My high school trip to London and Paris were a series of small disasters; because of that, it was one of the best experiences of my life. Want to hear a small sample of the things that went wrong?
Four of my classmates got trapped on the Underground
The Underground is the train system of London, and the doors of these subway cars open and close so fast. As a group of over 40 people, someone was bound to get left behind. On our second day in London, we turned to look back at the closed doors after getting off the train and had just enough time to see four boys left standing there, pressed against the glass. One sent us a salute as they got whooshed away. We found them, but it definitely scarred the teachers and put the fear of god in the rest of us for the entire trip.
I got food poisoning from a vegetarian burger
We were having bangers and mash for dinner on our second day, and I learned that bangers are sausages. I don’t eat pork, and one of my friends was kind enough to lie to our teacher and say that he was vegetarian since I was too nervous to, and he gave me his vegetarian burger. It was absolutely delicious, and it made me feel super sick. I ended up having a really sensitive stomach for the next three days, and I was too sick to go on the London Eye with the rest of my class.
One of my classmates almost got hit by a car (as did the rest of us)
Drivers in London don’t stop for anybody. We thought we were safe to cross the road a little after the timer since we were such a huge group, but those drivers didn’t care at all. They sped forward when we were still on the road, and the guy at the back of the group had his bag clipped by a car as it whipped by. After that, we were pretty careful to get off the road quick.
Our tour guide had never been to Paris (the place she was giving us a tour of)
Our tour guide, Alex, was a super nice lady, but she wasn’t the best guide. She spent lots of time going through guidebooks trying to pinpoint how to get us from place to place. This didn’t really make sense to us, until we learned that she had only been to London twice and this was her first time ever coming to Paris. The woman who was supposed to show us around Paris had never been there before! No wonder we got lost.
Our entire class got lost and wandered through an abandoned area of Paris at night
Are you surprised? After we finished at the restaurant where we had dinner on our first night in Paris, Alex typed in the name of our hotel, but she clicked the first name on the list, and we ended up in a construction zone of the city. We had to wander around this abandoned area of Paris for two hours at night until we made it back to our hotel.
A girl got robbed
We were warned on our first day not to go off alone, not to wave money around and to lie if people asked us if we spoke English. One of my classmates did every single one of these, and a man came up and grabbed money right out of her hand. She was super upset and we all felt really bad for her, but at the same time, it kind of made sense. The teachers didn’t tell us those things just for fun: there was obviously a reason they gave us the warnings they did.
I almost made the entire group miss our connecting flight home (but it wasn’t my fault!)
We only had about an hour between our first flight and our second one in Montreal, and there was no time to waste. I am a frequent flyer, and I’ve never had trouble with security until now. This time I got stopped because my reusable water bottle had water in it (don’t even get me started on how I somehow got that through security for the first flight, but that’s besides the point). We were in a hurry, so I told the security guard to just throw it out. He then assumed I was panicking because I had been stopped, so he condescendingly explained to me that I didn’t want to waste a good reusable water bottle, and that I could go outside and dump it out in the bathroom, it wouldn’t take long.
I ended up dumping out the bottle into the garbage while maintaining eye contact with him, and me and my teacher rushed to the gate just in time to make it on the plane. I’m still mad that that guy wouldn’t let me just toss the water bottle, but I actually still have it after all this time.