Seriously now, has “rude” become the new “normal”? I think I should update my dictionary because everywhere I turn, it seems to be the same: just plain old incivility.
On our way to Dubai, I decide to take Mia to Beirut Airport’s LAT Lounge operated by Lebanese Air Transport where it will be more comfortable for her to take a nap since we had to check in early in the morning. We usually stay at the Cedar Lounge but this time hubby was not with us, in other words, no Gold Skywards and we were flying economy so we had to make due with the one other alternative available at the airport. And off we go up the stairs to the mezzanine and ask around. We get redirected to a shady hallway. Well it’s not like I expected some serial killer to suddenly lock the doors and eat us alive but it did look like some abandoned construction site. Actually, many of the rooms we passed were under construction. Finally we see a roll-up banner with airline companies logos in front of a door and figure this is probably our destination. We enter and all we see is an empty desk and a cleaning lady. So I ask her if we are in the right place and she simply replies “she is in the bathroom, she’ll be back soon”. Ok then. I decide to sit at a small table near the door, facing the front desk to make sure we see whoever “her” is when she gets there. A few minutes later, a fifty something lady comes in, eating off a plate she’s holding with one hand, and a fork in the other. She sees us so I stand up:
"Hello, is this the LAT Lounge?"
"First of all, where are you going?"
Excuse me? Are you really answering my question, with a question?
When I have Mia around in unfamiliar places, I try to keep calm.
"Dubai. Is this the VIP Lounge please?"
"What airline are you flying?"
OK, now you’re just deliberately provoking me.
"Emirates Airlines, can we enter the lounge?"
(Without looking at me) “Show me your boarding pass and credit card”.
Oh my God, I am going to slap the rude out of you, woman!
It appears she had never heard of the magic word. In her case, I would have loved to throw a magic sentence her way, along the lines of “Fuck you, bitch. Please.” But again, Mia. So in my most coerced calmness I hand her the boarding pass, credit card and our passports which she did not ask for, but I preferred not leaving her the chance to “kindly request” anything more. She pushes the passports away with one hand as she writes down my name with the other.
(Looking down at the credit card in her hand) “This is your credit card, right?”
(Still not looking at me) “Because you know, you cannot stay here under someone else’s name name like…”
"Like my husband, I know. This is not his card. It is mine."
(Staring at the card in her hand) “Yes, you know, we have to make sure of these things.”
Implying some nasty people outrageously dare to abuse the system she so bravely guards. I don’t bother to reply and just wait. She finishes writing whatever her super-tight NASA regulations require her to type and she directs me towards the lounge with a gesture of her hand and still not even glancing at me, says:
"The food is over the there."
Oh. My. God. Bitch.
Not “the lounge” or even “the buffet”. “The food”. “The (freaking) food is over there”. She was lucky Mia was sleeping on my shoulder that whole time. I take a deep breath and walk towards a couch to lay Mia there. We are closely followed by Mrs. Sunshine who sits on the couch facing the flat screen where a Turkish drama series dubbed to Syrian is playing. With her little plate in one hand and her fork in the other. She simply left her desk and sat in front of the TV. In her defense, it is the tiniest lounge I’ve seen ever, and I’ve seen quite a few. There is only one TV and one seat facing the screen. So really, she didn’t have the choice. Well, she could have chosen to stay at her desk, where is she paid to sit but I’m not the one paying her now, am I? Within seconds Mia wakes up so I do my best to keep her occupied, looking out the window, waving at the planes and cars. And she gets hungry so I go over to “the food” and pick up a yogurt, biscuits, a piece of cake and a croissant. I know Mia is not going to eat any particular one thing so I keep my options open. And I end up eating the rest. Without being vindictive or exaggerating, “the (now infamous) food” was probably a day or two old. To think I paid for that “service”. That’s it. I’ll take the uncomfortable chairs at the boarding gate any day versus The Food Lady. And Mia can sleep on the floor. Thank you.
I was standing alone (with no shopping cart) looking at a shelf of hair products in TSC Verdun when all of a sudden, a trolley hits my leg from behind, and without stopping or even slowing down, this woman shoves her way, literally on my knee. The aisles are narrow in this place, I know. But really, I swear, a simple “Sorry” would have sufficed. It was only me. No cart. No nothing. Just a single person, standing. A word would have been enough and I would have gladly moved away. Instead, that awful excuse of a woman just kept walking, on me (I insist) and without apologizing or even looking back, she continued shopping as if nothing had happened. Makes you wonder: would settling down with a pack of mad wolves in the middle of wilderness be more pleasant? Because right now, it feels like I am living at the zoo. On the wrong side of the fence.