Sunday, January 18, 2015

Two Conversations...

I went to the Sunday marche to pick up a kilo of noix casse and deux coqulets avec pomme de terre de salardaise.

15e Traversée de Paris hivernale

As is our habit the noix vender and I shook hands and inquired after each others well being.  We talked about the cold and he asked if my beard keeps me warm.  I said "je pense qu'oui."

The conversation became serious when I asked him why he didn't grow one. It's dangerous, he said.  It's much more dangerous than in his home country of Algeria.  There are crazy people here.  Paris is supposedly a mix of people, but there are those who want to do harm.  I told him that things are not much different in the US these days.  There's enough hatred to go around, or so it seems.  He told me he could never wear a beard while living in France.  Never.

I left him with a warm hand-shake and a head-wag at the sad state of affairs.  It was hard to not feel incredibly sad.  I've thought a lot about what he told me.  How a very few people who do harm indict an entire society?

After our coqulet and duck fat doused pommes de terre de salardaise over lettuce lunch Jude and I headed out to see some things at the Louvre.

The Aftermath

Boarding the metro Jude found a place to sit across from me.  I wasn't paying much attention so I was pleasantly surprised to turn not too long later to see her in deep conversation with a man seated next to her.

The man was French born and Muslim by religion.  As with my earlier conversation, they too talked about the sad state of affairs.  He told Jude he didn't know why he still lived here.  There was too much hate directed toward him, he said.

They talked about how dangerous the world has become and how sad the Paris events are.  Who were the real terrorists and how could they really be contained.

He asked where we were from and Jude told him how embarrassed she was to say America.  They talked about the on-going fall-out of American foreign policies from the Bush era and how there was no longer any good solution.  Jude told him America had blood on it's hands.

As he prepared to get off the train at the next stop, he gave Jude two kisses on her cheeks and said it wasn't her fault.

I moved to the vacated seat and realized that she too had just had a deeply moving conversation.

Charlie Hebdo ~ Rememberances

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