This semester reminded me a lot of the “Song that Never Ends” except it had been more like a never ending nightmare. It did, however, end and I know that my colleagues and I could not be happier. Many people traveled to their countries or other destinations. And that’s what I’m doing as well. This time, I’m headed to Scotland via Istanbul.
I reached the airport a little after 4am. There busses outside bringing and taking people for umrah. What I love about traveling from this part of the world is the fact there are things you may witness that simply don’t happen everywhere else. For example, there was a couple sitting on the floor with all their stuff by the check-in counter. So why didn’t they check in? Instead they sat there having breakfast, in the middle of the floor. After I checked in, I saw a little girl scolding her brother because he was trying to take some juice that wasn’t free. And then there was one of my personal favorites, going through security. Where else can you go in the world where the security ladies are too lazy to get up from their seats to check you? Instead you must go to them. 👍
And so began the waiting game for a lady who had been awake since 2:30.
My flight was supposed to leave at 6:40. And maybe it did. All I wanted to do was sit down and get some sleep. We started boarding around 6:15 and before we entered we were asked to wait. Why? Well, they were still cleaning the plane. So I stood there, second in line, and waited. While I was waiting, a young lady was running down. And this wasn’t just any type of running. It was like a child racing his/her friend to the swings. And the strange laugh completed the whole experience. However, I was a wee bit worried that she’d run right into me and knock me on the floor. Luckily she put on the brakes and stopped in time. She then asked me in Arabic what was going on. I don’t know why I didn’t reply in Arabic, but I didn’t. She misunderstood, or perhaps she didn’t understand at all, but still managed to get the idea. And so we waited until finally we were allowed to board.
I walked to my seat and sat down. It’s by an exit which I don’t normally like. But what could I do? Nothing. I just sat and watched all the people coming. I listened as people seemingly cursed other people for not moving fast enough. I also prayed that no one would be sitting next to me. My prayers were answered and I didn’t have to worry about being bothered. Unfortunately, I was still bothered. As nice as the fight attendants were, they repeatedly bumped my head. Every few seconds I heard, “Sorry.” Well so was I. How many bumps to the head should a person take during the day?
But then the flight became a little more interesting when one of the flight attendants asked me if I could speak Arabic. I reluctantly said yes. Apparently there was a sick passenger they couldn’t understand. They wanted to help her so I walked back with him to speak to her. When I saw the woman I was worried. Fortunately, another passenger was able to help which meant I wouldn’t have to embarrass myself. These people were from Tunisia or Algeria or somewhere over there and let’s face it, I don’t understand a lot of what they say.