A few years ago, I was alone at Paris airport. Shortly after I landed, I went to use the washroom. Sitting on a wheelchair was an old, old lady with wrinkles all over her face.
As I stood there, managing my hand-luggage, coat and all the other hundreds of miscellaneous things I was carrying, she dropped her face in her hands.
I looked at her uncomfortably.
I did not know if I spoke a language she knew. I did not know whether she was crying. I did not know whether I was expected to do anything, whether it would be intrusive.
Thankfully, another old lady emerged from a washroom cubicle just then and came quickly to the lady in the wheelchair.
“What happened?” she asked, a little worried. “What is the matter?”
The lady in the wheelchair looked up. I remember the tears glistening in her eyes, but I could not help eavesdropping on the conversation. “I can’t believe it,” she said.
The other lady, standing beside the wheelchair smiled.
“I can’t believe it,” said the lady in the wheelchair again. “Can you believe it? We’re in Paris! We’re actually in Paris! In France!”