Conversation in Row 3 / Arrival

Let's back track for a moment to the Cairo airport. As you know, I analyzed every single Abaya at Gate G10. What caught my attention the most was the woman who walked in wearing black pants, a short sleeved black t-shirt, and uncovered hair, perfect make-up. Now I was jealous. How was it she could not even have anything? Then I was dropped back into Nadia's world and lost sight of the t-shirt woman.

Turns out she was sitting next to me on the plane. I took my seat and commented "so you're the one who gets to sit next to me. Sorry about that!" with a laugh and smile. She smiled and said hi. So we got to talking and turns out that she is Saudi born and was on a one week Cairo trip to escape the pressure of life in the Kingdom. We talked about my Kindle, I asked about Abayas, and she told me that she only wore hers at the airport. As animated and intelligent as anyone it was hard to imagine her life at home.

As we pulled closer to Riyadh, she pulled out her Abaya (no Garden Grove special, this was the expensive one) and put it one. I could almost sense her starting to withdraw into her other self. As she put on the scarf, her face was expressive with a inward resignation. The transformation was both fascinating and slightly sad to watch. We left the plane and said good-bye.

But I sure used her to find my way around passport control and customs by following her path. I was processed and out in record time. No one even questioned me it was stamp and go. Easier than Cairo! I got my pickup (4 guys in all) and we made quite the exit scene even though we were spaced well apart so no one would think I was with 4 guys.

Got to the hotel. You know you want it.

View from the Window:

And the other side: