Before I left Colorado, I wanted all matching luggage so I would not draw attention to myself from security appearing as if I were picking up mis-matched luggage of 3 different passengers. So I purchased 7 pieces of bright red matching luggage.
At baggage claim in Paris, I piled up 5 bright red pieces of luggage with matching pink ribbons tied on each of the handles (thanks mom for the pink ribbon...although I'm not a little girl) and I topped off the stack with my black backpack...also with a pink ribbon tied around the handle. I was the last person to get my last lonely red piece of luggage off the carrousel. I stopped by the restroom first and that must be when all the other passengers had time to grab their bags and go.
So there I was, the last passenger getting my luggage...And as soon as I have them all perfectly stacked I start to walk towards the EXIT sign...(I can read Exit, because it's in English). Running towards me are the French Airport Security, a French man and a French lady in uniform...are they really running towards me? I wonder....looks like it, then I wonder no more since they are on both sides of me holding on to my cart and my perfectly stacked red luggage as if protecting it from falling off the cart, but I know they are not going to fall off, so what could security possibly want with me? The man is holding a ticket and the lady says "Red, Please wait", she said it in French and I understood...then she looked past me to the empty carrousel. I wondered for a minute if I had forgotten a piece, so I looked back too.
The male guard said something in French with the ticket in his hand and I just looked dumb and looked at the girl. The girl said, "Ah" as she pointed out and touched all the pink ribbons on my luggage showing the male security guard they matched. He just said "Okay".
The strange thing is that he had a baggage claim ticket with my name on it; he showed it to me and asked me if I was Florence. I was confused wondering how did he get my ticket? but finally I said yes. He said okay...and they both said have a nice day as they motioned towards the Exit.
I wonder if the way Air Canada processed my extra baggage in Vegas with no fee had something to do with security looking for that one bag? And I wonder if one girl having enough luggage for a family of 4 drew attention to myself?
I didn't have to wonder long as I rolled my cart around the corner to the middle exit door, the next security guard on the left exit door called me over from across the crowd. "Madam!, Madam!", he shouted! (Why don't they call me by the word I prefer, "Mademoiselle"...like they did 10 years ago? ) I could not ignore that it was me he was standing up yelling and motioning for....so I rolled my 5 foot high red stack of luggage with matching pink ribbons through the crowd and over to his door. He asked me something in French as he circled his finger around the top of my luggage cart and looked past me as if he were looking for my husband, children and my mother to be accompanying me...I just smiled, because I was tired and gave him my "I'm-dumb American-don't-understand-look"...it must be a universal look, because he immediately spoke broken English and asked, "Madam, who you travel with?" I shook my head, No. Then he asked: "How long you stay?" oh no!...uh oh! what I fear has come upon me...I laughed and thought, Hey, I could be Kimora Lee Simons...do you know she travels with more than 27 pieces of luggage for a SHORT trip...some girls need lots of clothes.., I just said, "Uh, I will be traveling around..." (true statement). Then I asked him, "Where is the taxi, please?" He asked, "Where you go?" I showed him my rental confirmation with the apartment address....(no dates). He looked at it and said "okay...go!". I asked again, "Where is the taxi please?" He said, "Exit to the Right."
Ahh...finally out of Customs and Airport Security...on my way to my first apartment (no roommates...In Paris)