These people I see on my way to work. Every day.
They are a part of my routine - when I'm on time. If I leave my house at 07h25, I will most likely see all of them.
In order, they are:
Myself in the hallway mirror. One final look to make sure there's no food on my chin.
The woman who runs the cafe downstairs, opening up and counting down to the day she sells the place. Not long now, she's had an offer, I hear.
The muslim taxi driver, praying on the pavement next to his cab. His prayer mat is beautiful - black, turquoise, orange.
The guy who loads and unloads the bags on the airport bus. He smiles at me, and says 'no airport today, monsieur?'
The man who looks exhausted as he opens up the post office. He looks even worse in the evening.
The old lady who begs in the subway leading to the RER station. She has her regulars that she gossips with. Always has her hair in an alice band.
The two friends who chat every morning at the coffee bar deep in the bowels of the métro station. Why meet there and not upstairs in the real world?
The woman who sits in my carriage reading romantic novels that she covers with wallpaper.
The wet, cold, miserable guy who gives out the free newspapers at Nanterre Préfecture.
The cheery lady at the boulangerie who sells the best pains au chocolat in the area, and who acts like she knows it.
The guy in the mailroom at AXA insurance. I walk past his window everyday. Why does he have a map of Greece on the wall next to his desk?
The students from the 'special school' stopping off at McDo for their breakfast.
The girls smoking outside the American Embassy stores next door.
Debbie. But by the time I see her, I'm sat at my desk, coffee in hand. She's the first person I speak to.
This is my world, my morning journey.
In a city of 10 million people, seeing the same faces over and over again is both comforting and strange.
We're all creatures of habit, every last one of us.