August 25, 2010

The ’How Dare You Do This to Me’ Approach

I wanted to take a picture of Beirut while landing, but guess what? They placed me on the wrong side of the plane. All I saw was sea. I think maybe I should complain about this . . .

It’s good to be back home. There are certain things I missed. I didn’t realize I missed them, until I was right smack in the middle of it again. Such as that certain characteristic that - I tell you - only Lebanese possess. That certain assertiveness, that kind of feistiness. That Al Pacino-like ‘Do You Know Who I Am?’ attitude towards the rest of the world. And I tell you, I hadn’ t even touched Lebanese soil yet.

I’m on my way back home when my flight gets delayed. As a result I miss my connection to Beirut. It really is a stupid thing, I mean, they know I am on the flight, they know I only need ten more minutes, but whatever, the plane leaves for Beirut without me. Here I am, in front of a closed departure gate, on a foreign airport, and no chance to get to Beirut in another 12 hours.

But I am not the only one. There is another lady that needs to get to Beirut. A Lebanese lady. And she is in no mood to accept the decision that they left without her. She is not going down without a fight.

She grabs the door handle and rattles it loudly. “This is ridiculous. They knew I was coming. They could have waited, ”she says out loud, to no one in particular, as the place is empty.

“Hello! Hello!,” she addresses a flight attendant passing by, “I have to go to Beirut. This is ridiculous, I must go to Beirut, can you tell me what I do now?”

The flight attendant refers her to the Transfer Desk, and the lady walks off without a thank you, leaving the flight attendant slightly taken aback.

I follow her, as I am in the same predicament. I need to get to Beirut too. And I tell you, if anyone stands a chance of getting there, it’s her. While walking, I hear her talking aloud. “What is this? They will pay for this. How do they expect me to run a business? This is ridiculous! Can’t they see we’re coming?”

The Transfer Desk is empty.
Can I get some service here!” She says in a loud voice, rapping her knuckles on the counter. “Some service here! Is anybody working in this airport!?”
When there is no immediate reaction, she grabs hold of a gentleman man passing by with ‘Bagage Handling’ on his shirt.
Can I get some service at this desk here?”
The man is a bit surprised, but obligingly picks up the phone on the desk, and talks to someone. He motions her that she has to go to the Transfer Desk in the next hall. He is in the process of giving her the directions to the next hall, but she has already taken off, without saying thank you. You don’t need to be a lip reader to guess what he is mumbling.

At the next Transfer Desk there is one agent, who is talking to a passenger. She walks right up to the counter, and starts her story. “This is unacceptable, I missed my flight and it wasn’t my fault and I have to work tomorrow and ...
Can you get behind the yellow line please,” he says. He’s having none of this Beirut stuff. She tries again. The yellow line please, he repeats, and she conforms, sputtering all the while.
When it is her turn, she starts again. “It is not fair. This is not my fault. How am I supposed to go to work tomorrow? I have a job, you know.”

The transfer clerk is trying to explain to her why the plane could not wait, but she talks right through him.

WILL YOU LET ME EXPLAIN WHAT HAPPENED SO YOU KNOW WHY YOU MISSED YOUR FLIGHT?” he finally yells right through her monologue.
That calms her down a bit.
In the end, he buys her off with a dinner, breakfast, and a stay at the local InterCon, and she realizes she has to accept defeat. The plane is not going to turn around for her. The next morning I see her at breakfast at the InterCon. She has regained her composure and is totally Zen again.

Absolutely fascinating! I love this ’how dare you do this to me’ approach. I missed it. Europeans are just way too docile.

I also missed my first day of work because of that flight. But I have been hiking and camping for the past 7 weeks, and the Dutch in me just loves a free 4-star hotel with tub.

Lovely!!!! If this doesn’t make my point, I don’t know what does:
'Some reports on Wednesday said fighting erupted over a parking space between Fawaz, the Hizbullah official, and supporters Al-Ahbash near a mosque frequented by the Sunni group.' (


Jad Aoun said...

LOL - hilarious story. I could just imagine her blowing her top.
Welcome back!

nicolien said...

Haha! And this is exactly why none of the Emirates employees want to fly on the Beirut-line... (or so I heard first-hand).

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

Nice story and all you had to do was follow along behind.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, we missed you notwithstanding your windows!

Marillionlb said...

Welcome Back !!!!!!!!!!

Sietske said...

Gee Jad, you were so fast! I had barely posted this one and you were online. Cool!!!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Lebanese people at the airport:
Lebanese people waiting in line

Anonymous said...

hilarious! you spot it right on.