I used to go there on Saturday mornings. We ordered a délice à la banane or gingembre confit, a mint green tea, and used to set the schedule for the day we had to face. Le Petit Cambodgde, which was a stick throw away from the Saint-Martin Canal, welcomed me and Nicolai every time with the same warmth. Each year. Like the entire restaurant was ours.
Friday night found me shocked, in tears, unable to understand what is happening to this world. Just two weeks earlier, on a Friday just as black, dismayed and confused, I was watching the news channels and the death toll from the Colectiv club, which would not stop from increasing. Last Friday, the horror story was repeated, this time not in my country, but in my adoptive country.
The Saint Martin Canal is the neighborhood where we usually stay when we go to Paris. Normally, during this time, a holiday to the French capital almost became a tradition. We could have been there, on a terrace or in the Bataclan hall, where I saw dozens of concerts and shows of stand-up comedy.
Only luck and randomness makes that this year, the middle of November have found us in Bucharest, not in Paris, as usual. Because lately, looking at what happens around me, I realize with sadness that ultimately it is all a matter of luck. I find that it became a matter of the lottery if we live or not. I could have been in Colectiv club, I could have been to a concert or a dinner in Paris, it could have been me, my family, or it could have been you, in any of the places where people have lost their life, in the recent tragedies. It’s a matter of luck and I can only be grateful every day that I and my family are well. At the same time, I’m absolutely terrified of everything that happens; it seems that we are not safe anywhere and I can’t imagine what the world will look in a few years when Ilona and Iancu will be on their own feet.
I think it’s important that, despite the horrors that stubbornly kept happening, we recompose ourselves. Let’s regroup, repair, as we are torn to pieces, confused, grieving, and try to go further. Ultimately this makes us stronger, that we are fighters and we don’t give up.
Paris, je t’aime. Aujourd’hui et toujours.