La Belle Equipe cafe at the intersection of Rue De Charonne, Rue Faidherbe and Rue Godefroy Cavalgnac. Across the way from the Palais de la Femme. Next door to Sushi Maki. A prime breakfast time peoplewatching spot. Old stonework, fading posters and tightly spaced small steel tables and folding chairs. A small cellar. Perfectly shaded for those Parisian dog days when temperatures rise over thirty Celsius. Just a cosy little neighbourhood cafe restaurant. They do, or rather did a very elegant brunch and a very nice Espresso, not too pricey but very French. Our taxi driver recommended the place when first we arrived on the Eurostar from London. “I get my breakfast there.” He told us. Great location. Less than a hundred metres from the apartment we rented for most of May and the first week of June 2015 at 97 Rue De Charonne. Hope my landlord wasn’t caught up in the attacks. Nice bloke.
Now a regular breakfast spot and very nice neighbourhood cafe has become a venue for late night mass murder. Blood has run in streets I knew. In whose name? For what? ‘Vengeance’ by a murdering gang of scumbags who deserve only the brief mercy of Madame Guillotine or better still, Napalm. Love death do they? Then let them have what they love. Wholesale. Bulk order to go. Don’t hold the Garlic. Grease with bacon fat. Turn that sand into glass.
Reading reports of connected incidents in Belgium, it looks like the murderers were barely twelve hours ahead of the security services. Arrests would have been made, but the murderers and their accomplices weren’t bagged and tagged soon enough. Now it’s down to the regular Police to pick up the pieces. A good many of which pieces are from the seven who blew themselves up. It is one of the few points of satisfaction about this affair to note that the heads of the murderers who blew themselves up would have still contained consciousness as they flew through the air before smashing into whatever surface they landed upon. See this Wikipedia excerpt. Perhaps in those few seconds they experienced the true terrors of hell before the evil they brought to others was extinguished as their separated craniums hit the street. One can but hope.
Here in Canada, our new Prime Minister has said that we are to import twenty five thousand people from the very place the terrorists originated. Twenty five thousand immigration queue jumpers. Maybe none of these twenty five thousand have any hostile intent towards Canada and the west, but maybe they will, wittingly or not, help others who have.
As an immigrant myself I’ve had to jump serious hoops to get my citizenship and know how hard it is to get and thus how valuable it is. Like many immigrants I’m also a little resentful of people who get preferential treatment over those of us who have stood in line, patiently waiting our turn, filling in the forms, not asking for preferential treatment, just dreaming of and working for a better life. Bringing our worth, experience and knowledge to a new homeland. Unlike the terrorists, who only have death to offer.
Update 15th Nov: Just heard from a Parisian friend who lives just up the way from Rue De Charonne. He reports being a little concerned over the attacks but otherwise he and his family are well. Currently getting my news direct from France24’s Youtube live feed.