On Friday, I woke up to a friend's call checking up on me and my family at 2am. I was instantly reminded of what my parents would say back in the day: "It is never good news when the phone rings in the middle of the night." As we scoured the internet for scraps of updates, thinking of the families whose lives would change forever, and looking for any way that we could help, the hashtag #PorteOuverte ("open door") popped up on our feeds.
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Once or twice, during what seemed-like-an-hour long journey, we would see a few people far away, mostly children whose voices were carried over to us by the desert wind. "<em>Byeeeee....</em>", they would say, and if we squinted hard, we could see their hands in the air, waving at us. While friendly goodbyes from strangers wouldn't usually bother us, their "byes" were beginning to sound like final farewells, especially since we had no clue where we were, and what we were doing.
"I have 48 hours in Paris, what do you suggest I do?" Skip it. Seriously, this is the land of two-and-a-half-hour lunches during a workday. You just don't do 48 hours in Paris.