Japan Standard Time

We finished work in Tennoji at 9:30 PM that night, and Tom, Anthony, Yun and I made our way to Tin’s Hall for something to eat, as usual. It was crowded for some reason: we didn’t get our usual table on the “mezzanine”, but sat at a round table with tall stools near the Fussball machines. We got our beer, ordered food. Some video was on the two TVs (volume off, typical Japanese bar style – everyone listens to the DJ’s music and reads the subtitles on the telly). Probably “Endless Summer”, or some other surfing movie; the staff at Tin’s are all surfers. Then, at a little after 10, someone happened to turn the TV to CNN. Someone had flown a plane into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. Suicide plane? We assumed it was some guy flying a little private plane who decided to end it all. “Zannen,” – regrettable – someone remarked. Then the second plane shot through the tower on live television, and everyone in that bar in Osaka jumped out of their seats, and a noise I will not forget but cannot describe jumped from everyone’s mouth.

“Shit!! It’s Osama!” yelled Tom. The rest of us, who didn’t usually watch CNN, had no idea what he was talking about. After the initial shock, some people around us began to wonder whether it was a hoax. Nori, the manager, was finally persuaded to turn up the volume, and we learned that it was for real. And then I went home and followed it on the internet for half the night.

…but five years later,folks, life goes on.

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