The thin veil of comfort

I woke up late today– a heavy heat was brewing in the flat as it’s a lovely sunny day outside. In no hurry to stir, I grabbed a new book and settled into some reading about English literature and the evolution of spelling. (I don’t really do crosswords…) After engaging my brain a bit I wandered to my Mac to catch up on the latest news.

I found this: Egypt denies return to violence
Normally, I wouldn’t be concerned with an event that seems so remote from my daily life. However, this time I’m worried. You see, I’ve got a new friend that was recently on holiday in Egypt with her family. She loved it so much that when a bargain trip to Egypt a few weeks later materialised, she snapped it up without hesitation. She invited us to go with and I would’ve loved to have gone had my situation with the UK immigration office been settled just a couple of weeks sooner. She went alone. She’s not due back until Wednesday. Neil sent her a text message in the hopes that she receives it and can acknowledge that she’s ok. Whether or not she was in the vicinity of the tragedy is irrelevant– I want to let her know that we noticed and immediately thought of her. She’s an independent young woman, but being a solo traveller in a foreign country after a terrorist attack has got to be frightening to even the most balanced individuals.

Now we wait. I’ll be thinking of her every day until we hear from her.

In America, the insular attitude and rarity of an off-coast vacation/holiday blankets the mind with a false sense of security. There aren’t typically any worries of terrorist acts when you go away for a week to Disney World or to Mall of America. You never watch for suicide bombers on the local news when your friend flies out to visit her sister in Phoenix. It’s different here. With so much tourism and travel beyond the shores of my new home in England, I will go to these less stable holiday destinations one day. A person can’t live in fear of such events occurring when he books a trip unless a life within the same borders and experiences is all he requires in life.

I myself need more. This friend I’m concerned about needs more. Now, because of the veil of comfort lifted from my formerly narrow American scope of world events, I find myself waiting for a text message from this new and well-liked friend. Waiting to know she was hopefully nowhere near the violence…

I’ll let you know how it goes.