Madrid Hotels Articles

June 27, 2010

Terrorism and its effects on traveling

Filed under: Madrid Tours — Tags: , , , , , — audrey @ 10:52 am

Do you feel like a target when you travel abroad? Does the idea of that business trip or long awaited vacation to foreign climes, fill you with dread? Do you find yourself spending hours online reading up on horror stories posted there by persons unknown? Do you see rabid extremists hungry for your blood, behind every palm tree? Are you afraid to leave the country? Relax! Take a deep breath and remember that you are not alone. It’s natural to be concerned about such matters. On the contrary, it would be surprising and somewhat negligent if you didn’t spend time worrying about it. So having said that, let’s see what you, as an individual, can do to combat this scourge. What you? Yes you! Make no mistake about it, ordinary people can, and have played a big role in foiling terrorism.

Let’s start with the basics. Routine. People tend to fall into a routine when they travel. They withdraw into their own little world and cocoon themselves in the comfort of their routine. They lose themselves in a book, or they may surf on their computer. They do, in fact, try to withdraw from the world around them. Most people don’t really become fully aware until they reach their destination. The bit in the middle’, travel, is a necessary evil, but the bit in the middle’ is just when we should be most alert. Of course, it doesn’t help that airports now rank next to retirement homes for the most time a person can expect to reside in one place. However, try this. The people watch. It is the most fascinating pastime ever. Watch what they do, how they behave, what they do with their luggage. In fact pay particular attention to the luggage. Remember Madrid train station? Most bombs don’t get neatly packaged away in the soles of shoes. Report any unattended luggage. Don’t be shy; you’re a long time dead. Report it!

Look for people acting out of character. Most terrorists look like you and me, and not some villainous Hollywood projection, or even duskily foreign. Timothy McVee looked strikingly similar to my brother. Surprising as it may seem, all the training in the world can’t always take away the nervousness of the moment. People about to commit an act that could potentially kill many people, including themselves, will not always behave the same way as those around them. Report suspicious activity. You can apologize later if you are wrong, but report it.

If you could condense this into a short phrase, it would be something similar to this: Be aware, be prepared, report it.

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