Sunday, 6 May 2012

I'm Not French But...

Through my open window I can hear cars beeping and people cheering as they speed down the Champs-Élysées, hanging dangerously out of the windows and waving French flags. Sarkozy is out, Hollande is in. This isn't just my vivid imagination by the way, I know exactly what's going on out there because I ventured out about two hours ago...

I was just settling down to watch an episode of New Girl and eat some pasta when Kayt texted me, telling me to go to Bastille. At first I decided not to go out, I was already in my pyjamas and had planned a thrilling evening of washing up and tidying. (Which would undoubtedly turn into an evening of watching shit on the internet and then going to sleep facing the wall so I don't have to look at the horrible mess my room has become, ONCE AGAIN. What is the point in cleaning and tidying things if they just get messy again?)

But the crowds were calling me and I felt it was one of those occasions I would want to remember forever as being a part of it, rather than recalling the day Hollande became the President of France and thinking 'Ah yes, I was sat in bed eating pasta that night.'

I threw some clothes on and rushed outside, the air was fizzing. As I marched to the metro I saw the cars zooming past, with young guys sat on the edges of wound-down windows, their Tricolores whipping against each other above the car roof.

On the metro teenagers in tshirts proclaiming their love of Hollande were chanting and singing. More and more people squeezed on as we sped towards Bastille, the city's beacon of political demonstrations. The metro station itself was packed with people from all over Paris pouring off metros and trying to make their way to the Place de la Bastille, easier said than done considering some of the exits were closed, forcing the masses to move in one direction. (Thankfully everyone moved at a slow and calm pace, so there was no danger of being crushed to death in the tunnels.)


When I finally got out of the metro station I was greeted by the roar of thousands of people cheering, and there was music blasting from speakers hidden in the crowd somewhere, as well as a huge screen showing the live election coverage from, erm... that place. You know.

I tried ringing and texting Kayt but there was no signal, so I wandered around, soaking up the atmosphere. It was amazing. People were euphoric. Hollande is France's first left wing President in thirty years. People are understandably really, really excited.

Hollande appeared on the screen and he made a speech. The crowd was silent, until he mentioned Sarkozy by name and then everyone started booing.

I'm so happy for my French friends, it must be amazing to finally have a left wing president. Julia sent me a text saying: I'M SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW.

After half an hour I gave up trying to find Kayt and came home, feeling defeated. It's really exciting that Hollande won and that so many people are excited about it, but the carnival atmosphere kind of made me feel sad because I'm not part of it. I'm not French and I never will be, I can't even speak the language and at the moment I don't see how I ever will.

Thinking about all this had be sniffing back tears on the metro, I think I'm just feeling overwhelmed because I have so much to do and so many decisions to make and it doesn't help that I've been on a ten day spree of raving and working on little or no sleep. But I'll tell you more about that tomorrow, right now I should go to bed, I've got the drama lesson in the morning and I'm dreading it.

I don't know how I'll ever sleep, even with the window closed I can hear people still celebrating as they zoom down the Champs-Élysées. This is a huge day for France. Wow.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing that and painting such a vivid picture. Nice to see people are still enthusiastic about politics in some countries at least (here in NZ the voting turnout is pathetically low). GM

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    1. Yes everyone is certainly enthusiastic about politics here, well the people who voted Hollande are, I've seen a lot of very sour looking rich people today and they were pretty quiet... Thanks for commenting!

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  2. SARKOZY, C'EST FINI!
    So sad you couldn't find us!

    Love Liv x

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    1. I know, dommage, but at least I got a topical blog post out of it x

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  3. Hahaha. I saw some sour looking rich people the day of the election and they can SUCK IT.

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    1. Ha! Bastards. Thanks for commenting and thank you soo much for officially following!!!

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  4. Great post, I had chills reading it ! 31 years since last time... I'm still SO HAPPY : )
    See you soon ! Bisous

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    1. Wow, 31 years?? Thanks for the comment! Bizz.

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