Salaam Aleikum! Shlonek!
(For those of you that do not speak Arabic I just asked if y’all were ok. No cusses I swear!)
Well Well Well Lesse I’m home! Back here for yet another hot summer in the desert. I tell you what I live through Gale force winds, snow sleet and rain and I’m thinking to myself I’m going home and I’m going to get some nice sun and sip martinis on my terrace at home. Right? Nada…Niet…Zippo…Negative. Ever since I’ve come back all I’ve had is mad dust storms. They call it Toz! Some people call it a Big Haboob. Whatever it is, its getting in my eye and its been quite irritating.
Nonetheless, it’s good to be back. What a trip back though let me tell you!
To begin with Erica and Adam decided to take a road trip and drive me to Philly saving me lots of money and severe back problems from Greyhound, which would have taken 6 and a half hours to get me there. Mad props to both of you guys – I am very grateful to you both. I'm going to bring you both back lots of Arabian dates as a token of my appreciation. By dates I am of course referring to the fruit variety and not the human variety.
Now someone please enlighten me, cos I am a bit perplexed, but somewhere along this semester did someone spike my vodka with some sort of weird charm pill? This is the second time I was hit on by an airline attendant! The first was during spring break though most of you know about that one; it was a German girl in Munich while I was flying back from New York. This one was a tall leggy Dutch blonde, a 30 something with blue eyes and peach skin that looked like it had either seen the inside of a tanning booth or taken in a lot of sun. Whatever it was she was a stunner. And she both checked me out and into KLM. I never did get her name but she swooned over my passport and we engaged in idle chitchat for a good 15 minutes. She asked if I flew KLM often since she hadn’t seen me before. I told her that this was just a random thing and that I normally flew BA. She goes “well we’ll just have to find some way of convincing you to ride with us then” and she winked as well and I think – My god! The woman’s flirting with me! Not convinced? I was 45 pounds overweight and should have been charged at least 150 dollars as penalty. But she comes up close to my ear and say’s that she’d let it slide for me and even asked if I had time to catch a cup of coffee I declined graciously saying that I had a flight to catch as she well knew from looking at my ticket and personally I was feeling a bit uncomfortable with her, I made some passing comment about Air France and she let out a loud throaty guffaw! –It was like Ursula in the Little Mermaid and her overbearing presence was getting to be a bit much for me (she was 3 feet bigger than I was and that’s a bit too much for me to handle)plus she had a ring on, although i can't tell what kind. Still, it put an amused smile on my face and I took off to catch my flight. Charming emancipated lady.
Next Stop – Detroit
A nice airport, I was quite impressed with it, this was my first time stopping over. Although with the overcast skies and the transit trams taking people to and from there gates it felt like some sort of port in Star Trek. Nonetheless listened to some Motown Records in the Motown Records store than ran to my flight gate to begin the real journey home.
Next Stop: Amsterdam – Midpoint
The flight to Amsterdam was long, tiring and boring. The food was mediocre in fact it was awful. I was served porridge for breakfast…yes porridge…I kid you not…it was awful. Northwest and KLM don’t have personal TV’s either unless you travel business class so I had to watch whatever feature they had playing at the time. On this leg they had Evelyn on which I have to say I quite liked. I proceeded to consume many an alcoholic beverage though to pass time while I read my book.
Almost there, they’ve redone Schipol Airport since the last time I was here. Added in a lot more shops given the place a sort of retrofit. Whatever it is they’ve done it suits the place. Got myself a coffee, a glass of orange juice and some beer for later with lunch – it was after all about noon when I arrived and I had shoved away the porridge on my tray with utter disgust. After my meal I decided it would be best if I freshened up a bit. I hadn’t slept a wink thus far and I could you use a good face wash. SO off I trotted to the mens room. Brushed my teeth, shaved some. While I decided to christen the porcelain palace though I heard quick running footsteps through the toilet and people clearing the place. I then heard a loud rapping on my stall door followed by the words “Police! Get Out!
Now I sit and think to myself why would the police knock on my door. I am not a drug dealer, I haven’t been carrying anything that I am unaware off. Did that flight attendant have a nasty boyfriend? Was she a runaway from Holland who was unhappy with the state of affairs here and had sought political asylum in the states? I have not ingested any drugs, although those shrooms at lunch looked and tasted kind of funny. Or maybe it’s some pesky traveler that needs to go to the loo real bad and is playing a prank to get me out faster.
Just then another rapping on the door followed by the words “Are you finished” rudely interrupted my close train of thought. I went “No!” The person then goes “Did you find something?” I go “Am I supposed to find something?” Finally I decided that being a smartass sitting in a Dutch toilet with nowhere to escape from but the way I came in was not the best course of action for me to follow. So I got up and walked out only to find 3 policemen each one no less than 6 foot 5 looking down at me and standing next to an elderly gentleman who looked like he’d come from some sort of Masquerade Ball.
