Memoirs of a Young Erasmus Student (א)
Stranger City; In the Campus; Parties and Nights on Rue de Bourgogne; A French Professor; A Look from the Future; Vacation; The First Knights I Saw Were In Orléans; Religions; Visiting a Museum; The Graveyard and the Tower; Another Look from the Future; A Look into the Future; Others
The more you travel, the more you become prudent.
The more time you spend among strangers, the less they are strangers to you and you to them (consider your last day in their country); the less time you spend among strangers, the more they are strangers to you and you to them (consider your first day in their country).
As you behave with people, they will behave with you, even if they are strangers.
The more time you spend in a city, the better you will get to know it.
To discover Orléans, I was rarely a flâneur.
No salute with kissing the other person’s chicks in the Romanian campus; but no salute without kissing the other person’s chicks in the French campus.
Rarely French students engage in conversations with stranger students, and, when they do, they are polite.
Often stranger students engage in conversations with other stranger students; they are not impolite.
The more time you spend with other students, the better you will get to know them and the better they will get to know you.
I learned optimism from a French woman: There is no problem without solution, in practice; only in theory.
The entourage. On Rue de Bourgogne. During a party
Some made the entourage, others, who join it, are made by it.
Many nights I spent on Rue de Bourgogne (Orléans), never alone (mostly with my friends); I never got drunk, not excessively.
During a party: When she sees you talking to me, she becomes jealous. You fear that her jealousy will be the beginning of your hurt.
I spent fewer nights partying than going on Rue de Bourgogne. 
Barbarians and civilization. Economics. Exams
What a French professor will tell me, I already know from a Romanian writer: Barbarians are not, as they were in the past, outside civilization, but inside it.
In economics, as a French professor emphasized, what we see is the socialization of loses and the privatization of gains.
In Orléans, the exams are more difficult than the courses; but in Bucharest, the exams are not more difficult than the courses.
A John Wick story
Based upon Greg Pak’s John Wick (the comic series)
Paris, France. John Wick sends to both Giacomo and Benedetto, two leaders of the organized crime –each one rules his own criminal organization –, the same message: John Wick is working for the other leader to assassinate him. Wick uses two mobile phones that he took from two hitmen who are known to work for the criminal organizations; they did not succeed to kill him that day.
John Wick does not know what mistake he made, yet.
Later, Benedetto arrives at the airport. He is not alone; he travels with other members of his criminal organization: Some are killers. He plans to meet with Giacomo that night and kill him after dinner.
But Giacomo and some killers from his organization are already there, outside the airport, waiting for Benedetto; Benedetto told Giacomo his plan to meet for dinner. They are armed as those who just arrived: For the latter, corruption made their weapons undetected.
And they kill each other at the airport.
John Wick is in his car nearby. He sees what he has done: With the same message, he made those who considered his enemies kill each other.
John Wick found out at The Continental Hotel that Giacomo went to the airport to kill Benedetto.
He starts the car and goes to The Continental Hotel; he will spend the night there.
In the morning, John Wick leaves the hotel and enters his car.
His cell phone rings, but no number is shown. He answers.
“You wanted me to hire you, John Wick. Now I may do it. You passed my test,” says Thomas.
John Wick recognizes Thomas.
Thomas is another leader of the organized crime, having his own organization.
“What test?,” asks John Wick.
“It begun when I hired the killers who worked for Giacomo and Benedetto, two of my enemies, to go after you and not betray me if they either succeed or not…
Later, with one bullet you assassinated the two leaders, and you did not even fire it. I am impressed…
I have been watching all of you,” Thomas says.
End of the call.
John Wick says to himself: “You hired Francesco and Vicenzo to kill me and call it a test. I call it a mistake, Thomas. A mistake that made me do a mistake…Benedetto and Giacomo were not my enemies.
And you have been spying on me.”
John Wick is angry.
He will not begin to work for Thomas, but will kill him that night.
An Erasmus student, older than me, asked me to do his homework –a short story on a killing. After more than a decade, you just had my new answer –a better answer than my first one.
My story is a variation on the theme on enmity: By the same means, one can make them oppose each other.
As a journalist said, in the year 1989, during the Romanian Revolution, two groups of soldiers killed each other at Otopeni (Bucharest), after receiving similar messages against each other.
But in my story the message is the same and is being sent by an assassin, the groups represent the organized crime and everything happens in Paris.
