Transit transcriptions

Posted on May 4, 2005


I’m in Frankfurt Airport right now, enjoying my first experience of second-hand smoke in years. My brain now immediately does a little zing! when I even see people in an actual indoor space smoking. My nose registers smoke, my eyes note a ceiling and I am mystified for a moment until I realize that people are cool with other people’s toxins in most parts of the world. It is 6:30 a.m. here.
Someone just went by and said loudly, “It looks like there’s wireless here. I’ve gotta check my stocks.” An American, of course. They think that the second they leave American soil they can bellow in English as loudly as they want to and no one will understand them. Also, I have a strong antipathy towards overweight dudes who compound the disgusting effect by growing their straggly hair long. Not even in a pony tail – shield your eyes.
So far I have not had to recourse to liquor, or sleep. There’s at least 12 more hours to go though. This is Germany, after all, and I must indulge in the national pastime of drinking.
I just asked a guy if his laptop was connected to the internet, as mine is not, and this threw him into such a flurry of confused explanations I saw I had clearly made a mistake in thinking him a fellow internet addict. After some confused explanations he advised me to try and connect to the internet. Sigh.
Seated two seats across from me on the plane was a guy who at first glance I dismissed as just another brown dude, about my age. However, as I got up to let him back into his seat, I noticed that he had taken with him to the bathroom what was most clearly a toilette bag. By contrast I, on my own way to the toilet earlier, had simply surreptitiously stuffed a pad into the waistband of my pants while everyone was busy watching the movie (Coach Carter – I love movies about disadvantaged black athletes, I teared up three times).
I have my period, of course. Never let it be said that I have ever embarked on any 20-plus- hour flights without being in a state of discomfort and hormonal imbalance. It actually purposefully came a week late so it could hit me on the plane causing zits to actually pop out on my face during inflight movies and forcing me to frequent that wonder of technology, that breeding ground for intercontinental bacteria strains known as the airplane bathroom, more than I like. Let’s not even mention the cramps. Ovaries 36, Me 0.
ANYWAY. The guy. Even as I marvelled at his neat little kit, clearly stocked with essentials I can only dream of, he whipped out one of those eye patch sleeping thingies. This, in a totally darkened plane. They utterly destroyed his entire ensemble and effectively castrated him. I looked him over more carefully and realized he was a member of a group of beings rarely seen – the Trendy Islamist. He had this super cool hat and was all Gino meets the Punjab – except he sported a beard. Trimmed, but still clearly associated with religious pursuits. When he woke up he took out and started reading a tome written in some kind of Arabic script. He didn’t look like an Arab, so I craned my neck over the sleeping Filipino man between us to see if it was in fact Arabic. I read the heading “The Blessing of Pain”. Whoa, I thought, hardcore. Then I woke up the Filipino man with my craning so I had to go back to reading my own book. Plus, the dude was reading about the blessing of pain in Arabic. Best to mind my own business. I also resolved to actually read something in Arabic once. It says I can on my resume.
OK, so the internet here actually doesn’t work despite various signs proclaiming this to be a wireless internet zone. Plus, an elderly lady has just sat down on my table and extracted from a brown paper bag a cheese sandwich, a salt shaker and a cucumber, in addition to a small book of crosswords and a pencil and an eraser. How weird. Who even uses non-mechanical pencils anymore? I’ll leave the salt shaker without comment for now.
I’m going to go look at the duty free stores, although this airport is more familiar to me than any other. I have actually stretched out and slept on random pieces of cold marbleized floor here for hours at a time.

This is an hour later. I approached the bar but found it entirely populated with men – not a single mammary gland to be seen. And all the guys were looking at me in this semi-predatory way, even though I look fairly nasty. It must be the alcohol at 7 am. So my nerve failed me and I left. There is another bar, predictably called Goethe bar, but that was packed. How can so many people be drinking so early?! And why can’t they make room for me?! So I’m drinking a cappuccino instead. Although this is my third coffee since the trip began.
Naturally, I’ve spotted someone I know. Some Kuwaiti dude I went to university with in Cairo who if I recall correctly gave huge parties where drugs flowed like water. Don’t remember his name though, and anyway I pretended not to recognize him, even though we so clearly both did. But he had two clearly Kuwaiti and therefore bitchy girls with him and I prefer not to go there before I have to.
You know how in department stores they have people who spray you with perfume? They not only have those in the airport, but even a woman who is passing out Davidoff cigarettes. I had hoped she’d have a lit one and urge people to take puffs as they passed by, but this is clearly too much to hope for.

This is later. Everyone else’s wireless works! And now I’m sharing a table with one happy user who is arranging to meet his girlfriend in France next weekend. I so hate Lebanese people. God. And why would he get all mushy within a foot of someone who clearly understands Arabic? God, he’s on with another girlfriend now. He’s so not cute either.

I’m in Kuwait now…finally. I am exhausted. I was waved through with minor fuss because of the awesome power of estrogen…although not as fast as the stocky American military people. The rest of the trip went well except for a minor incident with a fat War Profiteer a.k.a “military contractor” who was too fat to sit next to me on the plane. I said “Excuse me, that’s my seat,” and he said “Uh uh, no, uh uh.”
“Yes, it is, it says so right here.” The guy checks and he’s the one seated in the wrong seat. I say then, “So what was wrong with sitting next to me?!”
“Nothin’ sweetheart, I just wanted the seat all to myself.” And then he got into some reprehensible conversation about all the local weapons and knives and shit he’s smuggled out of Iraq. I overheard a lot of fucked up conversations between all the military personnel on the plane. Does no one else find it sketchy that all these people are from Texas? Assholes.

I’m tired. I’m going to bed. I’m so happy my daddy is here to take care of me now.