JournalismPakistan.com Aug 13, 2013
I am at the airport the other day and there is this elderly lady with her adult son and daughter in law and she is petrified of the escalator. The youngsters are embarrassed and people are pushing past and looking at her with scorn and impatience like you peasant woman and she finally takes the stairs.
Mustering courage as the couple with her pretend they are not with her she stumbles onto the long walkway and hangs on to the rubber railing and then stumbles off it and refuses to take the next segment.
It’s the rudeness of everyone around that is odd. Pushing, shoving, exasperated, like we are all seasoned travelers, you silly ignorant woman. Like no big deal, all of us have hang ups. You should see me trying to get through e-gate with the boarding pass and the card double act falling apart every time, I am in total panic, dropping things, missing the code, more panic, the immigration officer looking askance, making me even more nervous, that lady’s escalator fear is small potatoes.
Sit in my aircraft seat and that little boarding pass vanishes like it was Houdini’s brother in law and now I am in the wrong seat patting pockets because you Sir are 15C not 15 A, this seat belongs to this gentleman, boarding pass,please…I promise you that little square was here a second ago, pull out things, mumble reassurances, where is it?
Let me get a ticket from a parking lot machine and then watch me hunt for it on the way out. It has wings. It has gone, it was on the seat, but now it has disappeared. It plotted this, I know it and cars are honking at the back. And talking of cars nothing scares me more than people who may or may take you on and cross the road, they teeter at the edge as you approach, up the curb, down the curb, tango one foot forward, cha cha one foot back, waltz in again, make up your mind.
Have you ever kept something safely because it was important and then spent days looking for it because it was so safely kept now even you cannot find it?
Nothing scares me more than an ATM. I am convinced that little slot is just waiting to eat up my card and I never can get all the zeros right and I am certain either the money won't come or I'll have a discrepancy that will take three months to resolve.
I am afraid of being in an elevator all alone. It is claustrophobic. I always wait for someone to come along. And I never know why we have P,B,B2,M,G before 1 and I get confused, okay.
Remote controls baffle me completely, smart phones leave me shuddering in defeat, do it yourself furniture and I do not get along and I’m intimidated by multiple cutlery in those fancy schmancy places.
You probably have your own hang ups. So, you don’t want to ride the escalator, lady, fine by me, don’t, nothing to be embarrassed about.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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