The panic that follows a rattle of gunfire is contagious and it is amplified a million times by the media which tend to blow it out of all proportions in pursuit of high ratings. Given the upcoming French Presidential elections emotions are running high and the armed forces are extremely nervous. No need to aggravate an already fragile situation.
The worst part, however, is that you don't know where it will stop. Is it an isolated incident or will more reports of heinous attacks be broadcasted in the coming minutes? Every time this kind of episode - because it has unfortunately turned into episodes - happens you hold your breath and pray that there aren't more simultaneous acts in other parts of the city about to unfold. The uncertainty is what is so unsettling.
If you are lucky you are at home with your family close but more often than not you need to reach out quickly to make sure your loved ones are safe. The Champs Elysées is VERY close to home in our case which makes me think twice before letting my kids take off to see their friends in the neighbourhood after school today. But then again... today is another day and life goes on.
Defiance has set in and the determination of not letting this violence take over our lives. And in a promising sign, many of the tourists in Paris today weren't afraid to head to the Champs-Elysées the morning after the attack. Vive Paris!
A Japanese couple taking their wedding shots at the Trocadero.
The tourists are back in force accompanied by beautiful sunshine this morning.
Of course, it is eerie seeing all the policemen and women with their guns.
The street vendors are going about their business without interruption.