Paris Journal 2005

Friday, July 8, 2005

Sign my guestbook. View my guestbook.                  <Previous           Next>

A comforting image from a shop window on the Boulevard St. Germain.


Cycling on the Seine.

Hurricane Dennis on Thursday night EDT, Friday morning GMT.

As I was finishing uploading yesterday’s entry, I noticed in my on our My.Yahoo.Com page in the French news that there had been an explosion on the London Tube, and that it may have been caused by an electrical problem.  I decided not to assume the worst, but to assume that it was an electrical problem, and I continued to do some research/work.  Then I took a break at noon to go out and buy our two French and one English newspapers. 


The man who runs the kiosque where I buy the papers has very garbled, colloquial French which I have trouble understanding.  I usually understand him because I understand the context in which he is speaking to me (the cost of the papers, the supplements available with the papers that day, etc.).  But this time he said something to me that I did not understand, and I knew by his face that it was serious.  So I told him I didn’t understand and lo and behold, he spoke to me in English.  I had no idea he could.  Anyway, he said there was a problem with London.  I assumed he thought I was British (many people here do) and that  he meant the decision to have the Olympic Games there.  I responded that I really wasn’t happy about that.  He understood that I misunderstood, and he said no, there was an explosion on the Métro  there.  I said, yes, was it caused by an electrical problem?  He didn’t understand my English, but I said it in French then and he understood.  He said, “Apparently not.  It was an – how to you say - attat”.  And by that I understood attack.  And I said “terrorism.” 


From then on, it seems, we understood that I must speak to him in French and he must speak to me in English.  Weird.  We discussed the severity of the situation.  Yes it is scary, we agreed.  But it is important to go on.  Yes, we must go on.  Otherwise, they win.  He is very concerned that something like this could happen in Paris.  I said, yes, it did happen in 1997, right?  He agreed.  Bombing on the Métro .  I hope it does not happen again. 


My heart goes out to the British.


Our plan is to walk a lot, and not to take the Métro for a few days.  But mostly we are working now, so that is the main plan: keep noses to the grindstone all morning and half the afternoon.  Watch the Tour de France.  Go out walking, doing errands, cat sitting, and eating out.  Next day, same thing. 


Incidentally, when we were in England in June, we passed through London twice, and spent an entire day there on a Saturday.  In those forays, we managed to be in three of the four places where the explosions occurred yesterday morning.  Aldgate Station is the only place we did not go to.  Kings Cross Station is the one we used to go to Cambridge and to come back from Cambridge, and we used the Picadilly line there.  I think that is where most of the fatalities occurred.  I wrote about being at Russell Square, I think.  And we went through Edgeware Road on the tube.  You get the picture – there but for the Grace of God . . . .


Meanwhile, we also have a hurricane to watch back in Florida.  We are deeper into the “cone of uncertainty,” and the probability of the Category 4 storm hitting our home is going up.  Life is pretty serious now.  More later.

Friday, July 8, 2005

Sign my guestbook. View my guestbook.                  <Previous           Next>