Thursday, December 07, 2006

Travel Delirium

I’ve hit the stage of travel delirium where the lights are too bright, my head hurts, I think I’m getting sick, my body aches and I am feeling quite vulnerable. I can’t make decisions to make myself more comfortable. I could’ve stopped, bought some toothpaste and a toothbrush, some pain medicine…It would’ve felt better than sitting here with cotton mouth in the bright industrial Frankfurt airport, waiting for my last leg of my trip to start.

Aaaah, travel.

5-6 hours in the Kabul waiting area, where I prided myself for not throwing a hissy fit or telling anyone I had cancer. All the flights in Kabul for about 3 days were cancelled because of snow, including mine the day before. I was lucky, I had an agency handling my plane tickets so they called to let me know when to get in to the airport. I got there at 3 pm…My flight left at 8 pm-ish…but others got there in the morning or early afternoon. It was cold, there was a lot of jostling around and hollering and being pushed to the front of the line out of turn by the agency representative (Yes, I know, it was terrible – I was that person)…but, well, it’s over.

I made friends with another person being assisted by the same agency, a kind older Afghan diaspora uncle who kept saying it’s a shame that his son isn’t older or he’d introduce us. I laughed and replied with the generic ‘Zinda boshen’ (Literally translated to ‘May you live’ – which sounds cryptic but it’s actually a noncommital You’re very kind).

‘Course, once I took my long cardigan off in Dubai, we had this conversation:

There’s lots of oil in Afghan food.
I guess so.
I guess you’ve gained weight there.
Actually, I gained more weight in the U.S.
I noticed that you’ve gained weight in your stomach. You should be careful, it ruins the figure.

Must I be mocked for being a strategic eater? Must I?

I’m too tired to laugh about it now. But I did when I ran into my another friend, who I hadn’t seen in over three years. And his response was, “No! Hey wait, are you tired? Your eyes look tired.”


It’s a good thing he treated me to cheesecake and tea in Frankfurt.


omg said...

"(Literally translated to ‘May you live’ – which sounds cryptic but it’s actually a noncommital You’re very kind)." Hee hee.

No---- he didn't really say that!? A guy you just met? How do you say "May you live very far away from me"?

K-Oh said...

I can only echo omg-- No, he didn't really say that!?

Amazing. And you didn't kick him?

homeinkabul said...

O: Ahahahahahaha. Yes, totally did say that.

K: I think you and I would be friends in real life - I wanted to kick him. But my real thought was, so I guess he doesn't want to come to McDonald's with me.

koonj said...

That is wearily funny. Traveling is hard. And you do it voluntarily. Phew. I'm tired at the thought of traveling to Pakistan.

SuperfluousA said...

I think it's just people from the area. I was once taking a bus with my American friend (blond blue eyed -- ergo an animal at the zoo), and this woman started talking to me cause she could tell I was foreign-like and said "Oh your parents must own a summer home here." And when I said "no actually I stayed at a hotel," she had the audacity to ask me, "why not?" It's like I just met you lady, I didn't realize I had to give you my family's socio-economic background. And you don't even know how many Turkish men AND women have commented on my weight gain/loss within seconds of seeing them. No tact whatsoever..or may be Americans are just too sensitive to weight issues? I don't know but I'm numb to it these days.

chaoyang said...

Echo OMG: NO, he didn't really say that!?

Then again, maybe I can believe he said that.

I think in some countries, weight gain/loss is tied more to health/sickness, wealth/poverty, than the US - where it is primarily beauty-centered.

Then again, those same countries may view a woman's weight gain/loss as purely beauty centered, too.

In general, it is always in bad taste for any many to comment on any woman's figure. If any men are reading this - remember this - comment on my figure, her figure, a movie star's figure, or an imaginary woman's figure and you're automatically on my "slimy" list. I don't care how nice or caring or giving you are in everything else. that's just slimy.

this does not apply to general comments on health/sickness.

You, men of the world (who read this blog), are on notice.