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Paris Under Attack
Amy rue JJR.jpg
Okay, call me nave. It was July 13. I was sitting here, in the apartment we rented on the top floor of a building in the first arrondisement (district) in Paris, when there was a huge foundation-shaking rumble. Planes three military planes in formation flew really, really low overhead. This is weird, since you dont usually see planes low over Paris, and you certainly dont feel them.
planes over Paris.jpg
I figured some foreign dignitarys jet was being escorted out of French airspace. Then more planes, and more planes flew low over the buildings; one of which looked like a passenger plane flanked by a small fighter plane so close to the passenger planes wing that it looked like the fighter pilot could reach out and get crme for his coffee. Oh no, I thought. Hijacking! Or maybe were under attack! My boyfriend was out gettting wine, so I would have to find any remaing bomb shelters all by myself. Hmm, maybe a bit of investigation was in order before getting in a total panic. I turned on CNN. A soccer match. Hmm. Obviously, they hadnt heard the news yet. I turned to a few French stations. A cooking show, a game show, and a French intellectual arguing about the usual retrograde topics (the relevance of Marxism in feminism today). I called my old New York friend, Mark Gaito, who lives across Paris. Amy, he laughed, We arent under attack. Its Bastille day hoo ha, starting a day early. Right. Of course. Okay, I feel stupid.

Posted by aalkon at July 15, 2004 7:49 AM


Just FYI, those three aircraft are American-built C-130 Hercules transports. Given the French reluctance to appear bellicose in word or deed, I'm surprised they gave themselves permission to fly military aircraft over their own air space.

Sorry. That slipped out. I just got done re-reading HELL IN A VERY SMALL PLACE by Bernard Fall (a Frenchman), and it got me cranky vis a vis the French military.

Posted by: Tony at July 15, 2004 1:22 PM