I tend not to write about politics or news events on this blog. Partly because involving myself in the daily dirt of news is below my statesman-esque stature but mainly because my regular readers (that would be Merel and Cybbis) don't really care that much about my opinions on such things.
However, since I am a student of the recent - political - history of the United States of America (in other words, US history is my bitch) I figured I probably couldn't escape writing about 9/11 which (in case you haven't heard it yet) happened 5 years ago today.
On september 11, 2001 a much weirder version of me was at home at my parents place with the flu. In the golden, 'still in high school days', of the flu that usually meant you could lie in bed all day, read comics and have your mom bring you drinks. However, this specific day my mom was sicker than I was so instead I had to go walk the dog. I can't remember the exact time when I returned home, but when me and my dog came back my mom shouted from upstairs that I should turn on the TV. Which was kind of odd, since my entire life my mom usually told me to turn the TV off.
Anyhoo, when I did I saw the two main towers of the World Trade Center burning.
I can't quite remember how I spent the rest of the day. Obviously I watched TV as people were jumping out of the towers, a plane crashed into the Pentagon another one somewhere in Pennsylvania, and as finally the towers collapsed and Manhattan turned into a big dust storm. At the same time, I was emailing and chatting with friends from the U.S. I remember Cybbis and me talking with our friend Kathie, from Los Angeles, all afternoon while she tried to contact our other friend Wendy at work.
About a month later, I was in New York. It wasn't so much a "watching the car crash" trip, as it was an earlier planned exchange my high school had with a New York school. In april 2001 a bunch of New Yorkers had visited Amsterdam and had stayed at our homes (not my home ofcourse, my New Yorker didn't have a passport and therefore couldn't leave the country. Just my luck). Although they only stayed for four days, it was great fun and our return trip was pretty much in the center of my mind when school started again in september.
After the attacks we were all convinced that the trip is off, partly because we weren't sure we wanted to go, partly because we weren't sure the New Yorkers wanted us to come, and partly because we figured our parents would tie us to our beds rather then let us get near any planes or New York City in general. Surprisingly enough, problem one and two appeared non existent when the school in question practically demanded us to come ("We won't let terrorists ruin this!") and we ourselves laughed danger in it's fairly unatractive face. Finally, our parents didn't have much objections either (do they even love us? there were Anthrax letters everywhere!).
That week in New York turned out to be amazing and I utterly and completely fell in love with the city and (surprisingly enough) with its inhabitants. What was amazing was, that despite there being thousands of papers with phone numbers and pictures of the missing throughout the city, and despite smoke still coming off Ground Zero, New York City and the New Yorkers were recovering; they were still the funny, bitchy, complaining bunch of people they always were. And that's probably the best lesson from 9/11; it'll take a whole lot more than two planes and two towers to destroy a city.
Or, to quote the great cultural philosopher that is Ryan Adams: Hell, I still love you New York