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Adelaide expat tells of Paris drama


The horror unfolding on the streets of Paris is a little too close to home for Adelaide expat Emma Pike.

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The 33-year-old healthcare worker, who has lived in the French capital for four years, is huddled in her apartment just two streets from La Belle Equipe, the restaurant where gunshots were heard as deadly terror attacks occurred across the city on Friday night, Paris time.

“I feel horrified this is happening around me,” she said.

She was alerted to the attacks by her father, who sent her a text message from his Adelaide home wanting to know if she was safe.

IMG_3874The Adelaide Hills native had just returned from watching the new James Bond film at a movie theatre and was unaware of the drama unfolding just 500m from the front door to her apartment block in Voltaire in the city’s 11th arrondissement.

“I said to him, ‘What are you talking about’? and I turned on the TV and saw it,” she said.

“Then my phone exploded with people texting me.”

Despite the horror, she felt safe, with a strong military and police presence on the street outside her apartment.

“Everything is going into lockdown so people aren’t allowed to leave their homes or bars…I can’t imagine I will be sleeping a lot tonight.”

Since 12 people died during terrorist shootings at the Paris office of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January, there had been a much stronger police presence on the streets, particularly in her suburb as the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls lived nearby.

Pike believes the people of Paris will show a united front against the terrorists.

“They are the sort of people who are about equality and brotherhood and bringing each other together. I can guarantee there will be an enormous reaction.”


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