“Take my picture next to the pyramid!” Dawn said to her sister as they were waiting in the underground line-up to get into the Louvre.
“Oh my gosh, we’re such tourists!” Emily said right before snapping the picture.
“I know, eh?” Dawn said as she rejoined her older sibling in line.
“You two are from Canada, aren’t you?” the man in front of them in line asked once Dawn had returned.
“We are!” Dawn replied, shocked that someone could determine someone’s nationality just by standing a few inches away from them. “How did you know?”
“You said ‘Eh’. It’s a dead give away, mate,” he answered.
“Ah, and I’m guessing by your accent that you’re from Australia,” Dawn then said.
“You have me pegged!”
Dawn and Emily, two bored middle-aged Canadian women, couldn’t have asked for a better person to wait next to in line. Their new Australian friend looked to be around their age, but in far better shape and with an expression on his face that told them he lived a far more interesting life than they did.
“So, what brings you to Paris?” Emily asked.
“Well, I just finished sailing around the Caribbean and thought I’d make a few stops in Europe before heading home,” he told her.
“You sailed around the Caribbean? How awesome!” an enthralled Emily said.
Oh it was awesome alright, and his story would get a whole lot more awesome by the time the doors to the world’s most famous museum opened. There was the business that was sucking the life out of him he sold to finance his trip, the sailboat he then unloaded once he was back on land, the week he just spent in Amsterdam, and now a few days in Paris in memory of a similar trip he took to Europe years ago.
“It may not be the most financially prudent thing I’ve ever done, but life’s short. You have to live it while you can,” he said.
A few seconds later the doors opened, and the three tourists parted ways.
“That was such a great story, wasn’t it?” Emily asked of Dawn. “It’s a shame we didn’t get his name.”
“How about we call him Sydney, after Australia?” Dawn said before checking that nothing had been taken from her purse.
As much as she loved Sydney’s story, she wasn’t entirely convinced it was true. Did he do all of those things he said he did, or did he mark her and her sister as two frumpy women he could easily fool with a story about adventure? Amsterdam isn’t exactly next door to the Caribbean, and it would be easy enough to pickpocket them once their guard was down.
Everything was exactly where it should be in her bag, which left her feeling a bit sad. Maybe he was there to steal from them, but her keeping an eye on both of their purses prevented him from doing so, or maybe he did just live out a fantastic adventure and she was too far gone to share her sister’s sense of wanderlust. Either way, she saw herself as a little bit poorer.