I was in a hospital bed in India was very sick, dehydrated, and hooked-up to an IV. It was around six in the morning the nurse with big brown eyes who spoke no English rustled me out of my deep sweaty sleep. She handed me the Hindustan Times, and I pushed it away.
by Elizabeth Brandon
It was so tired, so sick, I just wanted to sleep. She rustled me again, her eyes were urgent, and forced the front page into my hands. I abruptly awoke, my stomach, went queasy. This didn’t happen there must be some kind of mistake…
I glanced at the paper, my heart sank, as I looked at the crumbling towers. How could this happen? All I wanted to do was contact my family, get out of the hospital bed, and see my work mates. I felt a rush of panic and dizziness – how could something like this happen?
The next month we were glued to the TV screens watching every tidbit of news from CNN, Star TV, and BBC. Each had their own perspective of what happened and would happen next.
It was in October the day the US invaded Afghanistan. I treated it like any other work day put on my work clothes and went to the office. My colleague and I were meeting with the CEO of the business we were consulting and placing a request for better working conditions for his employees. He looked at us and said, ” I’m in no mood today. I have family in Afghanistan.”
You could see the pain in his eyes and the weight on his shoulders. It is there memories of what I remember from that fateful day of the invasion of Afghanistan and the months that trudged into the lion’s den.
My perspective of terrorism changed as we sat in a political hot bed we were told we were possible targets white and North American is was wise to not to go into Old Delhi under any circumstances. We were to be cautious at all times whether were in Market places or traveling to any destinations deemed safe.
In December just before Christmas Vacation the Indian Parliament only twenty minutes from where I lived was stormed by Pakistani Terrorists. I remember walking into the office, everyone pale, wondering when would be the next attack and would India retaliate on its northern neighbors.
On Christmas Vacation my husband and I backpacked throughout Rajasthan. I remember looking out at the vast landscape, the road ways, and watching the Indian tanks move to defends it borders. We looked at each other and attempted to guess the news of the day.
It was the next morning I sipped my coffee and inspected the news in the internet cafe. Only to discover our next travel destination had a detour there would be no camel safari in Jesselmer as long as there was fighting and gun shots along the border.
Our travel plans derailed we spent extra time in Udaipur. It was on New Years Eve on the hostel roof top we danced under the stars with all of the hostel workers as well a motley crew of dirty backpacker’s one Israeli, a couple of Aussies, and a few Germans. It was that night we danced to the beat of the music with merriment we did the light bulb, we laughed, and we rang in the New Year of 2002 with hope for a better future.
9/11 shaped the globalized community and changed all of our worlds on that fateful day. Terrorism has changed the way we travel and the way we think about our world. The crumbling of the towers, the loss of life, still makes me sick to my stomach. If we are ever to defeat the chaos terrorism has inflicted on our psyche it is by showing no fear and living each day like it is our last.
How has 9/11 changed the way you view the world?