Days 23 & 24. Paris, Lyon.

cristina

Thursday I was supposed to leave to Lyon after I finish installing Windows on my laptop. Romain and I had a long night of boys’ talk Wednesday night and we were both kind of lazy and tired. He brought some beers and even though he was supposed to go to sleep early, we shared some nice stories until late in the evening. He also showed me photos from his amazing photo project about the music industry, one of the best photographic concepts I’ve ever heard. We decided that he will end his project when he has Foo Fighters’ David Grohl in it or when I shoot Emma Stone’s portrait. I really thing he’s going to get there first, though. In the morning we were both leaving. Him to Bordeaux and me to Lyon. But my Windows wasn’t ready so I couldn’t leave yet. So Romain left me there at his house and went to Bordeaux.

At around 4 pm I was having a functional computer after more than 2 weeks without a laptop. It was too late to hitchhike so I had some pasta with olive oil from Romain’s kitchen, hanged around the house for a while and then went out for a walk. It was my last night in Paris and I was saying goodbye to a city that has been good to me for so many times. Homeless people were sleeping or pissing on the streets, tourists were walking and taking photos and French people were having coffees on terraces. Everything was a mess and everything was beautiful at the same time. Yes, there was dirt on the streets and such a mix of cultures that you had the impression you were in Babylon more than in France’s capital city, but the way the moon was rising above the Seine and it’s beautiful bridges was one of the most romantic things you could ever witness. I accepted the moon’s nostalgic influence for a while and then went back home through the dark boulevards, where the moon had no chance to spread her light.

Before going to bed I received a message from Cristina, a good friend from Romania who was coming to Paris. She works for Qatar Airline Industry and she was spending a few days in Paris between flights. I was supposed to leave to Lyon early in the morning, but I stayed to meet her, as we didn’t see each other in a very long time. We had a nice meal and a funny contradictory conversation about the concept of marriage that taught us both that our opinions are based on fears and not on views about love. It was getting late so we took some photos and the hurried to a bus office where she would get me a ticket to Lyon. There were no more free buses so she payed me a place in a car from blablacar.fr. That’s how I got to meet Soumia.

Soumia is a 29 year old Algerian nurse from Lyon. She lived in Paris for two years but she decided that it’s not for her, so she was going back to Lyon. She had just one place in the car and she posted an ad on blablacar.fr to take someone on it. She woke up at 6 in the morning and she was so tired when she came back from work that she decided to cancel the ad on blablacar.fr and just leave alone. But it was too late, I told Cris that I have a good feeling about this girl and Cris had already paid. So there I was, in Soumia’s cute Seat Ibiza, talking and laughing a lot, enjoying a four hour road trip. Half the way to Lyon we stopped to eat some sandwiches that Soumia offered and then she asked me to drive so she could sleep for a while. During My Trade Trip I was on a boat on Amsterdam’s channels, I was biking through Amsterdam and Bruxelles, I was at the beach, I was in a forest and now I was driving. It was dark, Soumia was sleeping on my right and I was dancing to Shamir’s beautiful song, In For The Kill.

Back in Paris it was probably still raining, like it always does when I leave a city behind, but near Lyon it was a calm and hot midnight. When I got out of Soumia’s car she offered me one of her paintings that she says represents her existence. A lonely fruit on an empty table. I hugged her and I realized I was never alone on this world’s table.

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