The other night I had bad dreams all night long. I dreamed about these secret terrorist cells everywhere around us. It’s not my usual terrorist dream, they usually consist of wars, and me hiding out in rivers. Yes admittedly, I have a vivid imagination.
Is it any wonder though? The terrorist cells are possibly all around us. In 2005, I moved into a rented home whilst in-between purchased properties. I remember viewing the home, and seeing these card tables and computers and extension chords in this open space lounge. I thought the card tables were a little odd in this nice lounge, but then thought maybe they were students with lower incomes.
When I moved into the home, I began to clear out the wardrobe before putting my clothes inside. I found all these ‘post-it notes’, which said things like “kill the f—ks’, and other obscenities. About a week later I found the Quran in the very top back of the wardrobe, and that’s when I really started to get concerned, ‘maybe the prior tenants were not so nice people’.
A short time later I received a letter from Tel Aviv. The envelope had all of these crossed out addresses, because the letter had travelled half of the world before getting to my home.
My twins were about 3 months old, and my eldest was then about 6 years old. Any normal mum has these newborn flipped out protective hormones happening…I didn’t even like knives in the house, so i definitely didn’t want some possible terrorist letter in my home. I threw the letter away, like I had the post it notes.
A couple of days later, the previous tenant paid me a visit. He was a young middle eastern looking sort of bloke….very normal . He asked me if any mail had arrived for him, well…what was I to say? “No, no, nothing, maybe a phone bill only….I jumped to think what to say next….No,nothing but I had found a Quran “.
I went inside, found and gave the man his Quran. It was not long after the 9/11 disaster in America, and Australia was running the tv adds for suspicious activity. I rang the hotline, I don’t know why it took me so long, I just never expected that sort of activity so close to home. The man on the hotline was great, and re-assuring…but he was really disappointed about me throwing away the letter (as I am now), but hopefully he was able to get some sort of lead through the real estate, or the phone bills.
Anyway, that little story brings me to my day today, I flashed back to the relativity/ possibility of an incident happening’ while taking my children to the movies at my local Westfield. It was really, really busy…. the car park, bumper to bumper, and the shops and the cinema queue’s. As I entered the downward stairs to the movie lounge foyer, i found myself scanning the crowd. Looking for suspicious people (what do they look like?), I came across some lovely looking (maybe suspicious) uni student types, and they were holding paper shopping bags, heaven forbid. Had they been shopping, or could there be guns in those bags? I know I’m neurotic but precisely the point I’m getting too, I need to be.
They (politicians) say that ‘all over the world’, we are on high terror alert, expect incidences. How do you deal with that? Should we pack a parachute in our hand luggage when we board a plane? Wear body armour when we do the grocery shopping? Do we tell the kids, that if they hear gun shots when in the cinema, they need to roll under the seats and squirm to the exit or hide? Or will it get to the point where we say “its too dangerous to go to the beach and play soccer, ’cause you may get blown up”. Just like those poor little boys who were playing soccer last year.
Should we prepare our children for these dangers? They all ready practice lockdown procedures through out schools. Should our children come home from the cinemas and say “mum, do terrorists hang out at the movies?”, and at what age should they know what is a terrorist anyway? Any ideas?