Chad Stahelski’s John Wick
In Chad Stahelski’s John Wick, John Wick kills a dozen of hitmen who were sent to kill him first by a man who expected Wick to murder his son, who, with the help of other gangsters, broke into Wick’s house attacking its owner, killing his dog, destroying a painting, destroying a car and stealing another, instead of doing the same thing or demand from them to replace what he has lost, by no other (wrong) reason than Wick is an assassin; and then he will kill all of them, all who want to kill him. In other words, John Wick does to his enemies as they want to do him.
Rephrasing it: In Chad Stahelski’s John Wick, a father fails to protect his son against an assassin –the father made the mistake of protecting his son when he should not have done that.
In France, most of the time I visit only one city (Paris), and rarely, many cities (like Bordeaux, Deauville, Mont Saint-Michel, and Versailles).
I drink my first cocktail (a Bloody Mary) in Bordeaux; it tastes worse than beer.
Deauville is as peaceful as the North Sea is agitated; first time I see the sea in France.
First time I put my hand on a sword is in Mont Saint-Michel; I am not scared to touch it, even if it has a metal blade.
The first time that we are confused with other peoples (Italians) is in Versailles; I am the only one who does not correct the mistake.
In Selma Lagerlöf’s The Sacred Flame, Rainiero di Raniero, who is not a coward (a man who wants another to suffer in his place), but the opposite of one, returns to Florence from Jerusalem with a candle-light still burning (he would rather sacrifice himself than to see his candle-light put out). 
The cathedral and the synagogue. Justice in Martinique. Atheism
Afternoon in Orléans, with a friend: The cathedral is open, but the lights are off, whereas in the synagogue the lights are on, but it is not open.
To do justice, as a stranger student from Martinique told me about his people, they may answer evil with a bigger evil; they are neither Jewish (no eye for an eye) nor Christians (no turning the other cheek).
The Louvre Museum
To not go to the Louvre Museum like a tourist who wants to see, if it is possible, everything in one visit: In every visit contemplate the works of either one or two painters.
The more time you spend in the Louvre Museum, the better you will get to know it.
Montparnasse and the Eiffel Tower
To lose your fear of death, go to a cemetery and consider that as those buried there were born and died so will you and your children and your children’s children.
The less close you are to the Eiffel Tower, the easier it is to contemplate it.
Economy and private lives
We cannot go back to the way things were neither in our private lives nor in the economy; but just as the economy can reach past levels, we may live things at the same intensity as we did in the past.
“Old souls” in Venice
We are old
and much experience made us much wise
than we were when we first met.
And we meet again:
we sit at a table at my place;
we eat fast,
we drink wine (we are in the season),
and we talk about us…
A sign of the wise is that they do not speak against the truth. (Jesus, the son of Sirach)
The same themes, different aphorisms
The French are, as their culture made them, atheists and suicidal.
To have faith where there is no God: the Crusaders.
Reading a psalm: The one for whom there is no God never calls for the Lord.
In the train from Paris to Orléans: We look as if we just engaged in a sexual affair: You are happy and I am tired.
Romania? To know if your country is a developing one, see if life’s purpose of more than half of its population is to seek pleasure.
To judge you, if you are a stranger in their country, they will use what they know of your peoples.
Some, if all the gypsies they know are Romanians, believe that all Romanians are gypsies.
 By analogy: Culture.
 After months of partying and drinking in pubs, I lost all interest in learning; when I realized that, I stopped.
 A global financial crisis will begin in 2007. For Nassim Taleb, the profits will be privatized and the losses, socialized.
 My favorite alcoholic drink is wine.
 First time I will read about Deauville will be in Ian Fleming’s first novel; for Fleming, for a place to rise (Deauville), another must fall (Trouville).
I made many swords from wood, when I was a child; I made them to play with them.
 On his road home, as Selma Lagerlöf tells us, Raniero di Raniero understands that just as he sacrifices himself to see his candle-light still burning, Francesca sacrificed herself to still love him.
 Another thing: For Selma Lagerlöf, Raniero di Raniero is not just strong; he is also sophisticated, as when he knows how to discover the truth by falsification.
 The same.
 Jesus, the son of Sirach.
 The same.
 Jesus, the son of Sirach.
 George Soros on the economy.
 Euler Hermes on the global economy.