I was reading some of my journals a few days ago – as I used to keep them religiously while I traveled. Traveling parts of the world was always the biggest blessing my my life. Not only for the obvious education – but for me – people – as much they drive me mental – are curious creatures.
I was always a feisty kid, and I never did suffer fools, but with each passing year and my accumulated experiences, I become almost complacent and less awe struck whenever I was in a new place.
One particular journey I was on my way from South Africa to London, via Dubai. Being a little but of a feminist – I was pulled back into in-complacency when I set foot into Dubai’s airport. I was accustomed to being alone, but has never taken well to being bullied into line or into a certain space. A few months prior I had been picked out of line in France, and refused to remove my belt for the obnoxious little woman – based on the fact that all she had to do was explain why and be nice about it. I had been literally picked up off my feet (now seen as a threat) and carried off to some room where I was still defiant.
So in Dubai, when people stared for ‘too long’ at my particularly homeless looking and baggy jacket – I knew I was going to be in for some serious surveillance.
I was pulled out of line, and a female worker had to search me. I must look like a veteran drug mule…? Who the hell knows, but I was equally as revolting in my response. Once that was all over and they seemed satisfied that I simply had no fashion sense… I was allowed into the airport.
With in 5 minutes I was sat in some little place that allowed smoking and I was happy, I had a drink, and my smokes and 14 hours to kill before my next flight. Some guy that had one of those turbans on and the robes sat at a table next to me and go what I assume was his traveling version of bellhop to sit at my table.
Those that know me (in person) will know that I am not the most friendly shit on the planet. Especially when I am in a foreign place. The Turban guy wanted the bellhop guy to ask me if he could marry me. I thought he was kidding so I laughed.
My rejection did not go down well. He told me he had Pyramids, Camels and TIC-TAC’s for me if I married him. I laughed again – because seriously – what are the tic tac’s for?? I was as kind to the bell hop as possible because he was just doing what he was asked. I told him to say I respectfully decline and would appreciate it greatly if they would both piss off somewhere else.
The Turban guy got annoyed – and started shouting at me. So I stood and started shouting back (not a good move in a Muslim country)- and then – as if from some weird Tarantino movie, this guy in a cowboy hat comes and puts his arm around me – and tells the bellhop to tell his boss that this girl is already taken.
It was at that moment my brain exploded quietly in my head. I just had a cowboy – rescue from some pyramid owning tic tac wielding dude – with a bell hop.
He said he saw me on the same flight as him, and he saw me threaten one of the children near me because it was making such a noise. Most men wouldn’t find that endearing – so I already was suspicious.
So I sit, light another smoke and say thank you. He doesn’t waste ANY time, and says he has enough money for a hotel room, will I spot the other half and we can ‘ride’ the time together. I told him that he was a symbol of why so many women are lesbian… and reminded him that I would have actually had to find him attractive to want to do that in the first place – which I didn’t.
So… now, I look like drug mule, a white chick stupid enough to marry someone for a camel – and then ever better – share a hotel room with a complete stranger in a foreign country just because is rescued me in a cowboy hat.
I declined. Picked up my things and walked away. So NOW, I had bell hop and cowboy following me.
12 hours to go. The airport was packed and there were people sleeping in the benches and floors everywhere – and couldn’t afford the hotel… so I walked and walked and walked and found an Irish Pub. I found a booth seat – and asked the guy who was serving that table if I gave him a certain amount of money of he would let me sleep there for a few hours. I would tip him as if I had been there forever.
He was young and sweet and could see that I was NOT in a good enough head space for me to have to be sent out. He took me to a far corner, I gave him money – and he said that’s more than he earned in a day so I could sleep as long as I wanted. He woke up me up just before I had to check in, and my bed hair and cheery disposition made it back to London with no further drama.
Oh… except that I faked a panic attach so they would move me to an aisle seat. I was pinned in between to drunk and very unwashed men… and it turns out I fake serious freak out really well.
I miss traveling. Still a lot of the world I have never seen.