Let me start with possibly the most cliché of expressions: it was just like any other day.
I got up, made myself some coffee, got on the tramway and went to work.
It was going to be a good day, filled with people I like. I taught lessons on “breaking the ice”- we did vocabulary, explained why I kept saying “fat penguin”, talked about conversation starters, giving compliments, and role-played scenarios.
I then went to my office, in La Plaine-Stade de France, where I taught two more classes, and then went on my merry way, along with a friend, to the RER B. We said good-bye at Gare du Nord, and I took line 5 to Oberkampf, where I always change lines to go home. It’s a really quick commute, in terms of time. Plus I like that area: République, Oberkampf, Filles du calvaire- they have some really great happy hours!
Before going home, I had to run an errand near Bastille. I exited at the big July Column, and made my way up Faubourg-Saint-Antoine. It’s a lively street with little bars, kebab places, bakeries that make your mouth water, and shops (Hema!). After the errand, I was exhausted:
“Is it ok if we move date night to tomorrow?”, I asked my partner. “I’m super tired”.
“D’accord”, he said.
I didn’t feel like taking the métro, so I decided to continue walking, almost until Nation, where I took the bus, and ate some chocolate I had bought earlier.
Nation is nice at night: there are two gigantic pillars on Avenue du thrône, there are many bars: Le canon, le Voltaire, God Save the Kitchen… everything is illuminated. It’s not my ultimate favorite, but it’s nice, and it’s super close to the apartment!
At around 8:30pm, I received a call from my boyfriend. He was out of karate and really wanted to go out. I repeated I was tired. He wasn’t so happy this time around. I felt guilty and almost threw on my coat: “Ok, let’s go out, then. Let’s go to Oberkampf or something”.
I was dozing on the couch, the discussion of the cancelled outing had ended, when I received the first text at around 10pm. It was my cousin, Annabella, from Houston: “I heard about the shooting in Paris. What happened? Are you OK?”
I closed the message, without replying, and found AP alerts: “Explosions at French Stadium”.
That’s crazy, I thought, I was just there today…