Picture the scene. It’s Friday at lunch time. A group of colleagues congregated in the canteen. After giving out about the less than palatable spread laid out for us that day, the conversation turns to Paris. You see, our boss has just jetted off to the city for a few days break. One by one, we begin to tell our own Paris stories. As it turns out, everyone has one!
Paris is a city that I will always hold close to my heart. It is a city I have known and experienced as a child, as a teenager, and as an adult. It is the city that cultivated a love of history, art, and language in me. It is the city that prompted me to start this blog.
When it’s my turn, I briefly outline my love affair with Paris. I know the city quite well. My first trip to Paris I was 9 years old. I visited the city several times between then and 2013, when I spent three months living in the 16th arrondissement. I was the proud owner of a Navigo. After a turbulent first meeting, I befriended the local boulanger, who gradually began to give me fresher bread as the weeks went on. Towards the end of my stay, he would have a coffee waiting for me each morning. I could see the Eiffel Tower from my apartment. There was no greater pleasure to me than watching the lights of the tower sparkle every hour on the hour. It never got old. The workers in my local post office found ‘la fille irlandaise’ (the Irish girl) very amusing and would always asked me questions about my life when I popped in every so often looking for stamps or to pick up a package. The first snow of the year fell as I stepped outside of Notre Dame. We drank mulled wine that day before hopping on the metro, to emerge on the Champs Elysée, where the city seemed to have been transformed into a white winter wonderland within minutes. One evening I gathered snow from my windowsill into a large metal bowl, ran up 4 flights of stairs to our neighbours/friends apartment, knocked on the door, and started Snowmagedon! Indoor snow ball fights are the best kind of snow ball fights!
I left work yesterday evening and caught a train to Dublin. When I arrived, I read the first news of a shooting in a restaurant in Paris. While I was shocked then, nothing could have prepared me for what was to emerge over the course of the evening.
A part of my heart broke last night; For the people of Paris, the people of France, and the innocent people of this world that we live in. I barely slept as I kept up to date with France 24 en direct, and praying that my friends would mark themselves as safe on Facebook. Tragedies such as these are happening much more frequently as our world becomes increasingly smaller, albeit by a very small minority of people. Paris has been victim to one too many vicious acts of terrorism this year. Paris, the city where I always felt welcome, happy and safe.
J’espère que vous et vos proches êtes tous sains et saufs. Mes pensées sont avec vous ❤
Liberté. Égalité. Fraternité!
*This post is up a little later than usual due to a family funeral today
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