Under the heading of “we’re all in this together” and “there are heroes among us”:
Tonight I phoned MasterCard; they hear from me quite a lot since I’m pretty incompetent. (I lost my purse for about a week; Target wouldn’t tell me they had it even though I kept phoning; when I dropped by they said, sure, and immediately gave it to me.). So tonight I’m pointing out that I can’t figure out a couple of bills I probably got suckered into by filling out something on the net.
The woman was quite helpful and consistently apologetic though I’m pretty sure it was my fault and told her so. As we were about to hang up, I asked her where she was. She said Mumbai. I gasped and offered my condolences. She told me about a friend trapped in an office during the seige. She said they had learned from the incident – learned to be more vigilant, to be more careful. And that people had reached out to others in warm ways. Still, the destruction of the beautiful landmark was disturbing. And, she hoped all of us (I doubt she mean America hadn’t) would take a consistent stand against the terrorists. We spoke of the stories of heroism. She said I made her feel better – certainly, she made me feel better. The virtue of a world economy is that it brings together people like us, over the telephone very early in her morning and in my evening. We share much; of course, we can share much because we speak English. Her Indian accent and my Mid-western one give no trouble. And it is yet another argument that no matter how tragic the loss of languages may be (and I agree, the more we “save” the better), the sooner and more broadly we have a strong, common language the more moments like this will happen.