He had a monocle and a feather in his fedora hat complete with a pocket watch with the silver chain and everything. I wish I had a camera. All the same the man started saying something to me in Italian. Now as astute as a gentleman as I am I know when I can’t speak a language, but I make it customary to learn as much about foreign cultures as possible. If there’s one part of a different language I try to learn it’s the line that says I don’t know how to speak your language. Gathering that the man was indeed speaking in Italian I went “Spiacente non parlo italiano” at which the old man was filled with mirth for a good 3 minutes. Even the policemen began to worry if he was ok or going to have a heart attack. Finally he put on his monocle walked over to me and clasped both arms on my shoulders, looked up at me and went in English “I love the way you keeel my language, I’m sorry to disturb you, please finish your beezness” And that was that he walked out, apparently he had lost his ticket and had been in the same stall I was in only moments before. Well I hope you found it old man!
Next I hiked to my gate, Schipol is the longest airport in the world and it really was a hike to find my gate. All the while I ducked and avoided being trampled over by pilots and air hostesses alike who were nothing less than 6,4 in height. Imagine me a 6,2 Indian hiding from all these people biting my nails in nervousness as I passed. Some of these guys even had baldheads – I am told that is the latest style and they also had funky teeth, which reminded me of Nosferatu –Shccaaaary! At my gate i met an interesting Canadian fellow, he was supposedly going to Bahrain to work on an Oil Rig. We got talking but all he had to ask me was what i thought off the "American Hunnies" as he so eloquently put it, and whether i had seen any Canadian ones to boot? I informed him that i had never hit a women in my life and i wasn't going to start at this age wife beater or no wife beater. He also claimed that he didn't drink because it didn't do it for him however he proceeded to down the following
3 Shots of Baileys
a glass of Red Cabernet with his meal
All of which was followed by a stiff Jack Daniels - neat no less.
When i approached him about his earlier statement he goes i'm a sucker for baileys...and wine...and scotch. Canadians, you go figure them out.
Once aboard the flight I found that I had a bad window seat and the gentlemen that was to sit next to me was an obese Texan on his way back to Kuwait. “Howdy!” He screamed, had I said howdy in return I might have received a slap on the back. A Halliburton Aficionado no doubt! Nonetheless, there was no way I was going to sit there; I wouldn’t survive 9 hours of that. So I decided to use the old trick ankle play – and it worked! Went up to the kindly Air Hostess and told her my foot was quite sore and that I had just twisted it walking into the plane.
She was kind enough to let me sit in an empty aisle and told me that I could probably sit there for the rest of the journey since they had 29 free places on the flight that day. And indeed I did, noone claimed it, and it was mine all the way back to Kuwait. Once again the food was mediocre although better then Northwestern. Drank lots of Heineken and ate lots of Crackers and Gouda Cheese. I was forced to watch Maid in Manhattan, but they also had Just Shoot me and Bilky and Babky! The perfect strangers :o) So I was good. After a while though my ankle was really sore, either it was real or I deserve an Oscar for such real life acting. I convinced myself.
The trip was exhausting I still hadn’t slept for over a day and a half now. The 1 hour pit stop in Bahrain was excruciatingly long. I got to watch the cleaning people come in and clean the plane while it was being refueled. One of them even tried to steal my pillows! But I put a quick stop to that. Finally it was time for the final leg home. Although…one final test awaited me.
We were all informed upon landing in Kuwait that all passengers would be subject to a mandatory SARS temperature check. Guess what?? Yup you guessed it. I have magical ears that made the thermometer beep. So I got pulled aside for questioning. It went like this
Man: “Where you are coming from? China, Canada, Hong Kong?”
Me: “No, I came form America”
Man: “You go to Chinatown in your area”
Me: “No I come from a little village”
Man: “Maikhalif, yalla!” (Means no problem you can go)
So now that I was finally *ahem* *ahem* *cough* *cough* cleared by the medical authority on the subject aka Man in Blue Shirt. I got my bags and left the airport – it was great to see the folks!
I start with KPMG on June 1st in the meantime I’ve been sleeping of this godawful jetlag. I doze off around the house like a big lazy dog. Sleeping whenever and wherever I please. I literally didn’t know what time of day it was or what day it was for that matter when I got home. And I’m still making mistakes. Zula you probably got your birthday card early cos I thought Wednesday was the 22nd instead of Thursday. Nothing wrong with being punctual I always say.
Except you can look like a fool as I did arriving at KPMG early by 2 days to finish of some paperwork. When I told them I’d be in at our prearranged appointment. Felt reeel sheepish.
All the same folks, drop me a line. Finally got my Internet sorted out. It sux here. Apologize for being away so long. Going to call it a night now, its 3:51am and I can’t sleep.
Until next time stay tuned for more adventures from (A)mish!