Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Kuwait’s Ms. America

It was a loooonnnnngggg trip. There were what we call “travel mercies” – blessings. On two very crowded flights, I had an empty seat next to me. I ran into some really caring cabin crew members, people who looked like they really like what they are doing. For a trip with a lot of potential for disaster, it went well. As my husband says – any time the number of successful landings equal the number of take-offs, it’s a good trip.

The flight into Kuwait had a majority of two kinds of people – Dutch soldiers, who came onto the plane already drunk (and REEKING of alcohol) who were drinking all the way to Kuwait, and tired businessmen, who sacked out – I was surrounded by a symphony of snores. I didn’t mind that at all; I am betting they work hard and have families waiting for them, and just needed to catch up on a little sleep before getting back to Kuwait.

We all have our little pet phobias. I have a horror of airplane lack-of-cleanliness, and I have little slippers I put on as soon as I get on the plane. Arriving in Kuwait, I changed back into my boots, but horrors! My toes feel all cramped up; I am so used to wearing sandals. I think my feet swelled during the flights!

Everything goes smoothly, even another line opening up as I get to immigration, and my bags come off the flight right away, customs doesn’t ask me any questions, not even about the canned Alaska smoked salmon – now these are more travel mercies! But then, with my poor little feet screaming in dismay, I have to make the long walk down what I think of as the Miss America runway.

For those of my readers who do not live in Doha or in Kuwait, who have never visited me and experienced this for yourself, I will explain. Imagine, when you arrive, as you exit customs, you have to walk about 100 yards to where you will be met. Imagine along the route, there are hundreds of people waiting for others to arrive. Their full attention is on whoever is on the “runway” at the moment. My toes behave; I will NOT limp as I stride down the runway, refraining from doing a queenly wave at those along both sides of the the parade route.

But I can’t help but have a big goofy grin on my face at the hilariousness of running this ordeal at the end of a long trip, skin alligatored by hours of moisture-sucking airplane air, feet swollen, clothes rumpled, make-up worn off . . .now this is where having an abaya and veil makes a lot of sense.

And the greatest travel mercy of all, my husband waiting at the end of the long walk, the car nearby, and a quick exit and trip home. It is well after midnight, but we have so much to catch up on, even though we talked twice a day while I was gone. Today, I slept until noon and I am making a very very slow start on the day.

October 30, 2006 - Posted by | ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Marriage, Relationships


  1. Welcome back!
    Glad u arrived safe and sound.
    Soak ur feet in warm water.
    And LOL about the Miss AMerica thingie….hilarious!!

    Comment by Delicately Realistic | October 31, 2006 | Reply

  2. hamdullah 3al-salameh ya khalti

    I love the Miss America runway in Kuwait, because at least I know you and the khal will be waiting for me. its much worse in Beirut and Damascus, where I have to do the runner-up slink, gliding away into the darkness of a solitary arrival and taxi home :-(!

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | October 31, 2006 | Reply

  3. Delicate – oh, I am so glad for your welcome. I was afraid I might be on your “s-list” because I comment on the news in Kuwait. I don’t want to go home! Please don’t send me home!

    Little Diamond – I can’t imagine you slinking anywhere. And I LOVE your blog.

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 31, 2006 | Reply

  4. LOL course not!
    Hahahah! Your free to comment as much as u like.
    But u know sometimes it gets really annoying when ppl bad mouth ur country all the time, like some ppl do.
    But no the post wasnt directed to u, not at all 🙂
    Or anyone in particular :>

    Comment by Delicately Realistic | November 1, 2006 | Reply

  5. That was funny!
    I knew someone who took off her shoes during the flight and her feet were so swollen she couldn’t put them back on when it came time to disembark!

    Comment by Jewaira | November 2, 2006 | Reply

  6. DR – I hope you notice I am an equal-opportunity commenter, and poke as much fun at myself and my country as I do at any other. I think it is important that we – all of us – pay attention.

    Jewaira – ouch! I have to admit I considered that option, as I did have slippers with me. What a relief to get home and take my boots off.

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 3, 2006 | Reply

  7. Hey there was surfing through the internet and found your page on google . Enjoyed the good read wanted to say Happy New Year and keep up the good work.

    Comment by Pet Lover | January 1, 2007 | Reply

  8. Thanks, Pet Lover.

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 1, 2007 | Reply

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