Cotton clouds freely roaming around

The second lockdown was on its last legs in November and it was a late afternoon, when I decided to go for a small walk to clear my head after a long day full of Zoom conferences. Actually, a long few months of Zoom conferences. I am always surprised about how fast people can adjust to a changing environment. Zoom meetings are the new way of working (#YouAreOnMute) and people don’t even look surprised anymore when you leave just a moustache on your face and put your hair in a coupe a la “just put my finger in a power socket”.  

After I walked out of my door I crossed Rue de Rivoli, now mainly dedicated to cyclists and trottinettes ignoring the traffic rules instead of cars. I walked by one of my favorite restaurants / bars, Pamela Popo, and was thinking back to the many amazing evenings and nights I had spent there. I realized I was longing for a more social life, more human contact, more hugs and more bises. I also thought about my friends owning the place and how difficult it must be for them and all other restaurant / bars owners in these times. I walked up towards the bookstores of the Seine. They bring so much life to the river banks, even though I have no idea how they can survive from selling old and probably unique books, maps and occasionally an old postcard of a half-naked Parisian lady. Not only the bookstores welcomed me as if they were smiling with their open hatches, also another light show of the sun playing with the clouds surprised me with its magnificent beauty again. Yellow and pinkish cotton dots roaming slowly through the light blue sky, putting the sky on fire. I walked down one of the small stairs down to the Quai and pulled down my mask a bit to breath in some fresh air, it felt like an airgasm. I strolled for an hour up and down the Quai de Seine until it was dark and before heading home I passed by the supermarket, which felt like another highlight of the day. Tomorrow another day of Zoom conferences and maybe, maybe another small walk to admire Paris and my beautiful neighborhood. Maybe I should even do my hair tomorrow. Maybe I should even wear a normal pants for a change…

Sander van Roest

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