On Airports and Such

I think the God of Airports and Aircrafts has serious, unresolved issues with me. He likes to toy with me, and laugh with his huge airport tower for a body, and two aircrafts for hands.

I never manage to go to an airport without getting into a whole lot of fuss that involves curious people circling me, me retelling my issues with the people behind the counter, and them consoling me and offering unneeded advice.

The trip back to Dubai was no different, actually I think it was the highlight of my career of wreaking havoc in airports that includes blazing alarms on the level of whole international airports, attracting notorious FBI detectives, and last but not least emptying and refilling bags on the floors of Queen Alia airport.

I shit you not.

Airport Assistant: Go to counter 10
I go to counter 10
Guy behind Counter 10: Go to counter 13 or 14
I go to counter 14
After standing behind 3 bawling children tugging on their annoyed father’s shirt to show him a toy car for 15 minutes, they tell me this flight is heading to Abu Dhabi
Me: *@#&*@#
Me (to a cute missy standing in front of me): This is why I tell my parents I don’t want kids
Cute missy: Hehehe (brushing me off)
Me: You heading to Dubai?
CM: Yes
Me: Well, this isn’t the counter for it apparently.
After directing CM to the proper counter, I got her chatting
CM: What do you do?
Me: I'm a strip dancer, hehe.
CM (eyes widening): hehehe
Me: No I just say that so people will not dose off while I describe my job to them.
CM: Well, it's effective!
Me: Where you from?
CM: San Francisco
Me: And what the hell are you doing in Jordan?
CM: Hehe, my husband is Jordanian.
Me (to myself): Damn! I was planning on marrying you
She was such a sweetheart that I decided to help her with the baggage, otherwise the sweet married chick from San Francisco would never have made it onto that flight, neither would I.

Man behind counter (tearing off the tag): Your bag is overweight
Me: It’s only 6 kilos extra
Asshole: These are the regulations
I quickly pulled the bag, grabbed all the damn Jordanian sweets to be distributed needlessly around, and shoved in book and shoes with the sweets.

I hope the sweets don't smell of feet otherwise I'll be castrated and outcasted by my over-sensitive family.

I looked like Santa Clause carrying a presents bag around.

I ran to the passport control where the guy behind the counter was chatting to some other guy

I banged the counter twice to get his attention
Me (realizing the graveness of the situation I just got myself into) : Fuck man! Now you’re really gonna get it. You’re gonna sleep with the Iraqis in the pissy, claustrophobic room with smelly blankets for covers and shitty food.
Amazingly the dude was a nice guy and told me to not be anxious and I told him I will not until I get onto the damned flight. And when I get a plane to visit Jordan back.

Oh and by the way, the vacation was amazing. More to come soon.


On Coming to Amman and Such

I am due in Amman this weekend for my quarterly status report and to shake my booty to innumerable weddings.

How do I feel about it? Well, I’m not excited at all to say the least.

I come back a changed man, and I’m not so sure how my friends and distant family members will accept this new man. I am pretty sure that I will be referred to from hence on as “Abu-Shakha ta3 Dubai” , “yir7am gamlo, ma kaan abel kamm shahar in Amman” translated to “Father of Piss” (it’s a Jordanian nickname, so don’t bother) “Who does he think he is? Just because he went to Dubai a couple of months means he can look down on us?” It’s your typical Jordanian boy goes out of the village to the city, or more geared to me: gangsta from da hood to uni. (West Side!)

There’s also the dreaded family visits.

Over lunch

Acquaintance: So how is Dubai?

Me: It’s nice.
Me (to myself, sometimes a little too loudly that the people sitting next to me notice): Here it comes.

Acquaintance demoted to Bug: How much do you make?

Me (smiling): I'm ok

Bug: Like how much?

Me (Wider smile): They are planning on building [insert random story of the most recent obscene landmark in Dubai] in Dubai

Bug: Really? My cousin is in Dubai. His name is Mohammed something. He works in an IT company. Or was it Engineering?

