If I ever end up becoming a person famous enough to write an autobiography (I know I can’t but what is the harm in imagining), a major part will be about the time I have spent at the airports across the globe. Not only most of the times, my flight is off schedule, I get to meet the most annoying, weird and down right stupid people on the planet at the airports.
On my way to Isloo last week, I saw an assorted variety at the Karachi airport. While getting my hand bang stamped from airport security people (it happens in Pakistan alone, at least I don’t see this practice in the West) I saw a couple of women teetering over unrealistically high heels and screaming at the security staff, their children and their respective maids in no particular order. One of them was on a 5 inch high heels, designer hijab and two inch thick layer of make-up. She had 4 children aged between 6 – 12. The poor maid who was not only holding the youngest baby and two bags also had to suffer the indignity of being shouted at by the oldest brat because she had put the boarding card in one of the bags and was holding up the queue. Mommy dearest had parked her ample self in one of the chairs and showed no interest in either taking care of the children or admonishing them for being publicly rude. The other mom in high heels kept on writing text messages to someone and had two Philippino maids to take care of her twin daughters. When another woman commented on how beautiful her two little girls were, she gave her a blank look and then volunteered with the most personal information. “Really, but I am not having any more babies, they are smelly and loud,” said the ever-texting-cellphone-addicted young mom. Ek tau I don’t get the Philippino maid/nanny fad that has engulfed everyone with two extra pennies. First of all, they are not trained nannies. Most of them are from the rural part of the country with dubious hygiene and barely there English language skills. Secondly, if one has to hire untrained rural nannies, then what is wrong with the local Pakistani ones who at least know the language, but I digress.
I got up and went to one of the free internet kiosks run by Wateen telecom and saw what was probably the filthiest key board I ever laid my eyes on. I admit, it is quite admirable to offer free internet services to weary travellers, but it would be even nicer if the key boards are wiped once in a while with some disinfectants to save the same weary travellers from contracting unmentionable diseases.
While debating the hygienic risks of actually touching the keyboard, I heard the announcement that my flight is delayed by an hour – in incorrect English, off course. Crushed as I was by the delay, I decided to look for the most deserted little corner, but ran into the most unpleasant gay man in Pakistan. My friends, who are familiar with the ordeals I faced in my Iran Yatra, would be familiar with the gay character I am talking about. He is a crew member with the national airline and moonlights as an actor if anyone is stupid/demented enough to cast him. He is a diva from the dark side and had made my time in Iran a pure fucking hell. I decided not to notice him and ran to Costa coffee which is tucked in the farthest corner of the departure lounge. He followed me to Costa and kept on preening like a beauty queen (i believe he was sticking his imaginary boobs out). He was meeting and greeting all the PIA people at the airport with fake loud cheers and artificially jovial camaraderie to get noticed by me. I decided that it was time I pull my iPod out of my bag and doze off. You have no idea how my regard for the genius of Steve Jobs rises every time I snub an idiot with my iPod. Here is to Mr. Jobs.
PS: My five loyal readers who missed me while I was away, thanks a lot for missing me, I missed you guys as well.