Strasbourg 2001-09-11


Jan and I left for Strasbourg quite early in the day. Our plans for Berlin had fallen through because we couldn’t secure any accommodation there. After a couple changes of train, we arrived at the looming station and walked to our nearby hotel. Checked into our private room around 2pm. The room was small, but with bath and a little TV. Had to try the TV to see what channels it got. The first image was of one tower of the world trade center on fire. I thought, "wow, that’s a lot of smoke, but I’m surprised that the French have interrupted programming to show it…" Then the French announcers began to talk hurriedly about a plane. They cut to an almost live image of the tower, and showed a plane crashing into the tower. "But the tower was already smoking, and it looked like it hit the other building behind it, how did the fire start?", I thought. And then the explanation came as my French was finally on form…while the announcers were talking about the first plane, a second hat hit. And then we were informed of the Pentagon, and of the fourth plane, and then of a car bomb and a fifth plane that turned out to be false.


Jan and I watched the towers collapse, not realising until the smoke began to clear that the towers had collapsed entirely. The consequences, the "how this changes the world" thoughts weren’t ever really there for me. I just watched and was stunned.



Luxembourg 2001-09-13


Woo hoo, one more country on the visited list. Well really, Luxembourg is very nice and very peaceful. Everything is so sedate, even the Duke’s palace is quite unremarkable. Maybe that is an argument against bankers running things. The nicest part was the valley that runs through the old city. The Luxembourgoise have installed pieces of public art of the fun variety along the valley, which makes it more entertaining walk.

Stuttgart 2001-09-17


As enjoyable as the free time between Waldheim and starting my internship was, I knew that it wouldn’t last forever. With a great deal of nerves, I made the commute that I would make many times after that to work. The plant grounds where a bit of a shock. It looked just like Keele, red brick and everything. There were even red British Telecom boxes littered all over the place. Strange how this world repeats itself sometimes. But the work and the responsibilities were new to me, and my colleagues are thankfully very understanding and friendly.

Cologne 2001-11-15


Not the longest of road trips, but Volkmar and I hopped into his white bus and drove up to Cologne for a night to visit Jana. We didn’t see much of the city, since we were inclined to just hang out in Jana’s great little apartment and eat and drink. That was, however great fun and a chance to catch up on lives over the past year or so, since arranging such meetings isn’t always the first priority.