Paris mon amour
It happened friday evening.
They shot on my Paris.
My city, my love.
Mon amour. My home since 10 years.
So magnificent when the the Eiffel tower stands above the shiny bridge Alexander the III over the sparkling river,
So charming when you climb on the hills of Montmartre, topped by the meringue looking Sacré-coeur,
So fashionable, in the narrow busy streets of the Marais district, or in the white and gold Bon Marché,
So interesting with all its amazing museums, The Louvre, the Orsay, the Carnavalet, the Maison rouge and so much more I could go on and on,
With its countless cinemas, concert halls, theaters,
So peaceful when you cruise on the Seine, waving at the locals enjoying their wine and fromage on the shores,
Working as a personal shopper and as a tour guide, I see the eyes of the foreigners visiting my city sparkle when they discover it,
Hence my own eyes never cease to sparkle in front of all those marvels I am lucky to be amongst everyday,
What I am even more lucky about is to live in the 11th arrondissement of Paris,
Where the beats of Paris meet the beats of my heart,
Where I always feel surrounded with friends, warmth and love,
10 years ago, I took the train with no return ticket, very excited and a little scared, Paris was so big and I knew no one,
I moved in the 11th, feeling somehow, this would be a welcoming district,
I immediately fell in love with its lively dirty streets, with this belle époque café where I can find bone marrow, with this tiny vietnamese restaurant where the owner instantly remembers you name, with the moroccan boulangerie at the corner, which makes ones of the best baguettes in town, with my sunday market on the boulevard Richard Lenoir where you can buy crêpes and couscous to go.
With my newly met friends from all around France, from all around the world, of all colors, loving who they want, loving how they want, loving so much.
Most are atheist, some are christians, some are muslims, all are humanist.
They believe in freedom so strongly, they have such open-mindness, they are so beautiful, so full of hopes, I feel I belong here, I am in the right place,
Where I can smile, tell whatever I want never fearing to be judged, wear short dresses and high-heels, have the love life I choose, swear, drink wine and laugh out loud.
My friends and I where in the right place the oh-so-many times we shared cheap wine and not so sprinkly beers in front of the Carillon – a wonderful mixed community bar – eventually crossing the street for a bo-bun break at Le petit Cambodge.
Here we had endless conversations, celebrated birthdays, randomly ran into our friends, made new ones and saw the police come only because the joyful crowd we were part of was blocking the street,
Friday they shot my Paris.
Straight in the heart. Straight in my heart.
They wanted to kill our night, our joie de vivre, our freedom.
Some would think they killed our carefreeness.
Yet we were not so carefree already. We are worried about the world. About the raise of the ones who hate life and worship death, about global warming, slowly consuming our one and only planet, about the capitalism that makes industries turn people into slaves.
So we were seeking for alternatives. For ourselves and for the world. Because we love it so much. Being vegetarian, helping refugees, quitting their job because they do not believe in the company they work for, creating shows to make people happy, reducing their plastic bags consumption, is what I see people do around me.
Most of us do not believe in god, we believe in humans, and won’t let some frustrated cowards ruin the whole world with their filthy ignorance.
Their bullets may have killed the most innocent and beautiful people. They did not kill the heart of Paris.
The fear just made it skip a beat. One day.
Today it beats with anger and pain. It beats with love and fraternity for each other in Paris, in Beirut, in Syria.
We will keep smiling, drinking, kissing and fighting for what we believe in.
With all my heart,