a wandering woman writes

Monday, September 11, 2006


I'd hope to write a post about September 11 today, because this day has been on my mind all day. Because it marks a milestone for my life, like no other day in my lifetime so far. For both me and my country, there was a before September 11, 2001 and an after. I used to deny that. I've stopped. That "after" now surrounds me, and haunts me, out here with "American" tattooed on me. Out here never quite sure if I want to carry my country's baggage or not.

September 11, 2006 has been a long and hard, if fun, day of work, however, and I'm fresh out of juice.

So for today, I am going to let Tara at Paris Parfait speak for me. She's found the words I am far too tired to find, and set them to beautiful, poignant verse.

Please, especially Americans back home, please go read her post. I couldn't possibly express what September 11 and the US look like, glancing back from out here, better than she has.



  • Erin, thank you for your kind words about my piece. As Americans, we all have been profoundly affected by the events of September 11 and its aftermath. Particularly living abroad, we sometimes attract unwanted attention - to paraphrase your words, it's not always easy carrying our country's baggage!

    By Blogger paris parfait, at 12:51 AM  

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    By Blogger Nomadita, at 9:55 AM  

  • I read your poeme Paris, it´s beautiful, I long for peace!

    By Blogger Nomadita, at 9:56 AM  

  • Erin, thanks so much for sending me to Paris Parfait.
    I've been, read, linked, and stand amazed.

    I've wondered about you and others 'carrying our country's baggage' and have resisted Joel's attempts to travel outside of America while that puny shrub is in Washington...
    I'd love to hear more about what that's like - the good and the bad - should you ever decide to write it. I'd also welcome pointers to other expat bloggers who have written on that subject.

    Thanks again, Erin

    By Anonymous kate, at 4:32 PM  

  • Absolutely true, 11-S is not another day in the calender.
    I know what you mean by saying that from 11-S the word American means a lot more. What I like about Americans is that when any terrorist group attacks you, you know who the enemy is and fight it, you overcome, you remember the victims and not surrender.

    In Spain not all people think like that. After 11-M, some politicians started to see other internal enemies, some others tried to figure out whose fault was it. And some people think that negotiating with a Terrorist Group like ETA is good because they will leave us alone, and forget the victims.

    I think that with Terrorist we should be firm, like America.

    By Anonymous Eduardo, at 11:28 PM  

  • Hey Kate, yeh, somehow I don't love writing it; Nomadita could tell you stories of times I have had surprising things happen to me even in Salamanca, but.....not something I've seen a need to write about. But ok, let me try to write a little what it's like to be not just me in Europe at the moment, but an American.

    But! Kate! Let me start now because you hooked right into my PASSION!! I NEED you , NEED You, ORDER you, BEG you, PLEAD --- PLEASE travel outside the US. That, to me, is essential. When Americans actually venture outside the US (and Canada and Mexico!), I tell you I see their heads expand, as mine did in 2001. Hell, I wish they'd venture just over to bbc.com for the news, as you know. But if you, wonderful openminded generous you, were to travel right now outside the US, you'd expand the minds of the people you met abroad, too---you'd be exporting something GOOD from the STates, puzzling (as I do) people who stereotype Americans, or just don't know many. Foreign relations. :) Person to person.

    So when should I expect you?

    Thanks for the comment, Eduardo. Welcome! I'm actually not in agreement with how the US govt reacted to 11-S, but I'll agree, having just read the paper, that the stuff still swirling around 11-M amongst SPanish parties is astounding. I read a article I really liked in El PAis on the 11th, an excellent interview with an expert from Rand on strategies for "combatting" terrorism -

    just haven't had time to post about it...

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 3:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 5:52 PM  

  • Having a horrible time getting this link in:


    and let's try this

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 5:55 PM  

  • There is a before and after 11-S for everyone around the world. I'm visiting my country these days and people are going crazy with the bombs and terrorists. I'm from Romania, but I'm living currently in Spain. Everywhere around the world people are going paranoid with all these facts, and sometimes I cannot make any difference between normal and exagerated concern.

    By Anonymous Sim, at 3:32 PM  

  • Hi Sim,

    Yes, yes. You know, I love to read the paper, especially in Spain, it's one of my favorite luxuries, a whole El Pais, but these days I leave the paper drained, and not sure if there is something I should be doing. But what? Like you, even when it comes to whether I should post about the news here, in case my friends back home aren't reading something in the US press...it is very difficult to distinguish exaggerated concerns from realistic concerns.
    Thanks so much for your comment...

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 10:41 PM  

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