Remember me telling you about trusting your instincts? It's always worked for me. If Mom was reading this right now, I'd most definitely be contributing to some gray hairs, but all is well in France this morning! The beautifully singing birds woke us up in full force, long before dawn, which we can't even really complain about. After all, we've just begun a Euro-journey of a lifetime. Who needs sleep? And we can't blame it all on the birds. After being in transit for well over 24 hours, our internal clocks are completely upside down and adrenaline is pumping through our veins. Oh, to be alive... in France! Did I mention that already?
My two lovely American friends happened to sit next to Alvin, a friendly German man who, up until the plane landed, hadn't spoken to them at all. I suppose their foreignness poured out through their midwestern accents because, lucky us, he asked what they were doing in Switzerland and where we were staying. That lead to his reply, "Hm. I think that hotel is in France." ...What? France? Here we were in Geneva, Switzerland, close to the border, but definitely not aware the hotel Sarah booked was in another country! Swiss transport wouldn't take us across the border and the hotel's airport shuttle was no longer running for the night. We quickly and easily discovered all this information because Alvin kindly let us use his phone. Upon receiving this news and seeing the slight panic in their eyes, he offered to give us a ride, as it was only twenty minutes away by car. Many might read this and immediately call us naive and far too trusting, but you simply had to be there to understand. We could tell he was an honest and genuine person who truly didn't care whether we took him up on the offer or not. He was just being nice. And like he said, no one wants to start a vacation off with stress and so many unknowings.
So that was that. He plugged the hotel address into his GPS and in no time we reached our destination. He bid us happy travels and we promised to send him American beer and gifts for his generosity.
We talked about it later and reassured ourselves of the decision to go with him. He hadn't made one comment about our looks or age and didn't seem interested in us in that way, at all. Another big factor was that he wasn't pushy. His disinterest of whether we took him up on a friendly favor or chose to pay for a terribly expensive cab ride was important.
Of course you can't expect to read every situation perfectly all the time. We're human and we make mistakes... and a bad judgement call could be one of them. But this particular decision worked out for us. We said our goodbyes, so thankful to have met him.
Don't go into situations blindly trusting! Our guards are still up and we don't plan on taking just anyone up on a free ride. We know that bad people exist. But Alvin simply wasn't one of those people. A huge thanks to him and his generosity. We made it to the hotel just in time to cheers to Schuyler's birthday! What a way to start the trip.