Or, more accurately: what to do when your parents are hiding in silence in a room in a hotel that has been taken over by terrorists…

  1. Establish contact with parents.
  2. Have first bout of mild hysteria.
  3. Steal your housemate’s phone so that you can make phone calls without risking missing a call/text from your parents.
  4. Call DFAT to provide details about your parents’ status.
  5. Have second bout of mild hysteria.
  6. Call in sick.
  7. Establish contact with friends in Bangalore who have local knowledge of the situation and are also in contact with your parents.
  8. Evade questions from your pregnant sister by giving indirect answers and changing the subject so as not to worry her.
  9. Confirm parents’ status with grandparents online, but in a way that convinces them that it’s like a walk in the park for your parents, so it’s just a matter of waiting ’cause really the danger is gone (even though it isn’t).
  10. Respond to requests from parents’ friends for information about their whereabouts and status.
  11. Have another minor panic and call DFAT again (you can do this 5 or 6 more times throughout the day).
  12. Demand texts from your parents when your phone is silent for more than half an hour.
  13. Update your Facebook status constantly so that your friends in the city which is held siege by the terrorist attacks know that your parents are there and can check on them too.
  14. Tune into the local news of the city and also the ABC News website.
  15. Entertain your parents with stupid jokes by text, such as suggesting they call for a pizza, or demand food from room service.
  16. Slowly provide accurate details to your sister so that she gets little pieces at a time and doesn’t panic herself, while still discussing slightly less important issues, like naming your future niece or nephew after their aunt.
  17. Repeat #7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 for the next 10 – 12 hours.
  18. During next phone call with your parents, convince them to stay quiet and still for now while not giving them any details which would totally freak them out (like that there are terrorists on the roof above them and in the hotel with them or that they are pulling dead bodies out of the hotel like popcorn out of a tub at the movies).
  19. Have minor catatonic freak out when your mum whispers into the phone “there’s a man at the door. Have to go.”
  20. Wait impatiently until you receive more news without sharing your minor freak out with your sister or grandparents or anyone else, really, except your housemate and good friend who are keeping you company.
  21. Get REALLY excited when you receive a text message that says “we’re halfway out,” and share it with everyone.
  22. Get REALLY panicked and impatient when you don’t receive another text message for like, 20 minutes.
  23. Get REALLY excited again when you receive a text message saying that your parents are standing with a bunch of “army dudes” at the top of the stairs in the hotel waiting to get out and share it with everyone.
  24. Feel euphoria when you get the phone call from your dad and he says “we’re out, I gotta go.”
  25. Run around the house excitedly.
  26. Share the news with everyone.
  27. Talk to parents when they arrive at the police headquarters…………