My job is all about timing. Today was no exception. I left the flat dressed for a presenting shift. Heels, smart clothes, totally inappropriate for what was to unfold.
Ten minutes earlier two gunmen attacked police outside the guard post of the palace throwing a grenade and opening fire. Fifteen to twenty shots were let off in quick succession according to a palace source I spoke to. Inside staff and tourists were trapped unable to move and left without any answers in a state of panic, crying.
My day was spun on its head. Unaware of what had happened, I grabbed my phone and called work to alert them something was kicking off and I was in the thick of it. My taxi was forced to take a detour and by the time I was told to stay put I was far away from the scene. I jumped out of the air-conditioned cab and into the prickly afternoon heat. Pegging it down the hill in 3-inch heels, sweat building fast and trickling down my back, all the time muttering I wish I was in trainers.
Deployed to the scene were a field producer, translator and camera man. I didn’t make it in time to do the first live hit for the first bulletin so my field producer was shoved infront of the camera.
After we rendez-vous-d we started newsgathering. I interviewed a palace source who was terrified of saying too much. Getting anything out of people is bad enough in English, try through an interpreter. We grabbed people coming out still a little shell shocked and dazed to gauage what happened inside as well as out. We found a shady spot to cut down the interviews and I started bashing out a script for a report.
Everything we broadcast has to be approved so scripts have to be emailed over for subbing, we waited. In the meantime I had to prepare for several evening lives, reading the latest info coming from work on news lines.
Tonight I was supposed to be going on a date. A guy I met on Saturday night asked me out for dinner and he booked one of the city’s exclusive restaurants. One of my girlfriends messaged me when I got home to see how it went.
I replied, “It didn’t happen, I cancelled it. I was caught up in a bomb attack en route into work.”
Her response was, “Most people cancel dates because they are tired or just washing their hair not dodging bullets. F*** me, you said it as if it was completely normal.”.