By Fiona Tabastot
Since I’m leaving in London, each time I go back to France I spend my time to apologize.
I drink more beer than wine.
I put milk in my tea. And I know the perfect timing to take the bag off.
I understand english jokes and even find them funnier than french ones.
I realized english food wasn’t that terrible after all and I’d rather have a hot cross bun than a croissant for breakfast.
I queue to go inside the tube and I don’t complain in each sentence.
I’ve been away from so long that I began to wonder if I didn’t lose the parisian inside me.
Paris, 24/12/2014, 8am
Is there a better day to watch french people going to work than the day before christmas?
I wonder if they are all gonna look grumpy as usual or if the perspective to have more chocolate and alcohol than usual could cheers them up?
The « metro » is empty. For a second, you could think it’s mid-august, when almost all the Parisians are somewhere around a beach perfecting their tanning for September. Well, except that today everyone is wearing a coat, some scarfs and gloves. And that the sky is grey.
They are sleeping, listening some music, staring at their phones, pretending to read their newspaper…
The tube goes off the darkness to continue its ride in the air, giving a dreamy view on the Eiffel Tower, the Bir-Hakem bridge… I watch my french pals. No one could care less.
Paris is still Paris. It’s like I never left.
Everyone tries its best to avoid any eye contact.
Under their fancy hats, they still look sad or angry.
Less than usual though. Or is it me?
I got out of the tube and begin my journey on one of the most famous street of Paris: the Champs-Elysées.
The french Oxford Circus, kind of. Idolized by the tourists, hated by the Parisians.
A woman is doing the last retouches in the window shops before the opening.
The delivery man is about to finish his job.
In the restaurants, everyone is buzzing around trying to get ready for one of the busiest night.
Outside, it’s quite calm.
Workers are getting to work, looking at their feet or their phone.
Fancy woman on heels are walking around like on a catwalk.
Some regulars salute themselves.
People look more smily and carefree, walking slower than usual. Like if it was a special day.
I am now arriving at Franklin Roosevelt.
The street get crowded again. A group of tourists is now blocking the street, stopping everyone from moving forward.
I’m simmering inside.
A guy behind me his trying to find his way in between, without success.
He really begin to loose his patience. « Putain! »*
I was thinking the same.
Maybe I didn’t lose my inner-parisian after all.