chapter  4
Collapsing
ByNatacha Giai
Pages 4

This e-mail was the first thing I did when I got home the morning of September 11 after calling my parents. It was written in Spanish, sent to worried family and friends in Argentina.

Just a week earlier I had been walking across the bridge that connected the Twin Towers with the World Financial Center, asking myself what would be next. It had been two and a half years since I arrived in New York. I came just for a few months, but it didn’t take me long to realize that leaving New York was not going to be as easy. Even today, something doesn’t feel right if I spend too many days without walking the streets of the Vil-

lage. It is as if someone put a spell on me. So much had happened. The first year-so tough, arriving in a city where I didn’t know anybody, learning a language, getting used to a culture, trying to make a living without papersbut such a great year. It was probably the best of my life, so many changes, so much learned. The second year I was back to what I had been doing in Argentina, working as an auditor. I was scared to death the first few weeks, just hoping people wouldn’t realize I wasn’t understanding half of what they were saying. But I guess I understood enough. After a year, things were going pretty well, a lot better than I could ever have dreamt on that cold March in 1999. So I was feeling brave that morning and, walking across that bridge in the first days of September, I dared to wonder what would be next.