Well…here I am. Butt sore and dead tired, but I’m here, sitting in a concord of lounge chairs, anticipating what in the world I should do for the next eight hours. I’m in the Dubai airport, of all places!! How in the world did I end up here??? (I mean aside from the whole hopping on a 14 hour flight thing).
As I was walking into the airport, I was shaking; I couldn’t contain my excitement. When the plane landed in Dubai, I had the same reaction. I couldn’t keep the grin off my face. The flight attendant asked me if this was my first flight. I grinned wider and laughed. “Just this far!” I replied. Never in my life have I had an experience like this. Going to the Middle East/South Asia alone?? As a young twenty-something with no brother, father, husband, gay guy best friend in sight???
I must be crazy.
But already I’m noticing how great it is to maybe be crazy.
Sitting in the gate, waiting for the flight to Dubai, I was the minority for the first time in my life. Everyone around me spoke perfect English. I was struck by the irony. Here I am, a born and bred WASP and, in an airport gate surrounded by Middle Eastern and Asian people (who all probably speak better English than I do), I felt very out of place.
And strangely, I loved the feeling. Which I know raises all sorts of minority/race/ethnic issues, but bear with me here.
One of the main reasons I went on this trip to Bangladesh was the get my mind blown around a little bit. And here I am in DUBAI, a pale, white, red-headed girl whose first language is English and has only the smallest amount of Spanish and French stuck in her brain. As if I don’t stand out at home enough because of my red hair, here in the Middle East, I stick out like a sore thumb. And oddly, it doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. (Seeing another red-head walking to the gate for a flight to Perth, Australia was encouraging too.)
I thought I would be intimidated. But so far I’m not so much intimidated as fascinated. Granted, I’m in the Dubai airport, which is one of the most racially and culturally diverse places in the whole world, and the story teller in me is wondering how socially acceptable it is to just walk up to people and ask them their story which may or may not help relieve the feeling of being intimidated. This has to be a good thing right? Knowing I’m the minority but not feeling to intimidated by it?
Or I could just be crazy…
My next post will hopefully include pictures of the Dubai airport…it’s a sight to see!
Side note…the families in the Middle East are beautiful. Seriously, some of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen. And I don’t mean appearance-wise. The way they interact with one another, they way husbands treat their wives and children, the way the children treat their parents. It’s simply beautiful. And these are adorable!