Major versus minor

Can you believe it was the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on Saturday?

Even my local fire station – pictured above – paid tribute.

Reading all the recollections swept me back in time. I was living in Singapore 20 years ago, editing CLEO magazine.

On the morning of September 11, I was blithely cycling on an exercise bike in my apartment block’s gym. A distraught security guard called Taksa rushed up to me. He was so upset that I could barely understand what he was saying. I eventually worked out there had been a terrible incident of terrorism. I raced back upstairs, turned on the television and cried for the rest of the day.

It was harrowing to see the events unfold. I was watching the live broadcast with my husband as the second plane hit the towers.

I’d forgotten 10 Australians died in the attacks until a radio announcer told me last week. All up, 2977 people were killed, 19 hijackers committed murder–suicide, and more than 6000 others were injured.

I cried all over again when I travelled to New York in 2007 and visited the memorials.

And I wept on Saturday when I saw images captured by a photographer of people falling from the upper levels of the World Trade Centre. It’s something you accidentally see and wish you could unsee. But it’s seared in my brain now. Looking at those people mid-air, plummeting to their deaths, undid me as I thought about the terror they must have felt during those final seconds.

I will never understand how anyone convinces themselves that a higher deity wants them to kill people. I’m pretty sure that’s the exact opposite of what a higher deity wants.

I had a friend who was a journalist in New York at the time, I can’t imagine how harrowing it must have been for him to report on it. He was living on the Upper West Side and none of the trains were operating, so he cycled down to give his first hand report.

It makes living in Sydney lockdown – surrounded by natural beauty – seem like pretty minor stuff.

After feeling pretty sombre about the anniversary, I headed off on another beautiful headland bushwalk. Then I went to the ocean for a swim on the unseasonably hot 26C day. I felt so lucky.

Things took a minor turn for the worst when I ordered takeaway for dinner. What do you think the odds are of two people called Alana both booking takeaway pick ups at the same restaurant at 6.20pm on a Saturday night? I’d have thought pretty low, but no, it happened.

The restaurant got very confused and only cooked one of the Alana orders. Of course, it wasn’t mine. And so I ended up waiting outside a restaurant for 45 minutes for my food.

FFS. And all I got was a harried apology, not even a free serve of spring rolls. My eyes were VERY flinty when I was finally handed my order. Very. Flinty.

In happier news, I think it says something about my age that I’ve only had 145 views of my first Tik Tok video, but 23,000 views of my latest LinkedIn post (OOOOH-errrrrr!!!! I’m very excited about that!).

I’m not letting low engagement on Tik Top stop me, I’m filming my second video today, stay tuned!

Hope you had a good weekend.

Song of the day: Savage Garden “I want you”

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