Page 79. " taking in our exquisite hotel, the Makati Shangri-La "

 

The Makati Skyline, seen from Manila
Creative Commons AttributionThe Makati Skyline, seen from Manila - Credit: mjlsha

The Makati Shangri-La is located in the Makati area of the metropolis of Manila. It is the city’s largest hotel and one of its most prestigious; it has received numerous rewards, including the city’s best hotel.

 

Page 83. " the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center collapsed "
The South World Trade Centre Tower is hit by Flight 175
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe South World Trade Centre Tower is hit by Flight 175 - Credit: TheMachineStops

The attack on the World Trade Center in New York occurred on 11th September 2001, and it remains the defining act of terrorism of the 21st century. 9/11, as the event has come to be known, was a series of coordinated suicide attacks using hijacked airliners directed at the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and either the Capitol or the White House (the fourth plane, memorialised in the film United 93, crashed into a Pennsylvanian field following passenger action). The attacks were carried out by the terrorist organisation al-Qaeda. A large number of conspiracy theories have since arisen.

Nearly 3,000 people died, along with the 19 plane hijackers, and more than 6,000 were injured; the dead and injured included firefighters and rescue workers. Many people fell or leapt from the burning towers, and the so-called ‘falling men’ have become some of the most iconic and disturbing images of our time.

9/11 was watched live around the world, underlining the enormous power that the media has today, and giving rise to the notion that modern-day terrorism must go hand-in-hand with widespread media dissemination.

The remains of the South Tower after the attacks
Public DomainThe remains of the South Tower after the attacks - Credit: Journalist 1st Class Preston Keres

A large number of books, documentaries and articles have appeared about 9/11, including:

 

The Falling Man – Tom Junod (article published in Esquire magazine)

9/11 Documentaries and Videos website

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer

Falling Man – Don DeLillo

Windows on the World – Frederic Beigbeder

Netherland – Joseph O’Neill

United 93 – film directed by Paul Greengrass

In the Shadow of No Towers – Art Spiegelmann

World Trade Center – film directed by Oliver Stone

Page 84. " the limited geography of what would come to be called Ground Zero "
Ground Zero site in 2002
GNU Free Documentation LicenseGround Zero site in 2002 - Credit: Nick4900

Ground Zero is a term used to describe the point on the surface of the Earth at the centre of, or closest to, a major explosion. The term originated with the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In New York it is used to describe the site on which the World Trade Center stood.

The original clean-up of the site was completed in May 2002. Architect Daniel Libeskind won a competition in 2003 to redesign the site; currently only one building has been completed, but other towers and buildings of the new World Trade Center are under construction. The site will feature a memorial, consisting of two square pools where the towers used to stand and a monument bearing the names of the dead, scheduled to open on 11th September 2011, the 10 year anniversary.

Visitors to Ground Zero can explore a museum dedicated to 9/11. Every year the Tribute in Light takes places on 11th September: two beams of light are projected upwards from the site, commemorating the two towers.

 

Tribute in Light, 2004
Public DomainTribute in Light, 2004 - Credit: Derek Jensen
Page 88. " Yes, you are right: it is jasmine "
Jasmine Flowers
GNU Free Documentation LicenseJasmine Flowers - Credit: Gagan

 Jasmine is a sweet-smelling flowering shrub of the olive family, widely found in South Asia. It is used commonly as floral decorations for the house and in women’s hair, as well as made into decorative garlands and bracelets, tea, syrup and perfume.

Jasmine is the national flower of Pakistan, and holds great cultural significance.

Page 89. " Our Toyota Corolla was lovingly maintained "

An original Toyota Corolla
GNU Free Documentation LicenseAn original Toyota Corolla - Credit: D. Bellwood
The Toyota Corolla is a compact car first produced in 1966. In 1997 it became the bestselling car in the world, and over 35 million had been sold by 2007. The Corolla is produced in numerous places throughout the world, including Pakistan, and takes its name from the Latin meaning small crown.

Page 96. " What I would not give for a bucket of American popcorn shrimp "

Popcorn shrimp is a popular American snack originally made by the chain of Red Lobster seafood restaurants. It consists of bite-sized pieces of fried shrimp, which are said to be similarly addictive and as easy to eat as popcorn. Give it a go yourself!