Legend has it that; “God created the whole world in six days and on the seventh day, He created the refreshing and fragrant city of Paris.” So I visited France for 3 days, particularly to see the Eiffel Tower and also get the Paris experience.
I thought the French I learnt in basic school could facilitate communication there but it didn’t help me in any way since the accent was so thick, I could not hear a thing. In Paris, it is either you speak French or you shut up!
After being treated to some fine wine, and unforgettable pizza and blessing my eyes with golden Lamborghini, I was advised not to stay longer outside in the night since nightlife in Paris was characterized by much crime. This advice prevented me from visiting night clubs but could not prevent me from seeing how the Eiffel stuns at night.
I stayed longer in the night to watch the spectacular lighting of the Eiffel Tower and took a couple of photos.
I arrived at my hotel later in the night and due to that missed the early morning airport shuttle. I had to wait for another thirty (30) minutes for the next shuttle, this got me scared since I was to catch a flight to Frankfurt.
Lucky enough, I got to the airport on time, used the self-check in service and proceeded to security. I passed through security and went straight to the boarding gate to join the flight, I was last in the queue. The Air France employee only scanned my boarding pass and went ahead to put me on board.
I was damned surprised, I passed through all the processes without showing my passport or ID to anyone, neither did some official request to see my documents. I was traveling from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport on 18th August, 2014 at 7:35am on flight AF1518 to Frankfurt Airport.
Though visas are not required when traveling within the Schengen area, non-residents of the Schengen area are required to possess a valid visa with a valid passport.
I was really shocked and traveled with fear since I did not know the identity of a single passenger on board. At that particular moment, a lot of thoughts and wild guesses filled my mind; What if some of them were wanted terrorists? What if some passengers possessed fake documents on board or they are impersonating others just to do evil?
I don’t know if that is the routine ‘Check’ process in Paris or negligence on the part of the staff on duty that very day. It didn’t come to me as a surprise when Paris had series of attacks recently. Terrorists can easily exit the country even without an ID per my experience.
If measures are not put in place and enforced religiously, Paris will always be easy to attack.
Featured Photo: Boarding Pass. File/JetSANZA.com