Ten years ago today, I was in a completely different time zone, so my story starts at night. It was late, I was sick with a fever, cough and was miserable. I’d gone to bed early. Around 10 or 11 pm that night, another American couple in town called to say that something terrible was happening in the US, that they were being attacked. I thought, “whatever”, and went back to bed. I just didn’t believe them.
A bit later, I thought, well, lets check online. I found I couldn’t get any US newspapers or US based sites, or any outside of China websites. Drat, I thought, maybe so-and-so was right? I finally got the South China Post, which had an article saying that one of the towers had been hit, but that was it. I couldn’t get anything else, so I went back to bed.
The next morning, I still couldn’t get websites up. But off to work I went. Several people told me how sorry they were for my country and all that was happening. “What happened?” I asked. And they told me. I didn’t want to believe it. We finally were able to get some news on the TV, and the internet started responding, and we got the whole story. We stayed in doors for the next week and didn’t go out much. But those that we knew were sympathetic and helpful. Its always the mob that you should fear, not individuals so much.
I really began to experience the changes when I went home for Christmas in ’01. My tickets had been purchased with cash out of Thailand… bad deal! I was stopped at every plane change and frisked. My bags were searched every 10 minutes. I saw the guards with rifles at LAX. And I was searched again, and again. It was scary. And I was “randomly selected” to be searched at every flight thereafter, until Hubby started buying my tickets on his credit card.
I was single and living overseas then. Now, I’ve been to grad school, got married, had a baby, bought a house, bought a car. 10 years ago, I’d never imagined I’d be here now.