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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Toulouse shootings - seen from an expat bubble perspective

The deaths of three children and a teacher at a Jewish school in the southwestern city of Toulouse on Monday after an unknown gunman opened fire on them has become not only a major local and national story, but an international one too.

Shootings in Toulouse and Montauban (screenshot from France 2 news)

All major news organisations, local, regional and international, have been carrying reports on the shooting, the reactions and the link that has been established to the separate shootings and deaths of three soldiers in the same city and the nearby town of Montauban last week.

The candidates in next month's first round of the presidential elections all suspended their campaigns for one day.

The current president, Nicolas Sarkozy, as well as his main opponent, the Socialist party candidate François Hollande, have both visited Toulouse since the shootings, as have several other candidates and current government ministers.

A minute's silence was held in schools throughout the country on Tuesday.

Turn on the radio or the television or pick up a newspaper and you'll more than likely catch an update on who has said what, speculation about the gunman's motives, the police investigation that has been launched, the concerns of parents over the safety of their children, the fears of another attack...in fact you cannot miss hearing, seeing or reading about what happened.

Not even if you're unable to speak French because BBC, CNN, Sky and others have all been covering developments.

The region of Midi-Pyrénées, in which both Toulouse and Montauban are situated, has been put on "scarlet alert", the highest terror alert in France.

So it's hard to live here and not at least have an inkling as to what happened - right?

Wrong.

This was posted on a thread about the "scarlet terror" alert in the Midi-Pyrénées on one of the many sites for mainly native English-speakers to help them get to grips with living in France.

"Please explain what you're talking about," wrote (link withheld) the contributor

"I live in L'isle-en-Dodon, Haute Garrone...! (sic)"

Just for those of you who don't know, and at the risk of being repetitive, Haute Garonne is one of the eight départements in the region of Midi-Pyrénées, and its main city is Toulouse.

L'Isle-en-Dodon is a small town (two thousand inhabitants) 70 kilometres or just over one hour's drive away from where the school shootings took place.

No comment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So typical of many expats. They live the so-called dream while not even trying to understand what is happening around them.

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