Monday, September 8, 2008

A short interruption for sharing some memories

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but normally this blog is always related to either World of Warcraft or to the fan community around it.

I look upon The Pink Pigtail Inn is a kind of playground, a place where I relax and add new dimensions to my game play. It’s an escape from the so called real life and real world (I don’t wholeheartedly like the terminology - the friends you get in the game are just as real as the friends you see eye to eye. WoW is very real in one aspect. But you know what I mean.) I want the blog to stay that way, being a reserve for recreation.

It happens that I relate my posts to experiences from my ordinary life, but the starting point, the center of the blog, is always Azeroth and the people I meet there.

Today I’m making an exception – probably the one and only ever.

The thing is that I have been “tagged”. A number of blogs have written posts about what they remember from certain “world changing news”. Now 35 yards out and Altoholic’s Altoholics are us for some reason seem to be interested in what Larísa did and thought when those news broke.

After thinking a while I’ve decided to join the party after all.

The reasons for this are:

  1. I'm very bad at saying no to requests (which gives me a lot of trouble.)
  2. I’ve liked to read the posts about this topic this so far, probably because I’m hopelessly curious about other people. I want to see the world through their eyes; I want to know what they think and feel. I'm an ethos addict!
  3. Until now all posts have been written from a New World perspective. Probably my European/Swedish one will be a bit different and add something.

So… if you only want to read about WoW – stop reading now (probably you have already). There will be other WoW related posts soon enough - be back then! But if you for some reason want to take part of some real life experiences from Larísa – keep reading!

September 11 Attacks, September 11, 2001:
It was a beautiful late summer/early autumn afternoon. I was walking through our capital Stockholm, on my way to the railway station to take the train to my hometown. I hade been to a job agency, where I had been doing some tests, since I was looking for a new employment.

I had a small portable radio device and I plugged it into my ears and put it on, just to listen to the news or some random program. It took me a minute to understand what they were talking about and get a picture of what was going on.

This was very soon after the attacks, at the most 15 minutes later and the reporter were just as confused and in chock as I was.

I don't think I could take in the width of what as happened instantly. I was caught in a bubble. Was this for real? It was alien, weired. Especially I remember the strange feeling that I knew something which most of the people I met in the street didn't know yet.

I knew that the world had changed, but the word hadn't spread yet. All those happy, innocent faces, meeting me in the street an on the train. I wanted to tell them, but I didn’t know how to do it. So I kept silent. It wasn’t just United States that was under attack. It was humanity. And even today I shiver and get tears in my eyes whenever they resend the pictures of the crashing planes on TV.

Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster January 28, 1986:
Frankly I have no idea what I was doing that day. Not that I didn’t notice. Of course I did. But there has always been accidents connected to space travel. This wasn’t the first one, this wasn’t the last one. I think this was the one when there was a civilian aboard, a school teacher, if I remember it right? That touched me and made this one a bit different.

Hurricane Katrina August 29, 2005:
I’m sorry, but I have no memories to share. It’s just another piece of news passing by. Some parts of the world are affected sometimes by natural disasters – earthquakes, floods and so on. This was one of those events. What I remember most clearly from it was the picture of all those thousands of people sort of trapped into a sports arena. It seemed like a nightmare.

Reagan Assassination Attempt March 30, 1981:
Nothing I recall. It was noticed of course, but it surely meant more to US citizens.

John Lennon’s Death December 8, 1980:
He was just another of those immortal pop stars who die too young (though often from other reasons). Like Jim Morrison. Like Sid Vicious. It was sad, but it didn’t turn the world upside down.

Kurt Cobain’s Death April 5, 1994:
I never listened to Nirvana. So nothing from me on this one.

John F. Kennedy’s Assassination November 22, 1963:
Pass. I was born in 1967.

Brandon Lee’s Death March 13, 1993:
I guess I should be embarrassed for my lack of knowledge, but I have no idea who this guy was. I haven’t seen any of his movies what I recall.

Larísa's addition
Of all those events, it’s just the 11 September attacks which made the world stop and never bee the same again to me. On the other hands I’ve got two other pieces of news which had the same effect on me, but aren’t on the list, since the perspective is so US oriented. Actually I doubt most of you readers have ever heard about them. But I’ll tell you anyway (here comes the Swedish dimension).

