Wednesday 27 September 2017

Former French Rose: They are hoping to divide us, but we will continue living the life we love

A vibrant, close-knit district of Paris refuses to back down to terror, writes former French Rose

LIFE WILL GO ON: Madeleine Barry outside a local cafe in Paris. Photo: Dave Coffey
LIFE WILL GO ON: Madeleine Barry outside a local cafe in Paris. Photo: Dave Coffey

Madeleine Barry

That Friday night started like any other weekend evening.

I met three friends in a Mexican restaurant just a few minutes from my home. They live in the west side of Paris and though it's only about half-an-hour away by public transport, it's always a challenge to persuade them to come over to the east side. On the Friday evening of the attacks, I managed to convince them to come and discover the happening night life in the heart of my neighbourhood.

The restaurant we went to, which is near the Bataclan and between two of the restaurants where so many were killed, was packed full of people enjoying a night out after a long week at work. We were eventually seated at the back of the restaurant, right next to an exit which opened on to a little courtyard. Shortly after 10 o' clock, I remember looking around the room and noticing quite a few people staring intently at their phones. I thought, "how odd, nobody is talking to each other". The atmosphere seemed to have changed and a hush had settled in the air. Things moved very quickly after that.

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