my day technically started when I left my office a few minutes past midnight. As I walked toward the WTC to grab a cab to go home, I looked up and marveled at how lucky I was to have the opportunity to work near these two buildings.
Slightly over eight hours later, I woke up to a nice Tuesday autumn morning. I wasn’t needed in the office until noon that day because of the late night before. The “This Morning” show on NBC was showing the usual rubbish.
Everything changed a few minutes later when I arrived at the gym in the basement of my apartment building. A group of people was crowding around the TV in front of the reception area. All of them wore the shock expression on their face. One particular woman, probably in her fifties, was sobbing that someone she knew was there.
As I turned to see the picture on the TV screen, my first thought was terrorism. May be I was conditioned that way after spending over ten years in the UK, with the IRA threat hanging over the population everyday.
We all thought that it could be an accident, and that it was probably just a small plane. We all had so much confidence in the firemen to put out the fire soon. But we knew different thirty minutes later when we watched, live, the second plane hit the south tower. I knew then that that day was going to be a turning point in human history…
For the rest of the day (and week), I was glued to the TV and my computer. Despite the lost of phone line and cell phone connection, my DSL connection to the internet was working fine. Thus, email and instant messaging became the de facto mode of communication for that day and rest of the week.
That day, I knew New York City is my home. It doesn’t matter that I was born and raised in Hong Kong and that I spent my teenage years in the UK. NYC is my home from that day forward.