I woke up early for me (about half 6) and switching on the TV. Breakfast News was on and Richard Branson, who was planning to go to mainland Europe on the UK’s behalf to campaign to the European Court of Human Rights about the prices of cars in this country. In the end, I went down to the train station in Colwyn Bay, as I was ready to go to Leeds University, to have a look around.
I arrived at the station at about 7:30, and Goz was already there, the train arrive, ironically a Virgin, and we left for the trip to Leeds, with one 1/2 hour stop in Manchester. To be honest, the journey was pleasant, I just sat and read the paper that Goz bought (Daily Star, an unusual choice) while he listened to his minidisk. The train from Colwyn Bay to Manchester was nowhere near as packed as the one from Manchester to Leeds. Probably due to the open day.
So the open day started, my first talk was at about midday, where Goz’s was at the same time. I took my seat in the lecture hall. We basically got gist of the course, and my ego went through the roof when I was the only person in there with prior C++ knowledge beforehand (although very little, I may add). To be honest, I don’t think I’d like the course there. Some of the people in that room scared me. After the lecture was finished, I took a seat on a bench and had my packed lunch. Feeling my ego could do with a bit of a battering, and also that Goz doesn’t finish his talk until 2, I decided to sit through the Mathematics lecture. Some Asian guy sitting next to me made a lot of notes about the course and details, and the lecture lasted for about 1/2 hour, and after we got “fun sheets” to fill in for about quarter of an hour. Luckily, about a couple of minutes into these sheets, I got a text off Goz, telling me to come to the bus, we’re going to the station. I gladly oblige. We stopped the bus outside the station, got off, and immediately went into the adjoining Wetherspoons for a bite to eat. Goz had a bitter and Chili and Chips. I played safe and stuck with Coke and chips. After that, we decided to head home, as it was 3.
On the way, we heard in the four seats opposite us that one of the World Trade Centers towers have been hit. Although details were sketchy at the time (we were overhearing another conversation) it seemed pretty definite.
“You hear that Rhys?”
“One of the Twin Towers has been hit by a plane”
At this point, everybody on the planet did a collective “What the hell?”. Not me. Call me ignorant, call me a insensitive bastard, but this was my honest to god reaction.
“What the hell are the Twin Towers?”
Gozzard then proceeded to speak to me about the Towers, giving me an education in them that only an A Level Geographer could, saying such things as “I cannot imagine the New York Sky without them”. To me, the Twin Towers were The Big Boss Man and Akeem.
Only when we got to Manchester did we understand what had happened. People were listening to radios in the middle of the station, talking to people they’d never knew before existed, all talking about the attacks, and shaking their head. Saying things like “ooh, it’s terrible”. As a country bumpkin in Manchester, I just wanted to get home, and bury my head in the sand.
On the train back from Manchester, I just stared out of the window, for two hours.
Finally I got to Colwyn Bay, and Aled said “You’ve heard the news.”. I didn’t answer. Mum said “You wouldn’t believe Alun (Mum always called Dad by his first name), he’s acting like an idiot. He said to Al that he wouldn’t be alive at Christmas”. I broke my silence. “That’s a bit sick, isn’t it? I mean, who’s going to attack Colwyn Bay?”. I found my escape. I had something to talk about. No matter what has happened today, I’m safe and everybody I share my daily experiences are safe. Little consolation for over 1000 dead, but it was something that helped me regain my voice.
I arrived home at about 6, and immediately sat down in front of the TV. Dad, ominously, gave his “You won’t be here at Christmas” which is complete baloney. Dad, unlike me, is a pessimist as they come. To him, everybody he cared about had a big nuke over their heads, and the rope was breaking.
Dinner, understandably, was a solemn affair. Mum tried desperately to break it, but my Dad wouldn’t have none of it.
“Maybe now I can see a change of scenery on the net” I thought. It’s not that I’m insensitive, just that whenever things like that happen, and I run out of things to say, I generally just try and find means of escape, or signes of normality. To me, the Internet seemed like one. Unfortunately, everywhere I turned, it was there. Yahoo, 9/11. E-fed’s, 9/11. Blitz, 9/11. Fantasy Footy, 9/11. I almost gave up, when I went into my IRC rooms. Notably the clan’s [EDIT: "The Clan" referred to =FP=, a bloody good Team Fortress clan I was in for a time being late last year, something like 20th in the UK. I managed to fluke my way into it, as I was nowhere near as good as any other player there, I just was a regular as clockwork, and they let me joined. Although I resigned around Christmas time]. Finally, my sense of normality was found.
“Hey Rhys, We got a game tonight, want to play?”
“Sure, count me in”
Anyway I’m off to play DDT in a few minutes, so I’ll be off. See you all later.
So, this begs the question, where were you when the 9/11 happened?