…and then everything changed

The sea was a little colder that day, compared to the previous days. Not much, but enough to make us spend more time on the beach than in the water. Listening to the waves reaching the shore, I fell half asleep, letting the sun dry and warm me. Losing sense of time, we just let the hours pass, finally feeling relaxed and free …almost happy.
Never could we imagine that that feeling would go away so abruptly. Far away from home you don’t really pay much attention to news, especially when all the papers are in Italian and you don’t have a tv in your hotel room.
I had noticed the crowd of people gathered around the tv in the hotel lobby earlier that day, but I hadn’t paid much attention to it, assuming it was some Italian news event showing. Or maybe I just didn’t want reality to creep too close.

The first tv we saw on our way back was at the restaurant just beside the exit from the beach. A lot of people had gathered, both in the restaurant and outside on the street, watching. I saw fire on the screen, but I couldn’t make out what it was about. I figured there must have been a terrible accident somewhere in Italy.
In the next restaurant we saw the same scene – a lot of people standing transfixed, staring at the tv screen. An Italian channel was showing a CNN news clip, the text AMERICA UNDER ATTACK spreading across the screen, and fire, wounded people and total chaos was showing above it.
The feeling started somewhere low down my back, spreading up through my spine, shaking my shoulders as I saw one of the twin towers collapse and the other one in flames. It was like in a bad movie. I just could not believe it was happening.

It took quite some time before we could find out what had happened. At the hotel the crowd in the lobby had grown. A man told us “It’s war!”, and that 2-4 planes had flown right into World Trade Center and Pentagon. Still, all the news was in Italian. I needed to get some information in a language I could understand. I tried wapping to Aftonbladet, but it didn’t work. Then I phoned Mattias, but he had turned his phone off. Finally, A. picked up. The line was really bad, so she could hardly hear me, but I got her to tell me the basics. Then she SMS:ed me some more details.

Needless to say, the events in the US put an end to our vacation spirit. Flying home wasn’t something I looked forward to, and the checkin was a lengthy and tiring process. I don’t know if it was because of increased security or just the ordinary lack of efficiency at Catania airport. It took 11 hours to get home, door to door.

But… life does go on, as it must, despite a darker horizon.
I’ve had a nice weekend with visitors. Sofie filmed another short film, starring yours truly. :-) It will be very interesting to see how this one turns out.
We went to see a play by Stockholms improvisationsteater. I was rather impressed by the second half of it, which was a sort of interview with Helge Skoog, combined with improvised theatre about his life.
My vacation continues this week. The weather in Stockholm is actually rather indian summerish, so it isn’t too bad being on vacation in Sweden. I’ve decided to find a sofa this week. Me and mother have been to a number of furniture stores over the past couple of days. It’s nice having her with me, helping me to choose.

Sofie has helped me get into a university course in Creative Writing in English! I’m really excited about it. It’s 20 p during 2 years, which makes it slow enough for it to be possible for me to follow it alongside of my work. Should be interesting, and hopefully I’ll get inspiration and motivation to write more.


Web veteran, journalist, blogger since 1998, loves creativity and originality, photography and her family. [More]

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *