After the date was set, tickets were booked, luggage packed, 28th October, my dad, sister and I were in the airport to fly to Amman. My mother came from Amman only the night before and the plan was to join us the next week. But, mom's relative decided to join us and fly to Amman too.
Carrying too many big bags we were transferred to Overweight luggage. It was 7:30 in the morning and our flight was 9:30. The lines were still empty. We were the only family there weighing our bags the woman on the counter said "you may leave to Amman but I'm afraid the old lady won't" We all had huge exclamation marks over our heads. She added "Her passport is an S"
Attawie's thoughts were "It's ok, no problem. She can go back but I'm leaving to Amman, to KJ, to do the civil marriage papers. Calm down, smile and breathe."
The old lady worried and nagging how to go back to the city with all her bags. My dad went to check the airport security if the regulation is right and she can't fly with; my sister busy with weighing bags and putting tags. And Attawie was distributing smiles here and there pretending there was nothing.
Almost an hour passed and we're still in our same place. The airlines were waiting for a Jordanian authority to wake up and report to work, due to time difference, so they can give us instructions. We waited and waited and people start to come and go. The airline employees' shift changed and the new people are asking what the story was. We explained to them and one of them was really worried and stayed with us giving us consolation. She said "I'm new here, almost a month. But let me tell you that I was given instruction not to let any Iraq or Palestinian on the plane without calling my immediate boss. It's a rule". Attawie was standing distributing smiling here and there and announcing "I'm the bride".
Almost two hours passed and we're still in our same place. My sister called the Jordanian embassy to check if an Iraqi with an S passport can enter Jordan. They said there is such regulation but since the passenger is a resident in another country then there's no problem until 2010. We informed the airlines and the airport security and they said they have to check with the embassy themselves. And Attawie still distributing smiles here and there assuring herself "it's nothing!"
An airport security officer was really nice; he said the airplane won't fly without you even if we had to delay the take off. He stayed with us for so long and kept assuring us there won't be a problem.
For me, I was ready to fly that day no matter what. It's a matter of booking a taxi and finding someone to carry the relative's bags and send her to the city. As simple as that, a piece of cake. But she was so worried about leaving and not leaving, mumbling and nagging and talking to herself. I really like the lady but "hello! I'm the bride" it should be all about me, me and me!
Dingdong "Alnidaa alakheer lirokab al ri7la raqam XYZ almotawajiha ila Amman"
- Atta: what was that?
- Sana: didn't notice.
Dingdong "This is the final call for flight no. XYZ heading to Amman"
Attawie starts distributing smiles extensively. Next moment another Airport officer comes and stands next to our luggage on the scale. He starts saying words in his walky-talky I couldn't understand and whispers to the airlines employee. The bags went in and disappeared from our sights. We're given a paper to pay for the overweight luggage. The Airport Officer No.1 accompanies us to the accountancy. We're sent in the lift to gate…" na'a no gate, an airport officer will receive you there".
My sister with her knee injury, dad with his right thigh torn muscle, the old lady with her back pain, were all meters behind me when the lift door was open. I found the officer and quickened my pace. The officer said something in his walky-talky and in seconds a female officer received me. She said where are the rest? I pointed at them. Now I was runny with her and followed by the rest. She said something in the walky-talky and added "I've got the bride. The four people are following". Another female officer received us and she was accompanied by a guy dressed in formal airport uniform. He took me to the airline's desk to take the boarding cards. Passports were with my sister. He said follow me and they will get the cards. We headed two floors down on feet and there UAE officers were waiting for us and a big bus took us to the airplane. The hostess received us with smiles pointing towards ours seats; the only empty seats on the plane. Felt all eyes were staring at me. I was thinking "OMG they must be saying this is why we're ten minutes behind schedule" So I had to continue distributing smiles!
Within seconds we were flying in the sky heading to Amman. And Attawie still distributing smiles but instead of praying silently in her heart she was now thanking God everything went great.
That's all for now
But there will be more later :)
Labels: Anecdote, Iraqis, Personal