The Boarding Pass – Part I
“This way sir, proceed to Gate number 18 for boarding. Boarding starts in 90 minutes.” said the pretty lady from Air Arabia’s ground staff at Sharjah Airport. I was travelling to Nairobi from Sharjah in July 2014. Generally, I like stopovers as it allows me to roam around different airports, try out local cuisines, do some duty-free shopping and relax my muscles after long flights. But 15 minutes in the airport and I found it very boring in all possible aspects. So, finding an innovative way to kill time was the only thing on my mind. “Eureka! I found it.” Let’s visit the Costa Coffee outlet and try chocolate croissants and then rate them on TripAdvisor.
I took my seat in a quiet corner after ordering a chocolate croissant and latte. The restaurant was mostly empty except for a middle-aged couple trying hard to pacify their child who was getting cranky over something. Now that I was not finding anything interesting, I decided to immerse myself in the 3rd part of Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larson that I was reading for a while. In 10 minutes or so, a lady comes and sits at a table nearby. I had a micro-glance at her and then was back in the book. “Why do you men want to read about abuse against women? There are better books than these.” I turned around to see if somebody asked me but nobody was looking at me so ignored it. “You didn’t hear me or ignoring is new way of listening carefully.” This time I was sure it was for me. I turned around to see the woman smiling at me waiting for a response.
“Oh! I am sorry, I didn’t realize you were talking to me. Come again, what did you ask me?” She winked, smiled and said, “Your boarding pass is on the ground, I just alerted you in my style”. It is not often that a pretty lady would start a conversation with you in a foreign land. I was compelled to do physic-psycho analysis of the lady. Results: Attractiveness (9/10), Hotness Quotient (9/10), Height (Around 5″8′), Ethnicity (Middle East), Psychology (Smart, Witty). The results allowed my subconscious mind to transform from a bookworm to a stranger on a mission. I picked up my boarding pass and started thinking about the 1st line I would use after saying thank you.
Trying to sound as stylish as possible, I said,” I bet you are a spy.” She asked, “What makes you think so?”
Me: “Otherwise, who would send a super-attractive woman to an average looking man and then know his name by stealing his boarding pass and then try to start a conversation with him to get friendly.”
Boarding Pass Girl: “You didn’t look so smart while you were reading and eating that prawn shaped dish. Did my presence brought so much change?”
Me: “See, I told you. You are a spy. You are trying to extract information from me” We both burst into laughter. “Join me on my table. Their coffees are tasteless, so you definitely need my company as a filler.” She got up as if she was waiting for me to ask. This got me quizzing. But then I had to keep going.
She: “So, what do you do apart from dropping boarding passes near gorgeous woman and able to trick them for a long conversation? Let me guess. You are a businessman”
Me: “How in the earth did you make that guess? Did I make it obvious with geeky looks and charming demeanor? I am indeed an entrepreneur. What does the pretty lady do?”
She: “Plenty of reasons actually but I won’t tell any of them”, she said that with a wicked smile. “And don’t ask my name, the place I am from, where am I travelling, my profession, etc. The lesser we know, the more exciting it would be.”
The sadistic thrill of the mystery woman enticed me. In these few minutes, I realized I did not ask her name. She was an amazing beautiful woman around 30 something. She had an attractive persona in all respects and most importantly her character made for an interesting conversation. She was definitely from a Middle East country with an upper middle class upbringing and more than that I could not decipher why she became so friendly with me for no reason. I had one more hour for boarding the flight. My gut feeling asked me to go on.