In China a Yangtze River cruise turned deadly as a storm sank a ship leaving 458 people still missing. The Times reports that most of the passengers were between 50 and 80 years old and were traveling on a group tour. It’s the kind of once-in-a-lifetime tour one sees advertised everywhere — a bucket list venture for golden age passengers. In South Africa, another bucket list item being fulfilled ended in tragedy as a woman was killed by a lion while touring a wildlife center in her car.
We expect bad things to happen in life. That’s why sometimes we have to get away from it all — see new sights, expand our horizons, get new perspective. But these two striking tragedies hit vacationers around the world trying to do just that. There is something about these incidents that echoes even more sadly than the typical quotidian commuter train crash, awful as those are. As in the Titanic, we half expect the band will keep playing its ever sadder song.