Sunday, December 11, 2005

Where in the World is Mal, even he does not know

Wednesday Dec 7 2005 – 3 am

Damman Airport
Saudi Arabia

I have never heard of this place and God willing, will never have a reason to ever come back here. The only reason we are here … Fog.

Kuwait is supposedly engulfed in a pea soup cloud and the plane could not land, I somehow managed to sleep through the entire attempted landing, flight to where we are now, the landing here only to wake and find everyone standing in the aisles and it was ten pm.

We have been off loaded into the lounge in this ghastly edifice that doubles as an airport and now face the prospect of waiting till 11.30 in the morning to continue, most likely the only reason that 11.30 is now the departure time is so that the crew can get a twelve hour break. It is a challenge to try and describe the lounge here and not have my words come across as an attack on Islam, but lets face it someone is to blame for designing and furnishing this room.

Quick aside here, We should all feel sorry for Betsy North, Ollie North’s better half because the machine gun is snoring away like no tomorrow on the couch with his feet in the air, again note another insult to Islam displaying the soles of your feet, however since they are pointing at me I will take it like a Christian, How many tones and combinations can you snore in, There is the in pause and fast release snore with the half content exhale, the little staccato snores where you come back with the deep grunt that wakes you up followed by the rub the ear hands back on chest and finally some quietness, after ten seconds you think it is all ok and you too can get some sleep only to be caught by the half chain saw intake with the nasal exhale. Now I have no doubt that Mrs. North would simply poke her fingers sharply and repeatedly into Ollie and demand that he roll over, I however will let him snore because it is easier to write about snoring than it is to describe the lounge

You quickly realize the status of where you are in the world when you look at the departure monitor on the wall and see that today you can fly to Delhi, Damascus, Doha Sharjah, Bombay and Cairo

Ollie has just completed the double roll back down the throat with a half nasal block hammer snore that I think woke Greg up, luckily for other passengers in the lounge Greg rolled over half an hour ago and stopped his attempt to out snore Ollie.

So you have a base light industrial brown carpet to which you add blue and green octagonal shapes all held together by a radiating red interlinking chain. The Blue and Green lounges are positioned in an informal formal way so as to maximize the effect of the round black coffee table with sharp edges at shin height. The brown marble wall panels and pillars are highlighted by lights that you would happily find in the back storeroom of your Grandmothers, naturally 100 watts to maximize the sterility of the room.

A windmill is on the desk where your friendly airline person would be to greet you as you come to relax and socialize with family and friends prior to flying to either Delhi Damascus Doha Sharjah Bombay or Cairo. Two massive television sets on stands are naturally turned off

The rapid three in succession with the half content pause exhale, oh hark I now hear a fellow snorer calling out across the room to Ollie, steady and without any personality to his snore I might add.

A fluorescent light makes those cheese and egg club sandwiches so tempting in the refrigerated glass display cabinet, Luckily they made the sandwiches with stale bread to enhance the dining experience.

The smoking corner is positioned next to the food and coffee service area, so as to meet Saudi Health and Hygiene regulations.

Why have muzak, when the call to prayer can be broadcast at Volume 11, Allah the merciful has managed to silence Ollie’s snoring, well not completely but the combination of snoring and the call to prayer is a meeting of two great religions.

It will be daylight in a couple of hours and even the golden rays of dawns first light are not going to make this room any better, only another six and half hours to go. If Ollie snores at once every five seconds that means four thousand eight hundred and sixty snores till we take off.

Inshallah we shall leave here.

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