Ok, I’ve been trying to write this update forever now, in both Swedish and English, but it just won’t let itself be written. Why? Well, how do you balance my chaotic Christmas, calm and wonderful new years eve, my chaotic apartment to the tsunami disaster? You can’t. That’s why.
Thailand has become paradise for Swedish tourists the last few years, making Sweden the European country with the most victims. And since we’re not a big country, this turns out to be the worst natural disaster in our history too. A fact that is hard to take in, as so many more people are affected in the part of the world where it actually happened. There is not a single Swedish person who will not know somebody who knew somebody. Children are coming home without their parents. Parents are coming home without their children. And still, we feel ashamed we report so much about our own casualties, since it might look as if we don’t care about the rest, which is not the case.
Personally, I’m still not directly linked to any of the victims, but to be honest I’m just sitting here waiting for a familiar name from somewhere in my life to turn up in some list of missing persons. So far, I have heard three friends of friends’ stories, and I can’t write about that. It’s hard enough to dress cold facts in words. Don’t ask of me to express my emotions about this. I can’t.
One personal tragedy after the other in the headlines. In Sweden the media seems to ruthlessly look for scapegoats. Who did what wrong, and which minister should resign? As for me, I’d feel better if journalists, that manage to be so out of focus in a time of crisis, resigned. Why look for someone to blame before we’ve even understood how severe the situation is? Why interview people while still in shock after the loss of, in some cases, everything? Nothing good comes out of it.
I try to look at the few positives about this. Some parts of me feel grateful for the evidence of human kindness and cooperation that the aftermath of this disaster has shown.
As I don’t have a specific God to turn to, not being a very religious person, I realize what comfort a firm belief sometimes must offer. As for me, I turn to my friends to digest and understand this. And I'm thankful to know I have people who will be there if I myself find a familiar name in the all too long lists of names…
I’ll try again to write about my holidays, some other time.