A Moment to Remember: Fourteenth of July Bastille Day in Jakarta

My heart is saddened by the news of the Nice terror attack on France’s Bastille Day (aka French National Day on 14th of July). The aftermath of the attack is heartbreaking – at least 84 people were killed, including children and teenagers and a total of 303 people were taken to hospital.

What was supposed to be a joyous celebration ended up in tears and pain. The attack hits close to home because on that very same day (14th July 2016), Agent D and I were celebrating the French National Day with the people of France in Jakarta.

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French Ambassador to Jakarta and Indonesian Ministers.

During the reception,  I had a chance to chat with some French people about life in Jakarta, what they were doing here in Jakarta, etc. One of the guys I met was a pastry chef who had just opened a pâtisserie in Jakarta. He very kindly invited Agent D and I to drop by his bakery someday.

As I think about the terror attack on France and its impact on the people, my French friends’ faces flash in my mind and I can almost picture the pain their eyes. My deepest condolences goes out to the nation of France who is mourning right now. May the love of those around you help you through the days ahead. You are in our prayers.

I don’t want to remember 14th of July as a day of sorrow (as intended by the terrorists). I choose to remember 14th of July as a celebration of the unity of the French people. I read online that a common greeting for the day is “Vive le 14 juillet” — “LONG LIVE the 14th of July”!!!

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At the French National Day reception in Jakarta – ice sculpture of the Bastille.

The French are really generous hosts. On top of the mains and live stations at the French National Day reception in Jakarta, the cheese selection was one of the widest I’d ever seen. There was free flow of red/white wine and champagne too.

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Glorious spread of cheese paired with bread and grapes.

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Its been a while since I had good cheese (since UK days).

And of course, not forgetting French pastries to end the night.

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There’s always space for sweets.

Happy fourteenth of July, France. I’m confident that you and your people will emerge from this incident even stronger than before, even more united as one.

Thank you for having us at your Jakarta National Day celebrations! xx

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Against the lovely Eiffel Tower.

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