Holidays/part 1: a (stinky) train to Paris after a rock and roll AirBnB start

Here we are! We are flying to Olbia in Sardinia early tomorrow morning! Up to now it has been a bit agitated. Indeed, for the first time in my life I decided to rent a flat using AirBnB. Lot of my colleagues used it and had good experiences. So I rented a flat in Olbia. I received a confirmation and paid for the flat. A bit more than one week before the day of my arrival I messaged and called the owner. First she told me the flat would be available only on the 11 (I rented it as from the 8) them that she would never have accepted any reservation through Airbnb. I had to call Airbnb and to fight. Finally I was helped by a nice woman called Irina. In the meantime I talked to the owner and understood she rented the flat using another platform. She set up her airbnb account using the automatic confirmation option but never checked her account. She finally cancelled the renta. Irina found another flat and Airbnb accepted to pay for part of the difference (50%) in the price. I called the new owner… and finally was told that she would have no reservation, while she answered my initial message and sent me an invitation I confirmed. After sending all the evidences, contacting Airbnb again (this time the helper elf was called Bruno), things are solved. Once again, an owner with several flats all on various platforms, who would have make a confusion between the dates. So last week has been quite agitated between this and the fact that I had to finish some files at work, evaluate a bunch of people (annual evaluation process. Did it this afternoon as I forget it before. Naughty me. Just on time!). We are now on the train to Paris (we’ll spend the night in tan hotel close to the airport as the flight is very early)… and the odour… there is a stinky person around, who visibly sweated a lot. Takes some time to get used…) and a guy on one of the seats around … wears no shoes. Considering the color of the sole of his get, I would say he barely wears shoes… arffff. Crossing fingers for things to be fine as from now! I need quiet and relaxing holidays!

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Stop worrying, mum!

I remember when I was a teen, then an adult seeing my mum worrying about mewassonstimes upsetting. As if she did not believe I could manage it! Or as if she was seeing danger everywhere. I was always tellyng: please mum stop worrying. Everything will be fine. Today she has so much pain on her plate that she does no more worry about me. And I had to realize that no one does…and that it just mean that they do not care as I am not on top of their list. Sometimes I even think I could not come back they will not notice it until they need something from me. I also realise that you worry when you care about someone but that it does not mean you do not believe the person can’t do it or that everything is danger. You just know there can be danger, that sometimes things are difficult and you might not succeed even if you are doing things right.  And now that no one worries about me whatever happen I can tell you that THIS is what is really hard. And that in fact in past even if I was telling “stop worrying mum” this made me stronger in a lot of situation because I alsways knew I had someone who loved me and cared about me. She still loves me. But her life is now so rough that she can’t no more worry. And when I ‘m worrying about my daughter she looks at me as if I was a kind of alien who would not trust her or who would see damger in everything. Cycle of life. One day she’ll understand. Prob when she’ll had a child who will raise her/his eyebrows “stop worrying mum!”

Darken,

4 close strangers… a trip in Paris “Metro”

Hi All,

just a little post from the Paris tube/subway (we call it “le métro”), on the line 1 during my daily trip from La Défense to Bastille. Of course, despite the fact that we are in summer and that most people should be on holidays and should have let the space to tourists, the line was crowded…as usual. I found a place on a seat. The space is composed of 4 seats, 2 in face of the 2 others… just like seats friends would have places to chat a bit. 4 people. 4 strangers. 4 very closestrznger that does not seem to see each other. The guy in front of me. Young, around 25. White t-shirt And black jeans. I would say. Lost somewhere else between his headphones and his telephone (Beyoncé and lady Gaga she lyrics… my Telephone). Generation Z (on on the frontier of Z and Y). Greater fear: battery failure…no more music, no more WhatsApp (this is more Generation Y based on smart specialist of modern society but honestly lot of Z are using it!) OMG, the end of the world is near !

the man on my left has more of  a late baby boomer or of early generation X. Grey hair, partly bald, thin face with a pointy noise, glasses without frames. Globally very thin. It more exactly terse. the way he looks definitely give the impression of something sharp. Wearing a dark grey suit indicating some office functions. Could work in q bank or in a big company. A case on his knees (however not a leather case but black fabric, as thin as his owner so apparently just papers, no computer). He immediately opened his journal (Le monde, French journal on the right-wing), acting as if he could not see any of us… even when part of his journal felt on the floor. The lady in front of him gave it back to him. He seemed to experience some difficulty in thanking her. Only a cold “thank-you”, itself a bit sharp. He then immersed himself a the reading of his journal… or tried to give that impression asI noticed he was going quickly from an article to the other, probably just reading abstract. Worse fear: what is the world becoming? Or arghhh my daily journal (which show which world I belong too) is sold out becauseI was 1 minute late at the library .

The woman in from of him was approximately the same generation, but apparently not the same world. Blue eyes, short curly died hair… I must admit that she had not a very smart look but probably a nice person. She stayed in the silence, waiting for the end of the trip. No more opened to discussion than the others. Worse fear: honestly I don’t know

then the fourth person… hell yes it was me. Dark hair, pale skin, red Zapa dress, high red and orange heels (😁😁😁)… I’m not Snow White… leather suitcase (my computers plus documents), handbag (various and numerous items, all absolutely necessary to travel safe in urban jungle). Born generation X (work obsessed)… but with some hybridation with Generation Y and Z (fear of battery failure, tech side…)… you won’t know more…

Have a sweet day/night. Stay safe.

Love and light from Darken

An instance of the fingerpost

There has been a dispute between two people at work in the recent period, each of them giving a different version of the same situation. Which in itself has nothing that unusual. But this made me thinking about the whole notion of truth, its subjectivity considering the way the various protagonists of a same event can see or interpret it. Most of time it appears that they do not see the same fact under the same light. This reminds me of two great books I read (and should probably read again).

The first one is a more contemporaneous one. It is “an instance of the fingerpost” by Ian Pears (books edited in the UK in 1997).

The idea behind this book is pretty simple. A murder in 17th-century Oxford is related from the contradictory points of view of four of the characters, who will all appear as unreliable narrators. The setting of the novel is 1663, just after the restoration of the monarchy following the English Civil War, when the authority of King Charles II is not yet settled, and conspiracies abound.

Most of the characters are historical figures two of the narrators are the mathematician John Wallis and the historian Anthony Wood. Other people as the philosopher John Locke, the scientists Robert Boyle and Richard Lower, spymaster John Thurloe, and inventor Samuel Morland are also part of the novel).The characters that are fictional are nonetheless drawn from real events. For instance, the story of Sarah Blundy incorporates that of Anne Greene. The plot is centered on the death of Robert Grove. However, it also takes in the conspiracies of John Mordaunt and William Compton, and the politics of Henry Bennet and Lord Clarendon. Each narrator is telling the story many years after the events took place. And it is very instructive how their respective recollections of the same facts and their conclusion of the author and circumstances of the murder are different from one to another. And how theses variances are connected to their own life, past and personality. And also how they can be conditioned by their own personal interest.

The second book is a great classic: “De Res publica” by Platon, where you can find an interesting allegory known as the allegory of the cavern. Men are presented as chained  in a cavern. Their faces are directed towards the wall. The only light they now is a fire located in their back. They never saw the light of the day directly. From both themselves and any other thing around them, they only know the shadows projected on the wall by the light of the fire. In the same way they do not know the sound of things but only its echo. If one of them is freed from his chain and forced to join the exit of the cavern, the light will first cruelly blind him. Then all changes that will occur will make him suffering. He will resist and won’t succeed to see all what is shown to him. Will he want to return to his previous state? Or will he continue and then discover the reality of the world? In this case, as he will gradually become conscious of what was his prior status, what will happen if he goes back to the cavern? Will he be welcome? Will others accept to believe him? Will they reject him, ostracize him? Will they even in the worse case kill him… One of the interpretation of the allegory is that the cavern represents the world where people are living and where they believe they access to the truth. But maybe is it not really truth. Or maybe different people can have a different vision of what his the truth of each situation.

The lighthouse (learning from past)

In some occasions, we made errors. We took wrong decisions. This is the essence of life. We are human. Not perfect. Sometimes, we also believe that we can have nothing more than what we had at a certain point in time because we are afraid of future. The true questions arising from all of this are i) will we learn the lesson from Past and from our own errors ii) will we dare making new decisions, changing things, trying improving our life. The answer might be that in any case life if a lighthouse (beacon), not a harbour (haven). We must not stay in past but go ahead, trying to learn from our mistakes, from the decisions we took, bad or good. We must of course remember past, but we need opening a door to future. We all deserve the best . We need to use our past as a beacon, but we must not stay bound to it. It’s not a haven.

Little things (the nature of happiness)

I believed for long that happiness had to be a full scope thing. That it was reached if you had what people call a perfect life: loving husband and child (children) who would care about you as you care about them, a nice house, a good job and maybe a dog. A quiet path full of bliss. Life did not give this all inclusive set. For a time I felt really bad thinking I was a real loser. Well in a way I am probably. But I also discover that the true nature of happiness was not what I thought. It has nothing to do with all of that. Happiness is not like a kind of all inclusive box, because this is not the essence of life. Happiness is in multiple little things that make you smile, that make life lighter and help you to cross the tempests. It’s a black cat sleeping on my bed, purring, lying on his back, his belly up, with his paws on my foot. It’s a calico one sleeping where she is not allowed too, and a big black one who will to purr in my ear each time he feels I’m sad. It’s  a sunny afternoon. A good book. Some art stuff. A friend who calls you or message you for no reason. Another who finds nice words to encourage you. The smile of a perfect stranger in the street. A few words exchanged

Silent scream

The most terrible screams can be the silent ones. Those do not make a single noise. They hide behind attitudes or words that can appear ordinary, or at least that do not catch attention.  No one notice them, while in most cas they dissimulateur the highest despairs. It’s a silent, untold SOS. Usually louder when comes the night. Until the person gives up and stop screaming. Until he or she feel that there is no more way to solve their problem, that no one cares whatever happen. This is more and more frequent in this society driven by selfishness and individualism. Sad is that the consequences can be really worse than one could expect. I read several books where this situation is depicted