Day 161 May 2, 2023 Problems Abroad

Our goal of the German Exchange was to explore history as well as modern life in Germany. It was to support our German language program at Rangeview.  We always spent time traveling the region and extended into France. Our trips to Strasbourg were always an education of history and modern times. I spoke of visiting the European Parliament earlier in the blog. This was a highlight to see the legislative arm of the EU. However, I now need to tell the story of how I almost died on our first trip in 2009. After we spent the morning at the Parliament we decided to walk back down to the Cathedral. This was a long walk but we saw many historic areas as we went downtown. One of the buildings was of particular interest. The United States Consulate was along the river and our path. I was naive and thought it would be fun to have the group take a picture in front of the Consulate. I assembled the group and as I was raising my camera, a guy in uniform comes busting out to the guard hut with his hand on his holster shouting, NO PICTURES.

I was a little freaked and immediately brought the camera down and pushed the kids off towards downtown. I wandered over to the guard and asked him why it was such a big deal. He shared that after 9/11 they would allow no pictures of overseas consulates regardless of them being harmless. I agreed that it made sense and went downtown with the kids. That is how I almost got shot by a guy from New Jersey in France on American soil. This would start a run of bad luck with France over the next few years. I always feel like France hates me and goes out of its way to make me aware.