Personal Notes

Paris on Tranquilizer

A sense of ‘normalcy’ seems to be returning to Paris: there certainly are less armed men in camouflage bearing heavy duty guns in evidence everywhere, the excitement of street protests and revolt is no longer as palpable. Pedestrian traffic is notably thinner – many Parisians seem to be away for the week long holiday, as schools are out! And perhaps there is also the added calming effect of the Senate having pushed through controversial pension reforms, notwithstanding widespread protests and discontent with the legislation. Today would have also been the weekend after the Lady Gaga concert, but instead the shows were canceled and postponed to December. Paris is swallowing a huge , tranquilizing pill.

And the images emerging out the city as the nights set in earlier and become darker are beautiful – the ‘city of light’ is beginning to live up to its name in a stricter sense. As the passions of a very ‘exciting’ summer simmer down (i.e. the furore’s over Betancourt, the Roma and the clash between Brussels and Paris, then the street protests) – a subtle entrance into Winter is setting in. There is the temporary hope that perhaps, just perhaps, Paris is about to calm itself. …

Well, we’ll see.

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