TRAVEL STORIES: Scariest Moment in Paris

In June 2014, the Spanish and French classes combined to go on a trip to Paris, France; Madrid, Spain; Barcelona, Spain; and Costa Brava, Spain. We were a group consisting of about 21 students and 3 chaperones. We spent 3 days and 2 nights in Paris, and on the second night the majority of us wanted to see the Eiffel Tower “sparkle”. So all of us, except one student, one chaperone, and our tour guide, decided to go to the Eiffel Tower (and climb it).

The Night went fine up until we figured out that the metro that would take us back to our hotel closed at 1 AM. By the time we figured that out it was 12:30 AM and we had to make a mad dash to get back to the hotel before the metro closed. However, one of the girls (let’s call her Nicole), had asthma. And she didn’t bring her inhaler. All of us were sprinting to catch our connecting routes when Nicole had an Asthma attack. The French teacher and two other girls took her to the hospital while the rest of us returned to the hotel.

All of us were worried about Nicole. For me personally, I never experienced seeing someone having an asthma attack, so seeing it for the first time in a foreign country was kind of scary. I can’t imagine what it was like for Nicole.

In the morning, we were scheduled to go to the Versailles Palace. Before we left we were told what had happened at the hospital. Apparently when Nicole and the others arrived at the hospital, they were completely ignored. The French teacher was trying everything to get someone’s attention, since Nicole couldn’t breathe. When a nurse finally acknowledged them and gave them the paperwork, they were ignored again when asking for a pen.

Although this moment doesn’t involve me specifically, it was still a traumatizing experience. It disgusts me that the staff at the hospital ignored someone in need of help. It scares me to think that I could have a medical emergency and be completely ignored.

I’ll give the benefit of doubt that it was just a one-time thing or it was simply the staff working that evening. Either way, that experience will forever have me worry about medical emergencies in a foreign country. Anyway, I hope you all have safe and happy travels!

COMMENT CHALLENGE: Let me know down in the comments if you have experienced an emergency in a foreign country (or even someplace you weren’t familiar with).

FRANCE: Beautiful Eiffel Tower At Night
Seeing the Eiffel Tower is a must-see! It glows beautifully over Paris!
FRANCE: Eiffel Tower At Night
I know, There’s a head in the picture. It’s good enough. 🙂
The Eiffel Tower "Sparkling", it's so pretty to see!
The Eiffel Tower “Sparkling”, it’s so pretty to see!

Safe and happy travels everyone!

6 thoughts on “TRAVEL STORIES: Scariest Moment in Paris

  1. In Paris, my experience was very bad. Many French people indulged in verbal abuse to the tourists. And in Movie hall, restaurant and even in Hospital canteen, they misbehaved with us, a group of Indian, German and Pakistani friends . While I am going to write that in detail in my blog soon, it is sufficient to say for now, if they do not change their attitude to the travellers , it is going to affect their tourism severely. And if I am not wrong, they have a huge revenue from tourism. They should understand civilised people do not behave seeing the skin color nor with english speakers (or any language speakers other than French). They should not expect, while travelling to France for few days , nobody should learn French, it is them who need to learn English if they seriously want to save their tourism business.

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  2. *Note to self, don’t have asthma attack in Paris…
    That sounds like it would have been a scary experience for that girl. I wouldn’t be surprised if something like that put someone off going back to a country again. I have asthma but it hasn’t kicked off badly when on holiday, yet. I hope it never does but considering the amount of allergies I have and add in that I’ve also overweight and unfit, I try never to part ways with my inhaler.
    Thankfully, I’ve never had any medical emergencies when away from home, though I did, last time I was in London a few years back manage to possibly permanently weaken my leg. I pulled a muscle or something happened to my right knee and calf. I mean, I do that a lot, but that time it was more serious. It was incredibly painful, so obviously I spend the next two days walking around all of London. By the second day I figured I should take some painkillers and the problem was solved…although I could feel the strain in my leg for several weeks after and to this day it’s still prone to cramping. Oh well! At least I was able to enjoy my trip!

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  3. I can relate. I hope your friend is doing better. I feel for her. I do have asthma. My husband didn’t have asthma for the longest time till we moved to Shanghai. It was caused my the pollution. One time I had to go to the hospital (I had to see a Taiwanese Doctor instead of a Chinese Doctor cause my health insurance is from Taiwan and not China) because I had bronchitis. Again, it was due to the pollution,

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  4. I was on a school trip and some students were messing around in a stairwell. Basically they were being stupid and jumping down flights of steps to see who could go the furthest. One of the taller students decided to take a risk and somehow bashed the top of his head on the steps above them. He split open the top of his head and was rushed to the hospital. The good news is they were seen immediately and he did not have to pay a cent. He was given stitches which dissolve and sent back to the hotel; it took two hours. So if you ever decide to get hurt do so in England

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  5. Nice story, i’m sure that was a really scary experience to have in another country. Thanks for liking our recent post about moving to Korea, we love sharing our adventures with other travelers.

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  6. I really feel bad for your friends experience 😦

    Me – paperwork problem – spent a night in the airport detention centre in Moscow and was ejected from Russia on the first flight the next day.

    Moral of our stories, be it travel plans, official documents, health issues, always make sure to prepare well.

    Some thoughts:
    – always triple check paperwork
    – carry medicine and first aid kit
    – carry something with your name / address (accomodation) written in local language etc.
    – make sure you know the english speaking emergency service no. (or your language)
    – in some countries where health care is difficult, see if you can research a good hopital / doctors surgery details before you go just in case..

    Anything else?

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