Under certain circumstances,,,,, I could go,,, KABOOM!
The Paris today is not the Paris I remember the first time I visited the city. My then boyfriend was studying at the Sorbonne. How exciting! I arrived, threw the bags on the bed that took up 75% of the 22 sqm apartment then ran out to absorb the French capital.
Of course there was security but it was not omnipresent. I heard the two-toned French sirens in the background every once in a while but being in a city of 18 million, police sounds are a part of the landscape, a price to pay for the vitality of an urban space.
Returning to Paris, now feels like a different world. Police are everywhere patrolling the streets with guns, in wagons, on the river. The 2015 Bataclan Attack has affected the spirit of this open city. I felt a bit sad, everywhere, checks, security where once entrances were unimpeded.
When life gives a lemon, make lemonade. Turn a negative into a positive. Visiting the Army Museum or Les Invalides made me have a rethink about the police presence. Walking up to the entrance there were three young, smiling gentlemen wearing army uniforms. These guys were protecting us from a threat. Looking at their faces, I really did not care what threat, Invasion from Mars, terrorist! Their lean bodies trained to react, protecting the innocent.
I was carrying a shoulder bag. I knew the procedure. Open Bag, show the inside, possible body scan. It did not happen! I was insulted. What do I have to do to get checked by soldiers? I am wearing orange trainers with matching orange shoe laces. I could be a threat! Orange in November! I insist you CHECK! Frisk Me! I WANTED TO BE TAKEN TO A ROOM!!!! With all three! I would have settled for one, two better. Who knows how explosive the situation could have been.