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Paris

It was a beautiful autumn day, last Sunday. I jogged past the Wall for Peace four times that morning, and I walked past it another time that evening after strolling along the Seine. I have missed the colours of the sunset at its most intense but it was nevertheless a beautiful sight. *Camera click*

**

Friday the 13th. I don’t have any particular emotion attached to the day, I don’t get superstitious over it, I would even treat it as a good day to buy the lotto just to defy the conviction of some to the notion of unluckiness. Just another day. It is just a day like any other day.

**

I woke up yesterday morning in a celebratory mode. Perhaps it is not just any good old day. Three years ago, I got PACSed to my Frenchman, whom I lovingly hug and kiss and snuggle against all the time. We have lots of great days, a few bad ones now and then, share tons of laughter and insider’s jokes, and F gets the extra bonus of jumping administrative hoops together with me. We usually have a special dinner date to toast the day but this year, our fancy meal is still a couple of weeks to go; apparently, booking a month in advance is still sometimes not enough to score a table, even for lunch. Happy Pacs-anniversary, mon chéri!

**

Earlier in the week, I was thanked by a meeting committee with a bottle of champagne. I believe it to be a bottle to be shared with my colleagues, for it was a collective effort that made the meeting a success. In the spirit of conviviality, we enjoyed a Friday evening apéro together before wishing each other “bon weekend” and left the office.

**

Just before lunch, F sent me a message and asked how I would feel about hosting an impromptu apéro-dinatoire for his cousins. Sure thing, but make sure they arrive after I get a chance to tidy up the apartment first? The previous occasion when such a “cousins meet-up” took place, they were at a bar in the 11th arrondissement till wee hour in the morning. I can’t even start to imagine if this meet-up had taken place somewhere in the neighbourhood, steps from away extremists’ acts of violence, hell bent on racking up the death toll and leaving chaos in its wake.

**

I was approached last week for the use of one of my photos in a magazine. In light of the attacks in Paris, I am pondering if they will still write the article they had originally wanted to write? I hope they do, not because I want to see my name printed next to the photo but to stand in solidarity with all who refuses to let terror wins and bends us to its will, to show that Paris prevails in the face of difficulty and that Paris has been – and will always be – a cultural and gastronomical centre. Share the love of life that the fallen victims had embraced.

**

Living on the opposite side of the city from the 10ème/11ème, our neighbourhood feels like an entire world away. While the tragedy unfolded last night, there was nary a siren to be heard around here. Life felt, well, normal.

**

The 10K in 9ème that I’m supposed to run tomorrow has been, understandably, cancelled. I wonder if my next 10K run would be the one in 14ème, and will it be under protection of police the way it was earlier this year, after the attacks of Charlie Hebdo and Hypercacher?

**

Social media platforms play complementary roles: through Facebook and its Safety Check, I was able to let family and friends know that we were safely cocooned in our apartment; through Twitter, I was able to follow latest news and observe its power to connect people in need of shelter, help to locate loved ones, and call for blood donations. Other messages of concern came through emails and SMSs, and I am truly touched to see the show of international solidarity.

**

On a lighter note: why would Facebook not let me check F in despite our “in a relationship” status, but instead I could check an ex in if I wanted to? Most logical explanation: different privacy setting. Still, I’d thought with all the data Facebook harvested, it could do better, no? ;)

**

The city comes to a sort of standstill today. Public transports are running but I guess passenger loads will be much lighter, as we’ve been advised to minimise heading out if possible. Many amenities are not available and some services will not resume for another good few days. Eiffel Tower is not groaning under the weight of tens of thousand of pair of feet today, Mona Lisa is having a break from eyeing everyone eyeing her, the gargoyles of the Notre Dame silently observe the arm forces patrolling the city…

**

I’m not liking the thought of (very) likely religious- and/or refugee-related rhetoric propagated by those who wish to advance their political games built on fear-mongering. Please stop and really consider what you are saying and implying. Please stop and not tar everyone with the same crimson brush. Please stop and spare a thought to those who lived through similar nightmares for some time now and with no end in sight.

**

Stay safe everyone, no matter where you are. I’m going to pull out the yoga mat and release some of the pent-up numbness and search for some inner peace.



Category: Musing

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6 scribbles & notes

  1. Lovely piece, L. You write beautifully. Though I understand the days of mourning, and I respect the need for the police and government to focus on picking up the pieces of carnage across the city, another side of me wishes that we as a city would bounce back, defiant to the a-holes who caused this, conducting business and life as we had earlier in the day on Friday 13 Nov.

  2. Chloé says:

    share the love <3
    ((( Lil )))

  3. med says:

    *hugz* lil…just glad u n F are fine ;)

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