Monday, December 29, 2008

Transit in Heathrow

I look up as they walk into the business lounge.
I stare

There are two of them: one in the black gear; the other one in your classic Khaliji*-on-vacation garb.

She’s wearing designer sunglasses. In the lounge. Deep in the heart of Heathrow, where there is no sun.

Her hair is covered with what resembles a black turban, decorated with flashy beads. Her bangs are hanging out over her forehead.

She’s wearing a pink coat, brown shirt, and blue jeans. And lots of pearls. 4 pearl necklaces. Even her belt is made of pearls. The color of her platform shoes matches the color of her nail polish: brown. Her purse is designer. I stare at the smug expression on her face. Her attention to detail reignites my hate towards my ‘own people.’
Everything matching. Everything exaggerated.

I wonder if she realizes how ridiculous she looks.

She gets up and walks over to the buffet. She looks around at the other passengers, a smile on her face, expecting to catch her admirers’ gaze. I wonder if she’s disappointed when no one looks up. Everyone in the lounge is either European or North American. If they were to give her a passing thought it would be: “typical Arab.”

She slowly saches back to her seat, giving invisible admirers another chance to take a good look.

I’m well aware that I am staring at her.

It is then that I notice her massive pearl earrings. The watch she is wearing is blindingly bling: pure gold encrusted with diamonds. She speaks: “that looks like good cake.” I notice her braces, and it hits me like a brick wall: she’s only a teenager. A teenager that looks 28 years old, until she opens her mouth to speak.

The 2 women glance at me. I momentarily look away.

An Indian woman in uniform approaches them. She works at the lounge. She hands them a plate of cake that has been warmed up.

I’m appalled. Arabian Princess can’t warm her own cake, so she gets someone to do it for her.

Just like home.

At this point I have to look away because my mouth is gaping in disbelief. The Indian woman was not thanked for bringing over the plate of cake.

I wonder if I have just been gone too long; my days in Texas causing this fire of racism towards those I am supposed to be part of. I realize the other patrons at the lounge don’t notice the things I notice. And I realize they probably feel nothing towards them. They are just 2 passengers who happen to dress differently.

But its because I know their kind that I am this angry.

Its because I know that they truly believe they are better than anyone else in that room; that somehow they are superior.

Fucked. Up.

*Khaliji: the Arabic way of referring to someone from the GCC countries (Saudi, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Emirates, and Oman)

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