A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Just one week before my long-planned trip to Paris, the brutal event happened. A sane thing to do was to cancel the trip, but it was a very hard decision to make because the plan did not involve myself only. My best friend from home was also flying to Paris to enjoy her honeymoon. Tickets are bought. Hotels were booked. The fear for terrorism seemed to be not as real as the potential loss of money that we had to bear. Now that I come to think of it it is quite interesting how we took the world-shaking event in a very much personal level – as a student and as young newlyweds without a lot of money in our pocket. We couldn’t bear to cancel it all, so fingers were crossed that we wouldn’t have to be those thrifty people who risk their lives for some money.
Luckily enough, the trip went very smoothly. If anything, we actually felt a lot safer and turned out to enjoy Paris probably a lot more than usual. Securities were tightened. You can see police everywhere. There will even be security officers standing at the gate of shopping malls and stores to check your bag and ask you to let them see inside your coat. And there were significantly less tourists. So somehow we got to see a much more… peaceful Paris. No hassle, no hustling through the crowds, no long queueing. The couple even had a fun day in Disneyland and some frenzy shopping before I came.
So Paris is great. Paris is safe. Even at least for now, I would say there is no reason that we should stay away from this beautiful city. Paris will stand strong, as soon as we have faith in it.