Sunday, 11 September 2011

Where Were You on Sept 11?

Today is the 10th Anniversary of Sept 11 - the day the world will remember as a day of carnage and sorrow.

The media is having a field day featuring interviews with people on where were they on Sept 11. So I thought I'd share my story too.

It was 10 pm and I was sitting in front of the telly waiting for The West Wing to start.

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The West Wing is a drama series about people who work in the White House. It was one of my favourite drama series at that time as I learned alot about the American political system.

Suddenly broadcast was interrupted for special breaking news. It's extremely rare for any Malaysian station to interrupt the usual programmes to feature breaking news. So, it's GOT to be important.

Then the images started appearing on screen. By the time the broadcast reached Malaysian telly, both planes had already hit the towers and thick smoke was billowing from it.

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A reporter in the background was giving a description of what was happening and they kept repeating footages of the planes crashing into the towers. And then the towers came crashing down ...

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Since 9-11, and probably after a few other attempted terrorist attacks in other countries, travelling on planes have never been the same. You can't bring in sharp items in your hand luggage and the maximum volume of liqud allowed in a container is 100ml.

Sometimes I forget these rules and almost had my pen knife confiscated on a Qatar Airways flight to Egypt. Thankfully the officials allowed the flight attendants to keep the pen knife for me and I could collect it when I land in Egypt.

But there was one time when I tried to push my luck, and my expensive sunscreen got confiscated in Bali. I pleaded with the officials but they were strict. Thankfully the sunscreen was not as expensive as some facial products that costs hundreds of ringgit.

Even boarding flights have become a nuisance as some airports require passengers to remove their shoes and belt. On a Ryanair flight to Oslo, the guy in front of me almost dropped his pants literally when he removed his belt for inspection. I had to giggle.

9-11 sparked off a series of events that ultimately led to the death of the man himself - Osama Bin Laden. However there're probably many more Osama wannabes being trained to mastermind more terrorist attacks around the world.

I pray and hope that humankind will never have to experience another terrorist attack that is as horrifying and catastrophic as 9-11.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Journeys of a Lifetime

The quote, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" has always been one of my favourite travel quotes. Some websites attribute it to Confucius and some to Lao Tzu; just goes to show that nothing on the net should be taken as the Gospel truth.

Another quote I like is, "Success is a journey not a destination" by writer Arthur Robert Ashe Jr.

Lea Salonga also sang about The Journey which I've listened to death at church camps when I was much younger.

The world is laden with quotes and songs about journeys. And that is precisely why I bought this book at the recent Popular Bookfest held at the KL Convention Centre:

The book's by National Geographic which makes it credible. And being priced at RM29.90 doesn't hurt either, especially when it's hardcover and printed on glossy paper.

This book has 500 trips which I'm gonna use to plan my travels. Some of these places I haven't even heard off before, which makes it even more exciting!

So let the journeys begin!

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