It is Monday morning and we all need to get back to our daily routine. It seems like Paris has been living a bad dream, however, everybody's thoughts are constantly circling around Friday night's attacks which are terrifyingly real and as the victims turn into faces one by one over social media, sadness and helplessness continues to overcome the Parisians as they desperately and vainly try to make sense of it all.
Feelings are raw, emotions are overflowing, the people's fragility is tangible nevertheless the sense of defiance and the need for solidarity led many Parisians out into the streets yesterday despite the recommendation to stay indoors. It was a beautiful sunny day and although parks, museums and shops were closed, people walked along the boulevards interlinking arms a bit stronger, standing a bit closer exchanging looks of complicity that I have only ever seen once before... in January.
We are doing fine just a bit more nervous than usual and a great deal sadder. Fear is slowly turning into anger and defiance. The need to "do" something becomes compelling.
As the day went on more and more people gathered around the Place de la Republique to deposit flowers, candles and personal notes. At midnight, on live TV, I see locals and tourists alike still rending homage at the places of attack.
"La Marseillaise" has been sung many a time since the attacks and with every chant the French seem more resolute to stick together, to show their strength and not to give in to fear and violence.
The International media is broadcasting the worst possible scenarios which do not necessarily coincide entirely with the reality here in Paris and this irritates me. On the other hand the outburst of messages, mails and phone calls from family and friends across the world has been amazing and heartwarming.
This morning we all got back to our daily routine... nearly! The roads were quiet until 8:45 and the traffic started building a little later than usual; maybe many of us decided to take a little extra time this morning to drop our children off at school rather than sending them out by themselves as we would normally do?