So, I said yesterday that I would be flying to Amman with Mom and sister this morning. At first I didn't think that I would be able to make it with them cuz of all my waitings for the Fulbright stuff, but after the last unpleasant updates I got I decided not to waste my time anymore with this and start to have some fun.
I packed whatever I needed to take with me and asked Attawie if I need to get this and that and what else to pack.. bla bla bla... I bought the plane ticket the next day after I decied to go. Somehow, my parents managed to get me the ticket on the same day of my Mom and sister's flight. It's hard to do so now cuz all flights are reserved till mid August, but as what The Kid said, "the wise and the willing finds his way!" ;) One thing though, my flight was supposed to take off at 4:30, while Mom and sister's flight on 2:30. I didn't see a problem in that but Mom said that we'd find a way to switch places with a passenger so that I'd be on the same plane with them.
Anyways, Friday morning came and we got ready and waited for the taxi driver to drive us to the airport. We had to get there early before the Friday stroll ban which starts on 11 P.M. Though most of the road we took was a high way, I noticed that it was a hellish and deserted one. It was as if we were passing by a battle front, there was nothing but us, checkpoints with armed soldiers, barbed wires and the remaining framgments of bombings on the street's pavement. Oh, and alot of garbage!
For me and my sister it was fun to be on the road as we haven't been out for ages, but Mom was more anxious and was praying and focusing on the road. Well, she's right. After all this is the Airports's road which is famous of its deadly accidents! We reached the checkpoint, the one with the sniffing dogs. The time I saw it I thought of starting to count the checkpoints, but alas, we already passed by a countless number of them, so I quit the thought.
On another checkpoint where we had to get out of the car and have our bags searched, we were asked to have our passports checked as well. The guards and some officers were trying to be nice and funny with people to ease their fear of the road, dogs and everything else. When Mom asked one of the guards where to check our passports, he said loudly "Ma'am, go to that dumb guy, he'll check them", and he pointed to a guy who was smiling at us. Mom felt very sorry for this guy and wondered how did he get to work in this place if he can't speak. He took our passports, motioned to us to take off the sunglasses so that he can see if our faces matched the ones in the passports' photos. After finishing, he lift a thumb up to indicate all was ok, smiled and said "Have a nice journey!". Later we found out that he was playing this sort of candid camera thing to make people laugh in this scary place.
Then there were some other checkpoints and more dogs sniffing suitecases. Two American dudes helped us with one of our bags which was a very heavy one. We said "Thanks" and they motioned "Not at all".. then finally, we're at the Airport's main hall. At the time we got there bomibings started rocking the place. Sister and I stared at each other with fear, yet laughing. Mom, having been to the airport before, said that we'd hear much of that during the coming time. The driver, who was with us all the way long, suggested that we check the stamps on our passports as they have been renewd lately. Thank God we did this early as it turned that we had a problem with them!
Dad renewd the passports about two weeks ago before he went to Germany on a business trip. So we thought that we were all up to date with it. But it tunred out that a new stamp has been used just a few days ago which we don't have on our passports, and that prevented us from traveling! Time was 10:40 and we had only 20 minutes left for the cerfew, so we had to act fast and go back home. Otherwise we would be stuch inside the airport till 7 P.M. with nothing to do but envying people who were happily leaving.
The road back home was worse. I had nausia cuz of the heat outside and my empty stomach. More checkpoints were filling the streets by this time, motioning for cars to drive faster before blocking the streets. The clock ticked 11 P.M. and we were still on the road. A few cars were stopped near some checkpoints already, and we were afraid that we'd be forced to stop as well. But we were allowed to pass cuz we were women in the car and they wouldn't lest us stay out till the stroll ban is over at 7 P.M.
We made it home safely at last. Sister and I were laughing at it but Mom was angry. The trip is postponed till next week. My shoulders got stiffened from holding and pulling our suitecases down the road. I thought I would be seeing Attawie today, we haven't met since October 2003 when she came to college the last time before leaving to Jordan. We've already made plans for tonight as she invited me to a party. I was going around teasing my cousins for going to see two Iraqi singers; Hussam Al-Rsam -that is a big hit now- and Kadhim Al-Sahir, a very famous Iraqi singer, in that party.
So... That was my trip to the Airport and back!