacation and ruin my mood.
For my luck could of our relatives back home had friends who live in Paris so they managed to support us with the cash we needed, and both (one Egyptian and one Parisian) insisted that what was important was to have fun, which for me was a decision made earlier. I even remember joking about the situation with the Uber driver and mocking myself, fun and laughter is the only weapon we have.
The next day was supposed to go to Disneyland (which was pre-booked) so we decided to go there and to have fun. One thing I should mention about Disneyland and having fun, I have phobia from any kind of roller coasters or water slides. I fear them way too much, and while planning for this trip one of my searches was how to overcome that fear, I really wanted to ride one there that was known to be a scary one, but it was a Star Wars one so I had to. When I sat on that seat in that rollercoaster I told myself one thing, you didn't allow 5 Africans robbing you to stop you from having fun, are you going to let a small ride do? and that was it, I enjoyed the ride for the 1st time of my life and was way too excited that I was going around looking at it and saying proudly that I had gotten on it.
The rest of the day at Disneyland was more than amazing, they just have a way to project their lovely spirit over you, and make you forget everything about everything, the Christmas spirit was all over the place and for the entire day there I did have a lot of fun, but later I will post a detailed post about Disney and the complete trip, for now, I just want to say the following…
While what happened to me the moment I landed at Paris was horrifying and enough to ruin a lot of people entire vacation not just day, I decided that it won’t, I believed that the good is yet to come, I believed that I can have fun, and I did. I believed that I can enjoy that ride and I did. Fear is like cancer, it ruins everything and sucks away the fun and the life in you, just like the Dementors at Harry Potter, they suck happiness. I realized that getting over fear is a decision, and I believe that what I passed through horrible as it was, yet it made me even a better version of me, I chased 5 guys while everyone else told me that was a mistake and they could have hurt me, but I cared for standing up for myself, I got over my rollercoaster fear by a decision that I will have fun, and it was the 1st ride I had there so by breaking that barrier there was nothing else that I could fear ever, and I enjoyed the rest of my day… Your mind is the only thing standing between you and your fear, which is the only thing standing between you and having the best time of your life, never give up to fear