The Day of the Demonstration

The Day of the Demonstration

[ Dec.2018 ] The “Yellow Vest” demonstration, which started in mid-November in France, was scheduled for the Saturday that we were in Paris.

Most of the main metro stations were closed as well as all the tourist attractions, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum.

In the morning, when we went out cautiously to the nearby cafe, we saw a row of police cars and fire engines in the main street and the mounted police went by.

Not only us, but a few people there were taking photos of them.

Most of the buildings were boarded up.

It was exactly like the calm before the storm.

Not many shops and cafes were open but we found one and had a croissant and cappuccino for breakfast.

I think French people misunderstand the cappuccino.

It didn’t have enough milk and there were only some bubbles.

After coming back to the hotel and preparing ourselves to stay in the hotel room all day, our friend, who lives about 40 minutes away by train from Paris, called me saying that she was coming to meet us as planned.

We were worried about her safety, but she arrived safely after a while.

According to the hotel receptionist, Le Marais and Montmartre were relatively safe, so we decided to go there.

Fortunately, the nearest station from the hotel, Quatre-Septembre was open, so we took the underground train from there and got out at Chemin Vert.

Then, there were some people with the Yellow Vest.

They were walking casually, probably to Bastille to join the demonstration and we did not feel in danger at all.

Le Marais is, as everyone knows, the fashionable town with trendy shops and cafes.

According to our guidebook, it used to be a swamp, which was cleared in the 12th century.

It became the high end residential area for aristocrats in the 16th century.

In the 1960s, it started turning into the cutting edge fashionable town.

Unfortunately, many shops were closed here, too.

We noticed one shop with the yellow vest on the chair, showing it to the passers-by.

I wonder if it is the indication that they supported the demonstration.

We walked around the streets, looking at some shops.

There were many nice things, but it was not sale season, so we just enjoyed window shopping.

The only thing I bought was a diary at a lovely stationery shop.

I can see that this shop loves Japanese stuff.

The friend with us who started living in France a short while ago told me “French people become kind when they find that I am from Japan“.

So, the Japanese give a good impression to the French, then.

Meanwhile, our lunch booking time was getting nearer. 

We went back to the station and got on the metro again, but this time, we had to get out of the train twice, being told that they would not go beyond that point.

We thought of walking from Grands Boulevards station and went up the stairs a bit, but we smelled a strange burnt smell.

When we went up a bit more, our eyes started stinging.

My husband, who has asthma, said sharply “It is tear gas!” and ran down the different stairs to another platform and we followed him.

This was our first experience of tear gas.

Our eyes got better soon, and my husband did not have his asthma attack, so we were lucky.

Fortunately, we could get to the nearest station to the restaurant using another metro line without any other problems.

1 comments to “The Day of the Demonstration

  1. ANVAR.M.I

    Fantastic excellent experience journey.

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