Monday, October 30, 2006


All I have to say about holidays is that they don't last long enough. It was great to see my parents. It re-orients you somehow. Like suddenly landing on familiar, more solid ground. You feel safer, more secure and focused. Funny. I wasn't even aware that I had been feeling lost or insecure.

And of course, my mother & female relatives all insisted on sending me back to my husband like a new bride. There was so much excitement about it that I didn't have the heart to object. Even my sister got into the spirit of things. The hamam, the hena,the slumber parties. A few days of being pampered & beautified. And a farewell party too. It was almost like having a wedding all over again.

To be absolutely fair, my siblings and I always loved going back home for our holidays because of the royal treatment we get. The wonderful welcome, everyone wanting to invite you to their homes for elaborate meals, people bringing you presents and everyone crying when it's time for you to leave. As a little girl, I remember sometimes feeling guilty because I didn't feel as attached to my relatives as they did to me. I mean, to me they were just people we saw once a year for a month or too. I didn't miss them when I was away because I never lived among them. But they seemed to miss me, to have all this love & concern for me. I felt like a cold, horrible person for not being able to return these emotions with the same intensity.

Later, as I grew older, I came to realize that their love for me was really an extension of their love for my parents. They didn't know me any better than I knew them - but to them I was my father's daughter or my mother's daughter, their flesh and blood. I was family. And I learnt to care for them in the same way.

Anyway, if that's the way we were treated in normal circumstances, I should have known that when I come back as a new bride, I'll be even more of a celebrity.

As for the Crete getaway with my husband, it was just what I needed. Crete has been a dream destination for me ever since I read "My Family And Other Animals" at the age of 12. It is beautiful. Not commercial. Not touristy. Not as luxurious. But beautiful. I wish we could have stayed longer. But neither one of us could extend.

And now, back to reality. Work is reality. And work is giving me new headaches. The way things are turning out, I will be travelling again soon. I have to recommend a system for a client. Two potential vendors are in the States. One is in Europe. The hardware has to come from overseas. And two things have become very clear:

1) I cannot recommend that the client invest millions in equipment that I have not seen.
2) It's unreasonable to expect the vendors to fly everything over here at their own expense just so I can look it and see if I like it.

So the verdict seems to be I have to get over there. Europe I can handle. But I haven't been back to the States since I finished school. That was before Sept.11. Before Guantanamo & secret prisons & secret evidence.

Maybe it's irrational to worry about this but I transferred money using Western Union a few times before and after Sept.11. The difference is spooky. Before Sept.11, it was pretty straightforward. Now, they'll ask me for the strangest pieces of documentation. They'll make me go back and forth 4 or 5 times. And they seem to have a particular problem with my family name. I keep thinking maybe there's someone in the system with the same last name that they're interested in. And if that's the case, will they give me a visa?And if the Embassy here issues a visa, does it mean I'll be safe going through immigration over there?

I don't think I look like a terrorist but you read about all those people thrown in jail for months & years without being charged with anything and you have to wonder and many of them don't look like terrorists. Even if it's unlikely that things will go that far, I don't want to face being interrogated, strip-searched or otherwise singled out for abuse from among other passengers etc....I don't want to be subjected to that. I just want to do my job and come back home to my husband.

Who still has to be told am going away for 2 weeks. And possibly not coming back for God knows how long if the worst happens. And who will most definitely not be pleased to hear any of it.




Blogger Safiya said...

Glad to hear you had such a nice time.

Hope the travelling goes well, insha Allah.

10/30/2006 11:38:00 PM  
Blogger Haroun El Poussah said...

Welcome back, we missed the posts :)

10/31/2006 12:13:00 AM  
Blogger Puppy said...

Welcome back and i guess Bon voyage:)

Hope your last name is not Laden and you will do fine with your further business trips. I think your husband will understand your absense. I know it will be hard, but marriage also includes separations, and there are good separations after you both will realize how much u love each other and how u miss each other and wont take being with each other for granted.

all the best,


10/31/2006 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Alluring said...

Since i haven't been working since i got married, i never went any where, but i remember how upset the husband used to get before.

It's really weird on how men give reasons and make it sound so normal when they go on business trips, but when women do, they seem to have a big problem with it.

10/31/2006 09:40:00 PM  
Blogger SaRaH said...

Welcome back. The headaches at work is just normal you being away for a while just makes it kinda unusual. I hope your trips go fine I know what a pain it is to travel for work after a vacation trip. But hey Been there done that seems in order.
do not worry about prison we will come visit.

11/01/2006 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Safiya said...

Btw, what happened to Herlock Sholmes's blog and Gitana's?

11/02/2006 12:33:00 AM  
Blogger Alina said...

Lou, glad to hear you enjoyed your vacation so much. As for the states, I am sure they won't see anything suspicious in you! :) Also, please check your email, I've sent you a message that needs a reply from you :)

11/05/2006 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

Reality....yuck. Have a safe trip.

11/06/2006 10:50:00 PM  

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