28 October 2006

Hello from sunny Warwickshire.

I'm currently in England for the Vacances de la Toussaint (All-Saints Day). We get a week and a half off for Toussaint, which is pretty great since I only started my job a mere 3 weeks ago. I love France.

My journey from Commercy to London was relatively uneventful, spare two noteworthy situations that occured. One was the sounding of the 'International Incident Alarm' which went off right as I was about to make it past baggage claim in London. Instead, I found myself being ushered onto the tarmac while we waited out the alarm. This is the second time the very same thing has happened to me at a London airport upon arrival.

As for the second incident, I learned of it in retrospect. Now, I wouldn't classify myself as being the paranoid type, having travelled solo quite extensively. But taking the RER from Paris to the airport Wednesday afternoon, I couldn't help but feel like a bit of a target with my huge pack. Any hopes of looking like a local student en route home for the week were dashed by the conspicous Canadian flag patch affixed to my bag. I initially chalked my feelings of uneasiness down to me being overly self-conscious. However, reading the newspaper yesterday, I learned that this weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the deaths of Bouna Traore and Zyed Benna, which catalyzed the Race Riots in suburban Paris and later of all France.

According to this story on BBC News, on Thursday afternoon,
"Two armed men forced passengers from a bus in the northern Parisian suburb of Blanc Mesnil, before burning it."
Comforting news, as I actually passed through Blanc Mesnil on transit the day earlier. Maybe I'm not so paranoid after all....

No comments: