Monday, November 13, 2006


believe it or not, the title of this blog is an acronym: it stands for queen alia international airport. i think the poor late queen is rolling in her grave being appalled at having something so shameful being named after her.

i have never been in an airport more depressing. shabbier, definitely, but none more depressing. and it's not the shabbiness. true, the sight of broken light fixtures, dirty floors, random wires across the ceilings are more than enough to create a serious down, but they are not enough to depress one.

i was pondering this thought while going up the squeaky escalator after the passport check (otherwise known as immigration control). it was a bit scary, with the ascent being a series of grunts, squeaks and surges. it felt like a smoker trying to jog. see when i look at a sign hanging from only one the cables that are supposed to hold it in place, forcing one to tilt one's head to read it, or notice the cleaning equipment that is stored in dark corners of unused areas rather than storage rooms, or even hear the very squeaks that may at any second lead to the failure of the escalator on which i was going up, I do not see signs of backwardness. what i see are signs of lack of money. now whether this lack is not enough funding or misappropriation of funds is not my issue of debate, but all these problems can be solved by spending money. what depressed me is the lack of response i got from humans.

after queuing at the check-in counter, i greeted the man behind the counter with a good morning. guess what he responded with.


not even a nod. he took my stuff, checked the visa and handed me my boarding pass after asking me a couple questions. hmmm, i thought to myself, he must've not heard me. very well. i moved on to passport control. again, i greeted the gentleman behind the counter with a good morning. he didn't even grunt. he stamped all the papers and handed them to me without the exchange of a single word. damn. i went up, felt hungry, so went and got me some cinnabon. again, i greeted the guy with a good morning, and got no response. now in all honesty i'm pretty sure he didn't hear me because he was busy preparing a new batch. i greeted him again when he was done, and lo and behold!, i got a response. he actually looked in my direction. i ordered, paid, and left. after the incident i started to wonder if i'd lost my voice and it was audible only in my imagination. i performed a test. i walked up and down the passageways holding a rather annoying tone as long as my breath would hold it, and surely enough, people were looking at me weirdly. seems my voice was working.

i simply had to place these observations in the blog. of course i didn't use the 8 dinar/hour wireless internet connection (thank God for gprs).

i think qaia is depressing because everyone there leaves you with the impression that you are about to enter a country stricken by 7 years of famine after 7 years of floods that were preceded by 7 years or drought. not everything, but everyone. now that is something you can't solve by spending money.

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