The feeling so far is that we’re in for yet another bout of tedium in which the only nod to the real Paris is the name of the city in the title.
All the abuse did was to confirm for me that the city is everything I said it was, and it reminded me that I’d also forgotten to mention provincial, parochial and, clearly, a haven for expats who have nothing better to do than abuse others on social media.
I never dreamed that the first (and only) occasion (to date) that I would pull an emergency cord would be on the Paris Metro. Nor did I imagine that I would bring the whole underground system to a crashing halt with a security alert that sent half the Paris police force running down into the confines of the Rue du Bac station, guns at the ready.
I have no idea whether throwing yourself to the ground is the best thing to do in these circumstances, but it is what I do. And I suddenly hear myself screaming to everyone else to get down too, and words coming out of my mouth that I think might have been along the lines of: “Stay down, everyone! Give him what he wants!” In a language that may be French. Or Norwegian. Who knows. It is a gurgle of syllables: a sound of trapped terror.
I know who I am and am so proud to have seen, heard, witnessed and know about all of these things. I am a proud European who, every day of my life, celebrates everything to which Europe has exposed and given me, and I will defend it to my dying breath.
Even today, and loving my life in the USA, I feel as if I am merely on leave of absence from Paris. A bit like Gertrude Stein: “America is my country and Paris is my hometown.”
Where do I start, Frantz Yvelin, hot-shot CEO and founder of the airline? First, you make me feel like a second-class citizen by refusing to allow me to be anything other than a “Mrs” (heaven forbid that a single woman would, or could, travel Business Class without a man on her arm), and now you compound it by offering a deal to couples only.