Just before I left the library of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) in Rome, a friend handed me a print-out of one of the BBC's first reports on the terrorist attacks on London (the original report, entitled, "multiple blasts paralyse London", is no longer available).
At 8.15pm on the 7th of July 2005, as I took a train from Rome to Bari (where I would take a ferry to Durres and from there a bus to Tetovo and thence to Prishtine), I wrote:
Fuck. London's been bombed. Everyone (that I know)'s ok, but... Didn't think the French wanted the Olympics that much; makes you wish we hadn't won the bid. Amid contradictory witnesses' statements that everyone 'remained calm' and that everyone 'panicked' and 'started screaming and crying', I was reassured to get a reply to my expression of concern that simply said - or whined, 'stranded at work, can't get home'. The Blitz spirit lives, or, shock continues, or, uncaring indifference persists.Participants have been afforded anonymity. Formatting has been changed to make it easy to read in a blog.
I can't remember whether I wrote 'hope you were...' or 'were you so poverty-stricken you took the bus(?)' (not having taken in any of the article or even the second line of the BBC headline that noted that at least one bus had been attacked too), but I'm sure - in memory and meaning - of the second line of the text; 'makes me glad I'm being sent to Kosovo'. As I said to my mum, 'I may actually be safer in Kosovo'...
Technorati tags: London; terrorist attacks.