Thursday, July 07, 2005

london today

my family seems to have a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. first, we were all in ny for 9/11. last night, I dropped my parents off at jfk for their flight to london to visit my sister, who lives in notting hill and works right near liverpool street. normally, during rush hour she would be getting off the central line to walk a few blocks to her office. I know the area well - I lived closest to liverpool station and just a few extra blocks from old street tube. I was also walking distance to aldgate - these are all tube stations I know well.

so when I woke up this morning, it was in a panic. did my parents arrive safely? did my sister go to work today? is everyone I still know there ok? why can't I get thru to my sister's mobile? are my text messages working? why havent I received an email yet?

I panicked. I called friends on the east coast and woke up friends on the west coast looking for solace. I kept calling london. I received calls from friends of my parents. I tried to get thru to my little sister in ny who just started medical rotations and is practically unreachable.

I finally got an email from my sister - all was well. she stayed home from work today to wait for my parents to arrive - very fortunate. when my parents landed heathrow express was down. then up again so they took that to paddington. by the time they got to paddington, the tube was completely shut down and the queue for a cab was 45 min. so they waited. and waited. until there was an announcement from the station - evacuate immediately. get as far away as possible from the station. so everyone started to run. including my parents, with their luggage (they're not light packers) and their arthritis.

eventually, they made it to my sister's flat. the timing of their arrival may have saved my sister's life - this sounds melodramatic, I know, but I don't think its hyperbole. my parents are by nature nervous, anxious, new york jews. I expected them to be in a panic after their arrival. instead, they're calm and genuinely grateful for the kindness of londoners who helped them at their arrival. (when they came to visit me in 2003 they were greeted on the tarmac by military tanks so perhaps they're getting used to this by now).

the american media is already mounting the assault on islam. its almost impossible to find an article like this in the US press. few have pointed out that one of the attacks took place in the heart of the muslim community (aldgate). the liberal blogs haven't yet posted anything more than links to the mainstream stories, if that. so I hope this doesn't turn into yet another excuse to condemn a billion people for the actions of a few.

and my thoughts and prayers go out to the british, especially to friends and family. I hope they're all alright.


At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like I said in our emails...I am so glad to hear your family is safe. So scary.

At 2:54 PM, Blogger aram said...

whew, a little too close for comfort. glad everyone is ok.

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Evan said...

i didnt even think about the fact that your sister is there. Glad she and your folks are all OK.


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