10 a.m. Well, I realize I do live in the 16th, but if I didn't know there was a general strike today against the CPE, I never would have guessed it. Of course, the excitement is to start this afternoon at 14h at Denfert-Rochereau. It's too early to say what will happen later.
I went out for breakfast with a friend at a cafe. It's a beautiful day. The sky is bright blue, there is a warm breeze, and the forsythia have finally started to bloom, a month late this year. The buses were running, the newspaper man was in his kiosk,and only Le Parisien and L'Equipe (a sport newspaper) were not for sale. I bought a copy of Libé (Headline, with photos of anti-CPE demonstrators: "Cortèges Pour un Enterrement") [Processions for a burial]. The stores were full of people, the delivery men were out, the sidewalks were crowded with kids going to school (private school, that is) and the cafe was bustling and cheerful. The waitress said that later in the week they were going to have a pot for the neighborhood (a sort of friendly cocktail party among acquaintances) and she invited us.
On the way home, I ran into one of my neighbors hurrying along in her fur coat. "Oh, Sédu, I'm glad to see you. I have something I would like to ask you. I am just going to a little store that can cut doormats to measure. Would you let me order one for you?"
Actually, I don't mind at all. I had not been able to find a doormat the right size for my front door. About two years ago I finally went to a garden store and bought a handsome thick doormat in a different color from everyone else in the building. All the other neighbors have a doormat like this one, some nicely sewn, some just cut in ugly fashion.
Once an Austrian friend came to visit and once he got inside, could not figure out which door was mine on which floor. He went up and down the stairs till he came to the one door that did not have the standard doormat, and said to himself, "It must be here!"
My neighbor went on, volubly, relieved I had said yes. It was not the first time she had mentioned the doormat to me. "I'll just order it made to measure from the shop, and you pay me back, hein? Je m'en occupe, I'll take care of everything. They'll put a nice border around it. You understand, I love your doormat, it's actually nicer than the others, but coming down the stairs as I do, it's the only one that's, euh, un peu différent."