The War On Terror: A Colorful Traveler’s Perspective

Posted by:     Tags:      Posted date:  May 8, 2011  |  13 Comments
Insert Drawing :)

It’s been said that you should never talk about sex, religion or politics in social situations and there’s a very good reason why. You may not like what some people think. On ships, we rarely talk about anything that contentious. Conversations mainly revolve around food, alcohol and crew gossip. All that matters is what happens within the ship eco-system.

Occasionally, something with global impact like a war or natural disaster will result in some fleeting interest. But for the most part, this only reaffirms the security of living in the ship ecosystem. The real world seems like a strange, violent alternate reality in comparison. I blame journalists but it’s possible we’ve just become institutionalized.

Earlier this week, we heard the news of Osama/Usama bin Laden being killed. We reacted in the only way we knew how: we got drunk on American beer and ate tacos. It was a huge celebration which seemed both comforting and morbid. And also a bit shocking as some people exposed their prejudices and joked that it was too bad that it wasn’t President Obama who was dead. Their own president!

After 10 years of living in a post 9/11 world, everyone has been affected in some way, not just Americans. We’ve since suffered terrorist attacks in London, Bali, Madrid, Mumbai, etc. Muslims have been vilified after a small group have hijacked their religion. Politicians have been granted license to establish shock doctrines. Citizens of the world have sacrified personal freedoms. Travelers have had to endure far more intrusive security checks. If you have brown skin, some people think “Taliban“. We now live in a less human-friendly world where the ends justifies the means.

When I first flew into NYC in 2004, I packed a bible just in case I was racially profiled. I was living in London in 2005, at the time of the 7/7 attack and was embarrassed that I had to assure people that I wasn’t a muslim. These days, anytime I fly I’m accustomed to being felt up by men in uniforms. Seriously, early last year in Toronto this security guy actually felt my balls. I blurted out “Hey, buy me a drink first”. He didn’t think it was funny. I don’t think men feeling my balls is funny either. They could at least give you the option of being patted down by a female. Global security can be fun too.

I seem to often be “randomly selected” for extra checks. Like when I was detained in Victoria and interrogated. Or when I had to go through a metal detector, body scanner and be patted down after that. I think I prefer having a man feel my balls than get cancer from those body scanners.

That’s why the assignation of the leader of Al-Qaeda is celebrated. Not because killing is the answer. I’m sure most people would have rather he be captured and held accountable for the crimes he has committed. But at the very least, it feels like this may be the tipping point in the world’s war on terror. I just hope we are able to retain our humanity by the end of it all.

About Me

I'm a wanderer, couchsurfer, writer, illustrator, uncoordinated dancer, unwitting minimalist, party enthusiast, free hugger and now a crewman. Follow me @roymarvelous .................................................................................................................... Also, find out how to work on cruise ships. Or check out the new T-shirt & Card store.

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13 Comments for The War On Terror: A Colorful Traveler’s Perspective


You write well, roy. And I like your illustrations. 😛


    Thanks Amiria! That's a huge compliment, coming from an artist 🙂


I think the security guys in Toronto like to feel every dude's balls. That's just how Toronto rolls…

Great post Roy!


    Yes, I hear they are checking for balls of mass destruction!


Good post Roy, its interesting to hear stories from people who are constantly harassed by airport security..I have a friend who is the same and im pretty sure he will be happy with the Osama news!


    Actually, security was a breeze when I flew from Seattle to London two days ago! I almost miss the attention now…


I think it's difficult to judge people who rejoiced and felt some closure but I have to say I was really taken aback by people out in the streets with beach balls.

Sure people personally affected by the tragedy should do whatever they feel is right but so many others celebrated in a way that I think will ultimately harm the image of the US internationally.

I don't know. Not being American and being abroad, I feel conflicted but overall felt it showed Americans in a negative light.
My recent post The Boca Experience


    Yeah it's tricky. I'm sure the families of the victims of 9/11 can feel a bit of justice but it's not like they can celebrate. They've still lost loved ones…


Interesting post and while I'm relieved that bin Laden isn't around anymore, I get nervous when I see people actually celebrating it as I think it just breeds hate, much how Americans and the rest of the world felt when they saw people celebrating the "success" of 911. Sorry to hear about your experiences, but I thought your joke to the Customs guy was rather witty 🙂
My recent post 6 Things I Learned From Getting Deported


    Yeah last thing anyone wants is more crazy people getting provoked.


You're right Jenna, news seems more entertaining than informational these days.
Didn't know about the Dalai Lama's comments – very surprising!

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