Fruit Seller My Hero

Just a few words about the incident that befell London yesterday. I don’t want this blog to be political, but it is sometimes hard to ignore the things occurring in your hemisphere.Yesterday’s transport bombings were a symptom of the chaotic world we live in: a world dominated by fear. I could write thousands of words on how the terms ‘Terror’ and ‘Terrorism’ have been twisted and manipulated by our governments, so that the very utterance of the word can cast an ugly shadow of blame over a previously innocent situation or a group of people.

I will not speculate here on who the culprit may have been in the case of the London bombings, only that if the aim of the attack was to cause unnecessary panic and mayhem, whoever was responsible must have be biting back bile, because London is extraordinarily composed for a city that has just been bombed. It is impressively well equipped at cleaning up catastrophes and putting on a brave face, before the tears have even dried.

Despite fears and worries, the next day everyone was back on the trains again. It reminded me of a story I read about a Spanish fruit seller after the Madrid bombings. He told reporters that terrorism tries to stop you from doing what you would normally do, and that he was not prepared to live his life afraid of what might happen. But wasn’t he worried that Madrid would be bombed again, asked the reporter. Wasn’t he afraid of the (cue full-faced frontal effect) Terrorists?

Fruit seller, my hero, said that he was more afraid of what would happen if he didn’t come out to peddle his wares.

Thanks to him I was able to see a glimpse of the astounding quality of the human spirit to combat anything, including prejudices and stupidity.  The television crew kept trying to get him to give them some emotion they could serve up. They had no choice but to find someone else who would happily talk to the cameras about those dirty bombers and everything else that implies.

One Comment

  1. It’s that whole Blitz mentality thing. The British have a strange sense of calm in the worst possible scenarios: a cup of tea will solve all troubles. Monty Python had it spot on with its mere flesh wound jokes.It’s either admirable resistance in the face of adversity or a pathological repression of the awfulness of the situation. Alternatively it could be a weird MTV thing – are we maybe bored of tragedy and our 10 second attention span can’t last this long?

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