Wednesday, November 10, 2010
November 10, 2010 The Flight to Germany!
I arrived at SeaTac and moved swiftly through the line. I found my gate and all was easy. That should have been a warning for me since nothing should be that easy during international travel. I boarded my super amazing business class seat and pulled out my Ipod and book. That’s when it began. The Total Panic…and I was not alone.
The gentleman who took the seat next to me was from the Middle East somewhere by his attire. No problem. I will admit I was a tiny bit apprehensive but my rational brain took over and I decided I was being silly. This is a man who belongs to a very peaceful religion and I refused to give into the stereotypical reaction we American’s have to a Muslim on a plane.
I smiled at him and said good morning. He just looked at me as if I had insulted his mother. Ok…I thought…this is better I guess than sharing a 13 hour flight with a beef salesman from Iowa! I’d take the silence over cattle talk any day!
Let’s name this man Manmeat (a reference to the insanely funny NBC show Outsourced)
Manmeat took out a little velvet bag and I of course was watching with much interest. He pulled out a small book with golden Arabic looking letters, a veil, and what looked like a headlamp. He assembled his gear and began to bow and pray at his seat. He was reading out loud, bowing and praying. He had three feet of leather cord and was wrapping his forarms over and over again. OMG! I tried to remain calm. I didn’t want to think the worst. I know that Muslims pray a lot, just never had someone pray and bow out loud next to me on an intercontinental flight.
The other passengers began to turn and look. I made eye contact with several passengers and tried to express through facial expressions that I had no idea what was going to happen or what Manmeat was doing. They looked at me like I should have an answer because I was sitting next to him. I just got my big “I don’t know” eyes on and shook my head slightly indicating I was as lost as everyone else. I sure as hell wasn’t about to interrupt his prayers and ask him if he was making peace with his maker and if I should bow my head and do the same.