A stitch in time…

Sonali Kudva

It was the season to be jolly, a time for family and friends, to reflect the year past and plan the year ahead, to make resolutions and to break them. I hope this column finds you in good cheer — or as good as it can be in snowy Ohio — at the start of a new semester after a great holiday season.

I spent the holidays across the Atlantic, where it always rains, in an empire where the sun was never supposed to set.

A couple of days after I arrived in the United Kingdom, a thwarted bombing incident occurred on an airplane. Hats off to the brave souls who helped catch this guy. And thanks to the media for showing us his dirty underwear.

I meant to talk about the perils of international travel after this incident but cannot as I write this still waiting to embark on my trip back to the US of A.

Instead I’ll reflect on the other parts of my recent concerns with international travel.

A couple inches of snow and this part of the world appears to become paralyzed. Schools close, offices desert, people get stranded in their cars, buses and trains are severely affected and — last, but most important to me — airports close down.

It amazed me and amused me to note that one of the world’s most civilized and developed countries is so woefully ill-prepared for a spell of bad weather (especially because good weather is such a scarce commodity in the country).

I called the airline to inquire the status of my flight back four days prior to travel, and they informed me that there is no way they can predict the flight status. I pointed out that if certain airports were shut down, what would be their way of making alternate arrangements?

They had no clue there either.

We are at the mercy of the elements, and this is not fun. But surely, there has to be alternate arrangements and alternate ways to travel. This is the 21st century, and we remain captive to the weather and most definitely the environment in which we live.

This environment is not just physical, but emotional as well. Suspicions and bad weather plagued everyone this season, but in light of the recent events in Haiti, it may be time to reaffirm our faith in the human race and prepare ourselves better to deal with what the elements may throw at us.

Be prepared. (I’m trying to prepare right now for a flight that may not take off.)

Sonali Kudva is a graduate student and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].