He didn't time that holiday very well, did he?
The world seems so much smaller these days. When I was young, disasters happened and they seemed a long way away. We felt sad and donated money to the Red Cross or Oxfam, but it never affected people we knew. There was no personal connection.
But right now G is concerned about a very nice chap he met when he went to the conference in China and who is a lecturer at a university in the devastated region. I've heard my colleague and his wife are safe in Patagonia, so I don't actually have to worry about them (thank heavens for email!), but they don't know when they'll be able to get back to the UK.
People travel far more widely and it's so much easier to make connections these days, via the Web, so whenever things happen around the world now, I have to run through the list of my online friends to work out whether anyone is likely to be affected.