I GOT home late that fateful Friday night from a housewarming in the campo where I was introduced to one of my best friends’ new man, who was born in Paris.
I host a Saturday morning breakfast show so left the party early to drive back to the casita and was heading off to bed with a midnight cuppa when I thought I would check what was going on in the world of Facebook.
That was when I started seeing the posts about the Paris attacks.
I flicked on my radio (I don’t have a television at home) and listened to the horrific events unfold for the next couple of hours.
One of the great things about living in an international community like Marbella is the fact that we have friends all over the world.
My thoughts went straight to my French friends, as well as a pal who was on holiday in Paris and had only sent me a photo of the Eiffel Tower the day before.
I WhatsApped her to check that she was OK, but there was no reply. I went to bed around 3am, worried.
Up at 6am to head to the studio for the show, I received a message from her. She had taken shelter in the basement of a bar with other customers and was stuck, with all transport links shut down. But at least she was safe.
Other friends started checking into Facebook that morning, letting us know that they were safe.
As the full horror of the attacks were revealed, I kept an eye on social media.
Of course, there were the usual ‘close the borders’, ‘kill ’em all’ and ‘let God sort ’em out’ comments that always appear after these atrocities. But there was a huge public display of solidarity with the people of Paris.
Residents threw open their doors that terrible night to shelter those stranded and get people off the boulevards that had become killing grounds.
No one asked what the religion was of the people they were letting in, or what part of the planet they came from.
It was just a natural, gut instinct to help fellow human beings in distress.
Marbella, with its wonderful mixture of cultures and creeds, religions and races, is living proof that we can all co-exist.
So we pray for those we lost, offer comfort for their friends and families and say in solidarity, ‘Je suis Paris’.
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