Welcome to our family site, a window into our world.
As a family we, the Potters, have lived amongst various people around the world and we have enjoyed and been challenged by the faith, education, wildlife, work and culture we have experienced. You are welcome to explore this site, you can read more about the people and our various adventures by checking out the past ventures page.

Saturday

Living in a European city under a high terror alert

What it’s like to live in a city on a high terror alert…
By Charys Potter

The streets are empty, the crowds are non-existent. Places where once many people walked through are now places where the ratio of soldiers to the population has reversed.

It is a visual representation of a breath being held. Scratch that, a million breaths being held. And those breaths belong to people, people with family, people with friends, people who sit down and watch Netflix together or alone, people who sit, laugh and drink together, people who have thoughts or ambitions, people who like tea, people who like coffee.

The news is constantly on and constantly watched.

The worst isn’t not knowing what is going to happen, the worst is knowing what has already happened. Wondering if things in other cities could have been stopped, hoping things in the future will be able to be stopped.

It’s scary and surprising, things like this don’t usually happen to you. But the reality is, they do. Things like have happened to the many seeking refuge in our countries. Things like this have been happening to children since they were born. We have been on high terror alert for a day and a half. Others have been on high terror alert for their entire lives, and for this I cannot show the amount of sorrow I have.

The laughs heard have not disappeared, but the tension could not even be cut with a knife.
Many are scared, many are not. But looking outside many cannot be seen. The streets begin to look abandoned and likened to a house that is not being lived in, but will also not be sold.

The sounds of sirens that are usually ignored and pushed away by the increase of the volume of the tv, are suddenly sounds that could mean an end or a credibility to the alert.
I was once on lockdown in a school when I was 8 or 9. The city has turned into that school.
The city contains many schools, many cafes, many restaurants, many homes. All anxious to what they will hear or see next.

I am sad[1] that this is happening, but I am sadder that for some it has been happening for decades. The world is a scary place to be living in, but it has been for a long time. The fear has not started recently, but rather has been going on for decades.
Sadder for the people who have lost their lives, the people who have lost their family, the people who have lost their friends.

The world needs something. I am not claiming to give an answer, because I don’t have one. But the world needs something to stop this sorrow and fear. Too many have died, and it has been too many for a long time.




[1] I feel that “sad” is nowhere near to explaining the sorrow felt, but I have looked through and have yet to find a word that describes this feeling adequately.