Me: I’m not sure I know him. (Just because I am in Dubai doesn’t mean I know every fucking Jordanian/ Palestinian there)

Bug: Ok can you find me a job there?

Me: and what happened to your Mohammed something? Why doesn’t he find you a job?


Me: I’m kidding of course I’ll find you a job. I will even host you at my apartment and let you use the gym and swimming pool in my building. There’s a nursery too if you wanna bring your wife and kids.

Bug beams.

Bug: Ok give me your email. I’ll send you my CV tomorrow.

The CV pops in my inbox in a couple of hours with a hideous passport image of Bug wearing an equally hideous tie attached to it)

Me: Hahahahaha (clicking the delete button)

(Inspired by a true story, that is even more absurd in its details that it might be featured later in the Misadventures)

I am ready for Amman, but am not so sure if Amman is ready for me.


On Random Misexcerpt from my not so Everyday Life

Picture this.

A jungle. A jungle buzzing with wild mosquitoes and vicious, blood-thirsty dragonflies. There’s lots of them that the minute you swat one away, a gang of its bullying friends come back to pick on you. There are elephants too. The big, hairy type, not the pink ones in your overactive imagination. Sulking heavily in circles. Trees among trees that you can’t see further than 5 meters. And a murky swamp, where the elephants like to cool off in the blazing summer heat.

No this isn’t an Indiana Jones movie (Tantarantan, tan ta taaaaan)

This is real life.

Ok ok you got me already. In real-life there is also professional Thai elephant riders, and lots of tourists from every corner of the world and a stand for cooling beverages sold at touristically-insane prices. And a stamp on your hand for riding the elephant. Yay!

The tourists ride on a comfy couch tied to the back of the elephant, as the Thai rider sits on its skull and “drives” the elephant using elaborate sounds of “Mei” like a goat and negs unto its skull.

Us Jordanians have an unfathomable if not illogical pride. We always want to show off that whatever thing professionally done can be inherently accomplished by us complete Jordanian novices because, well, we’re Jordanians.

So as other sissy tourists sit on their comfy couches with an umbrella struck upon their heads, me the brave Jordanian I am insisted that the Thai rider let me drive the elephant on my own using elaborate body language of pointing my fingers to the jungle and moving my index and middle finger in a walking motion.

Thai rider happily obliges. (5 minutes break off work, who wouldn’t?)

So I ride at the elephant’s skull. “Hey this is easy methinks. Har Har Har”. (I felt like being a pirate for 5 seconds) The skull somehow jabs into my left butt cheek with every left step the elephant takes, and to the right when it takes a right step. It was a titsy bit uncomfortable to say the least.

The rider disappears into the jungle.

Being the attractor of trouble and unhappy coincidences that I am, my elephant decides to make a slight change in its route out of the jungle path and caress a branch of greenness with its happy, swinging trunk.

Elephant stops.

Me: Emmmmm
Travel mate: Errrrr
Me: Emmmmm
Travel mate: Errrrr
Me: Emmmmm
Travel mate: Errrrr
Me: It’s not supposed to do that, right?
Travel mate: No!

I only started panicking when I remembered an article I read about elephants in “musth” Which is a state where some snot blocks the elephant’s brain and they go into a fit of rage because of the blinding headache it causes.

Me: I’m screwed! Biddy mama. (I want my mom)
I started humping its skull like the rider did and making goat noises.

Me: Meeeeiiii, meeeeeeiiii, mishan Allah meeeeeiiiii, Dear God Meeeeeiiiii .Move bitch!!! (slapping its empty skull repeatedly while still humping the head)

To no avail.

The toothless rider comes back beaming with an ear-to-ear smile and directs the elephant back on track.

Me and Travel Mate: Kuss ukhtak! (Fuck you)

The End

DISCLAIMER: No large mammals or Jordanian tourists or Thai riders were hurt in the production of this blog post.