I’ve decided to share my “where were you on 9/11″ story with you because I know for sure that it is much different from yours. First of all, I was in Guadalajara, Mexico doing a semester abroad from Bard College in New York. I was staying in a house with a Mexican woman and her daughter along with a four other girls from around the world. Rie was from Japan, Vicky was French-Canadian, Megan was from Oregon, and Kay was from New Jersey. We were all in an intensive Spanish program at a nearby university and on that particular morning I decided not to wake up for our 8 am class. At around 9 am I woke up and dressed for class and as I went downstairs I surprised the woman of the house who thought I had already gone to school. She had been crying and tried to explain why. Well, she did explain, but I didn’t know enough Spanish to really understand. I understood something about an airplane and my country. She was very adamant about telling me one thing and she made sure I understood every word. “Dile a Kay que su papa esta vivo. Me llamo. Hoy no se fue a trabajar.” (Tell Kay that her father is alive. He called me. He didn’t go to work today.) I had no idea what she was talking about, but I knew it was serious. On my way to school I saw Kay and Vicky running towards me. Kay was crying. I told her her dad was okay, that he didn’t go into work. I asked her what was going on, but she couldn’t speak. Vicky told me about the terrorist attacks on the twin towers and that Kay’s dad worked in an office high up in one of them. I guess Kay had been trying to call, but she couldn’t get through. They had seen the attacks on t.v. at school and Kay thought for sure that her father was dead. My head was spinning. I don’t remember how we got home from that spot on the sidewalk. I don’t remember much else that day. I know we all sat around the t.v. at the house, trying to understand as much as we could. We called our parents and our friends. I was unable to get through to any of my friends in New York and I was really scared for a few days. The next few weeks were very strange. People on the street would approach us with genuine sadness and tell us how sorry they were for what happened in our country. Other people would shout “Osama Bin Laden!” at us through their car windows as they sped by. Our program supervisor advised the American students to put Canadian flags on our backpacks and to not tell people we were American. In December, when the semester was over and it was time to go home, people were still wary of flying. I remember counting eleven people on my flight to Los Angeles including four flight attendants. We had to fly to Texas first, to go through homeland security. We walked through an aisle lined with soldiers and bright lights and huge American flags and silence. Everything was silent. Except for me. I was wearing flip-flops that had some suction thing on the soles, so they made a farting sound every time I picked my foot up. I remember wanting to laugh so bad, but being too afraid.