The latest Bali bombings have really hit home. Most of the Australian victims are from Xander and Nico's own home town, Newcastle. There was a large group that travelled together, organised through a local college which my 16 year old step-sister Leasa attends. I went to my father's house for dinner on Monday night; the people from Newcastle killed are the parents of her friends; and she was very, distressed. I might ask if she wants to go to the service for the victims tonight.
I've heard it repeatedly said on the news that Newcastle is a "city in mourning". Well, yes and no. People are keenly aware of it, but no one talks about it; it's as if it's just too much to bear.
It was eerie watching the footage of the victims arriving home in Newcastle, because the scene is so familiar. There they were, being wheeled on stretchers through the same ambulance bay as I was myself last May following my fall. When the TV showed one horribly injured man raising his bandaged arms to applaud his carers as he entered the hospital I cried and cried (and am still crying now).
It makes me sad to think of the younger people I know (and the ones I don't) growing up in a world where terrorism fears are considered a normal part of life. They no nothing else but the terror level alert. But maybe it was like this at the height of the Cold War, with fear of the A-Bomb. I don't know. Maybe then, it seemed like that was how the world was always going to be - how could it ever change? But the Cold War did end, and we can only hope that one day there is no more terror threat either. Yes, I am aware that the politico-economic circumstances of the Cold War are entirely different to those of the War on Terror. But that's not the point I'm trying to make; just that I wish that I could say to the people who think that we've always been afraid, that the world wasn't always like this, and we must pray (in whatever way we can) that one day we will all feel safe again.
There's more to the Bali connection for me, even than that.
Friends of mine were planning to go to Bali. It was only after Shappelle Corby was convicted that they decided to go to Queensland instead (there was nothing Xenophobic about it - all of my friends are pretty left-leaning open minded people - they were just too afraid of what might happen to them). So if it wasn't for that, they would have been in Bali on Saturday night. Forgive me, I can't write too much about how that would have been; I can't even think about it.
You might like...
(This was posted on Reddit. It's not my work; it says "feel free to copy and paste", so I did for those who aren't on Redd...
Sorry, I've gone for a clickbait title here, but honestly. You won't believe this, or maybe you will, but anyway. If you thought the...
You could almost feel sorry for the Coalition for Marriage, the self described "movement to defend traditional marriage" in the on...