Over There (in the UK)

September 11, 2001 at 3 PM

Utterly unbelievable

I’m sitting in an Internet café in Budapest right now. A few hours ago, I walked into a little bar/shop to buy a drink and happened to look up and see a television set showing live coverage of today’s horrifying events in the USA. At first unable to comprehend what I was seeing, I sat down on a chair to absorb the images and words — strangely they had the TV on a British station, not a Hungarian one.

I was shocked, literally stunned by what I saw, and greatly surprised at the depth to which it affected me. I felt completely alone, perched on my stool in a little shop in Budapest, though now I’m sitting here beside my friend Ian. I believe my feelings are amplified by being in Europe, where I feel somewhat stranded now, and Hungary is not the place you expect to be to see disaster unfold. Seeing the video of the second plane crashing into the World Trade Center, and the subsequent collapse of the twin towers was an undescribable experience. Like scenes from a Hollywood disaster movie, but this time there is no disbelief to suspend. If only we could suspend our belief, if even for a moment.

With the knowledge in mind that I am supposed to catch a train to Romania tomorrow morning, I have lost my appetite for travel. My thoughts go out to anyone affected personally by this maddening occurrence, and I hope no one you know was involved.


Well as you can imagine the office pretty much ground to a standstill. We were all glued to the set in Sandra’s office for most of the day, watching as all the planes went down. For a minute it didn’t seem like it would stop, and the apparent power these people were wielding had us wondering if this was “the big thing” happening in front of my eyes. I thought about what it must be like for you over there watching this, but try not to let it ruin your vacation. As you might guess I was watching the CBC last night and Rex had a couple of good points…we are no longer the spectators watching things happen “over there”. It happened that Shelley and I were having Dan, Christine Erika and Francis over, and it was good to talk with friends about what happened, away from official reaction that tends to be very focused on revenge. We all hoped, however naively, that perhaps this would be a wake-up call not for increased security but instead for a realization that we are all share a common link as human beings, and that we must call on our leaders for compassion throughout the world, rather than blood. The concept of justice can still exist without us entering some horrible tit for tat that we’ve seen destroy the souls of so many parts of the world.

Anyway, I hope you and Ian manage to shake this off. Be good.


Brett | Sep. 12, 2001 — 9 AM

Previously: Euroluke

Subsequently: Transatlantica

September 2001
the Archives

In Earshot

I only really read it for Canucks coverage, but even still it’s nice that The Vancouver Sun finally redesigned its hideously awful website to look like it was designed this century.

On pizza box art

Web 2.Origami

Welcome to Obama, Japan

The Toronto Star shows where and how the seats changed in the 2008 election

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