Can I get a Koot, Koot?

Posted on December 26, 2005


Well, well, well. I’ve had an eventful few days by my standards. I should preface this by saying I missed my flight back to Kuwait due to the glaring incompetence of Royal Taxi. ONE HOUR I waited. In the end they didn’t even come and I took a Beck Taxi. Those fuckers, Royal. I screamed down the phone, but not as much as they deserved. There were no other flights. So I went back home to wet laundry that I had washed seconds before I left, that of course did not dry. I was going to let it mildew over the break.
Anyway, through the marvellous offices of my dad and the reliable shadiness of Arabs, a cheap other flight was found for me despite what airline personnel had said and 28 hours later, here I am, in Kuwait. The flight was actually pretty interesting. As I was standing at the counter checking in there was a Greek couple checking in at the counter next to mine. My flight had a whole section set aside for people who was going on pilgrimage to Mecca – they even had a check-in line labeled “hadjj” next to the ones for economy and business. Anyway, the airline staffperson at the counter next to mine said to the Greek couple, “You Greeks are all right, I like you, but it’s those Muslims that are trouble.” I couldn’t believe my ears. She went on,” It’s those people that want to go to…Egypt or something – they have no manners.”
“Hey” I said. “I’m standing right here.”
“Oh, I didn’t mean you.” She waved my Egyptian passport around. “You’re not from Cairo, are you?”
“Yes, actually, I am.”
Various embarrassed mumblings. Yeah right, you didn’t mean me. The guy who was helping me got in on the game and said, “I have lots of Kuwaiti friends, they’re very nice.” Right, buddy. Kuwaitis aren’t nice, and they wouldn’t be friends with anyone black. The Greek lady who was next to me said apologetically, “Lots of Greek people are bad too.” I just got my boarding pass and walked away.
Olympic Airlines is unique in that they make stops not indicated on your itinerary or ticket. I’m used to this, so I was unsurprised when we landed in Montreal. A guy got on and sat down in the seat next to mine…I was hoping it would remain empty so I could “stretch” out. But no, it was the worst kind of person I would want to sit next to me: a young cute Arab guy. Now I wouldn’t be able to drool or fart (planes give me gas). Before his ass hit the seat he started talking. and he didn’t stop till we got to Athens.
I’d forgotten how Arab people ask astonishingly personal questions of complete strangers. In response, I told him how his corn rows would get him beaten up as soon as he landed on Kuwaiti soil. He seemed quite comfortable with that possibility. In fact, he extracted from his bag a doo rag, which he tied round his head, adding a toque on top of it to complete the look (a wholly ridiculous one). I took this opportunity to conclusively satisfy my doo-rag related curiosity. He confirmed that it keeps hair flat, not heads. Eventually he gave up on me as a conversation partner and talked to the people behind me. I went to sleep and got on with the drooling and farting.
In Athens I chatted to this other guy who was on my flight (9 hour layovers are not easy to kill). This turned out to be a bad idea because he was absolutely batshit. He had dreads. Actually, it’s pretty weird…both guys were 22, were named Ahmed, and had braids. I know half of Arab guys are named Ahmed, but the braids and age make it more of a coincidence, no? I gave him some chicklit to read to shut him up, and it worked admirably – his decibel level was starting to draw crowds. I told him severely that ecstacy and cocaine were not the drugs of choice for long distance travel and then fell asleep again.
Somehow, I made my way here, where I have been eating like it’s going out of style. The food in Kuwait rocks, there’s no denying. I brought my mom a necklace and a very stylish handbag as a present; neither was well received. “Where are the matching earrings?” and “It’s too big.” The bag is fabulous, people. Either The Tweet or I will make good use of it. Hmmph.
Reminded of my dad’s family-gathering whistle, I tried it out today at the supermarket in order to have a middle aged man come trotting to a bespectacled snazzy jacketed girl, instead of the other way round. Although faultlessly whistled, he didn’t hear it.

Note: Koot is the ancient name of Kuwait. I remember this from government mandated social studies class. Annoyingly obscure, I know. But I’m really bad at wordplay and have to take it where I can.