The murder of Olof Palme February 28, 1986
I was on a train when I first heard about it. At that time I lived about 700 km away from my boyfriend and I had taken the night train to see him and was sitting in the corridor in the morning, waiting for us to arrive at the destination, when the conductor passed by, telling everybody that the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme had been shot during the night.

We didn’t know what to think. Was this really true? Mind you, in those days you didn’t have mobiles or internet connections to check out for yourself. But when I met my bf at the station he confirmed it, and so did the news bills, which soon were all over the town.

Sweden lost it’s virginity that night, that’s the only way I can describe it. We had stayed out of the world wars (for good and for bad). We had become use to live in a country where the prime minister could go to the movies with his wife, just like any other citizen, and then stroll through Stockholm, without any lifeguards around.

This murder was just like the black riders arriving at Hobbiton. Violence and terror had reached even to this distant corner of the world. This was the end of the era of innocence.

The Estonia disaster September 28, 1994
This is another piece of news which you’ve probably never heard of unless you’re Swedish or at least from Europe. Estonia was a passenger ship, which connected Stockholm and Tallinn. One night it was foundered in a storm and most of the passengers, 850 people, died.

When this happened my youngest daughter was four months old. I learned about it in the morning, as I switched on the TV to watch some news as I was breastfeeding her.

The pictures from the rescue operation, which was still going on, were heartbreaking. It was evident that all hope was lost already. All over the see there was just empty floatation devices.

I think what made it so chocking wasn't just that you could easily imagine the horror the people on the sinking boat must have endured, but also that it was the first time that Sweden was severely affected by a catastrophe caused by natural elements.

Draught and flood, earthquakes and storms causing hundreds or thousands of deaths – had until now been something happening in distant places, such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, India or China. It surely couldn’t happen to us. This event made us realize that there isn’t such a thing as a safe spot on Earth. And 500 deaths is a lot in a country with 8 million inhabitants. Everybody didn’t know anyone on the ship. But it was pretty likely that you knew someone who knew someone. It all came very close to us.

But I didn’t just feel horror – I also felt frustration. At this point I was on maternity leave from my job as a journalist at a local newspaper. I had moved to another town though and was planning to switch job, so in reality I was cut of from the editorial staff. Now I was watching this world-changing thing happening, bound to be breastfeeding instead of writing. I knew what the reporters were up to now, giving all what they had, being under a totally insane pressure, feeling the adrenaline rushing through their veins. I wanted to be there and I knew I was needed.

I understand that this probably seems a bit strange to a non journalist. It sounds like if I wanted to make sensations, profit on the misery of others. But that's not the case. It’s more like wanting to help in a critical situation and perform the job you know you can do.

Just as a doctor have an instinct to help injured, no matter if he's on duty or not, a journalist has an instinct to help to provide relevant, true and fast information, which no doubt is needed. To stay at home felt totally wrong, even though I deep inside knew it wasn't. My first duty was to my daughter and nobody else.

Back to business
This is the end of the One And Only Non WoW post at The Pig Pigtail Inn. I won’t send any any tag about it to other WoW bloggers, simply because I never forward chain letters. Ever. Anyway the topic is spreading so quickly, so most blogs will have covered it pretty soon.

Tomorrow I'll be back to business and my escape from the world with a post about another important aspect of Azeorth which urgently needs to be examined:

Can Exodar or Darnassus compete with Ironforge or Stormwind when it comes to making your errands?

See you then!

2 comments:

krizzlybear said...

Darnassus is completely out of the picture. AH is so far from mailbox and bank that it's not funny. Pretty decent distance from teleport to bank though.

Exodar is actually pretty good with AH/mailbox distance, since it's just outside, and the bank isn't too far away.

In general though, it's all about alliance having the majority of its flightpoints on the East Side, so IF and SW are more accessible.

Larísa said...

That was a quick comment! You're commenting on a post that hasn't been published yet. :)

As a matter of fact Darnassus has some really great advantages. You just wait and see, I'll tell you more about it soon.