Friday, 12 September 2008

September 11th, 2001

Was it really seven years ago?

I woke up early that morning, to feed the landlord's horses. I came upstairs to collect the dogfood the landlady set out for me every Tuesday morning, and she had the TV on. I'm pretty sure she was crying.

I listened to the radio most of the morning, and then biked limpidly to my university to be around other people. Most people were in the student lounge, watching the widescreen TV, and I remember being upset that they kept repeating the footage of those damn buildings going down. I was outraged that by the evening of the SAME DAY, I was already getting desensitized to a set of images that should NEVER cease to shock anyone, fucking ever. I watched President Bush's address in the evening, and felt apprehensive when he said he would also consider any country harbouring terrorists as an enemy: I remember saying to somebody that day, "I hope they go after Bin Laden with a scalpel, not a sledgehammer."

By sheer coincidence, the next day the Red Cross had been scheduled to have a blood donation clinic in one of the residence lounges, and students from my school packed the station out all day long: we had to reserve times.

It was a bit later before I saw this: satire website The Onion's greatest moment, their 9/11 issue, which somehow, magically, managed to capture the equal parts fury and fear that everyone felt those first two weeks, while making us laugh all the harder for feeling so sad together.

The 9/11 Onion: the headline at the time was "HOLY FUCKING SHIT!" and that pretty much summed up what everybody thought when they found out.



So it's 2:00 a.m. Korea time as I write from the USA--any suggestions for a newbie Expat for good clean fun in Daejeon since the great clearing of The Chuseok Holiday? I want to pass it on to someone there. Ideas are appreciated. db

Roboseyo said...

Hrm. I don't know what's going on in Daejeon, other than to suggest googling it.

I'd also recommend heading down to any palaces or temples in the area -- people converge there on these holidays, and there might be some rituals to see. If there's a public park/city square, that might be worth checking, too -- basically, the best clean fun you can have on chusok is to get invited to a Korean family's house to watch the chusok ritual, but that failing public squares are a good try.

Also: mountain trails, like I said, if there are any near daejeon. Public parks and such may be loaded with picnicers in the afternoon (after ancestral rites in the morning), which is a cool atmosphere to be around and in any busy area, there will be Kids wearing traditional Korean hanbok, which is about the cutest thing in the universe.