Friday, January 9, 2015

Today at the Porte de Vincennes

First of all, I'm home. OK.
Whatever is happening at the Porte de Vincennes is not over as I am writing.
I just want to reassure friends and family that I am okay. So is Paul, who had no reason to be near there.
Earlier today, I was in Saint Mandé, just a block from the Porte de Vincennes. That's where my art classes are and I had a drawing class this morning. The class is over at 12:30, so normally I would have been on my way home when the shooting and hostage taking started. Today, however, we were staying late to share a bite of lunch and a galette des rois. (This is the tradition in France -- a pastry with a little token inside. The person who has the piece with the token is "king" or "queen" for the day. This is for Epiphany but it goes on all month, really.)
While we were eating, we heard a helicopter above. Then, one person, who had gone out to get some vegetable nibbles, came back saying there was something going on, and we started collecting information from phone calls. Our first reaction was to stay put. That's the safest thing to do. When in doubt, stay inside, stay put. After a while, another woman who had an appointment in Vincennes and I set out on foot. I had spoken to Paul and he suggested doing that. The hostage situation could go on all day and into nightfall and if I were going to have to walk the whole way, walking in daylight is better. We were walking away from the action and the police, who were otherwise keeping people off the sidewalk, let us through saying that our direction was okay.
Once at the Chateau de Vincennes, I caught the bus to go home.
That's all. I'm not a reporter, not a witness.

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