So last night was terrifying. It started with odd comments on Facebook… “Paris, my heart aches”… “Paris, you’re in my thoughts”… and from my friends “I’m okay… I’m safe at home.”
And you think, Oh bloody WHAT?
So I turned on the TV and saw everything that everyone else saw. Even though I’m in Calgary, my Facebook city is still set to Paris. I just couldn’t change it when I left. And I still can’t. I just… can’t. Not yet.
Soon after Christophe arrived at home and I told him what I could about what was happening in Paris. My French language skills can’t translate fast enough for the speed at which he needed information so we turned the news to the French station. A benefit of living in this bilingual country.
That’s about when the Facebook Safety Alert kicked in.
A fascinating and helpful feature. I marked myself safe as many people thought I was still in Paris…
About that time, my Paris friends started doing the same. Marking themselves present, safe, and accounted for.
It’s an odd sensation to be so sad one minute, then see that your friend is safe and be elated and relieved the next minute. Plus, friends from my past contacted me to send me thoughts and prayers.
So the night went on, as it does.
Friends accounted for, bombs cease, carnage swept. And that’s when you start thinking about everyone else.
In Paris, we have our close circle of friends, but we also have a very wide net of acquaintances. The guy who makes your crêpe, the waiter at your favourite bistro, the person who is usually in front of you at the bakery at the same time, the usual morning, lunch and evening faces. How do we find out if those people are okay? To say a hearty Bonjour Monsieur instead of quiet Au Revoir.
A friend of mine, a search and rescue pilot, contacted me and advised me to stay well away from Paris, but I want to be there more than ever.
Christophe feels the same.
He wants to hop on a plane to Paris just to go to his regular bar, sit down and monitor the scene. Who is where? Who won’t be coming in. Where is everyone? These are the kind of safety checks that can’t happen on social media. They can only happen in person.
Paris, my darling. I hope to see you soon.