Talking Turkey with Turki

Me: What’s your name?

The male flight attendant: “Your Thanksgiving chicken.” 🐓

Me (I smiled and look down at his name tag. Sure enough...): “Turki” (pronounced turkey 🦃...just like our thanksgiving chicken. 😏)

My flight from Dulles was a smooth one overall. The Saudia flight attendants were like movie stars. The ladies were all gorgeous and they wore beautiful white/blue work outfits and an attractive combination of navy blue headscarf and hat.🧕 The men were so handsome, nice and charming. Turki even offered to bring me turkey during Thanksgiving!

The two stressful points were when I landed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for my 11.5 hour layover to Dubai and when I went through security with my wheelchair repair kit. When I landed in Jeddah, the airport personnel told me they shipped my wheelchair to Dubai. But I gave them my gate-check tag showing them it was sent to Jeddah. I suddenly felt very helpless if I really had to sit in one place for nearly 12 hours and be totally immobile. Fortunately, they went to look for my wheelchair at baggage claim and sure enough, they had my wheelchair!

The second stressful part was when I went through security and they told me they had to throw away some of the key tools I packed in my repair kit. The Jeddah Airport is actually quite small. There’s a nice Saudi Arabian Airlines lounge/nap room where wifi, food, and beverages such as water, juice, coffee and tea were provided. They also had little beds where people could take a nap. One side of the room was dimmed and the other was lit for those who wanted to chatter. I think only certain people were allowed in there because It was not crowded at all. I decided to go through security and meander around the stores to see what I was missing out. When I saw that I had left the luxurious transit waiting room for a crowded, noisy, and relatively small airplane gate waiting area, I went out of security and went back to the comfortable lounge to take a nap.

Apparently this was a mistake because when I went through security again, they wouldn’t let me take some of my crucial repair tools. When I insisted, they said I could talk to the security people downstairs. So I went downstairs and one after another they said “You made a big mistake by leaving security. Going through with those tools one time is fine, but a second time is a problem.” Another of the security guys, trying to help me said, “just tell them your wheelchair is broken and maybe that way they’ll let your tools through”. So I went upstairs and did that, but, this time, they not only refused to let my tools through, they also refused to let my wheelchair go through security. I had to go back downstairs to check my wheelchair. Luckily my wheelchair didn’t fold, so their head of security said they would let my wheelchair go through security again. And they boxed 📦 up my little tool pouch and checked it so that it would be in baggage claim.

I just arrived into Dubai at nearly 3 am local time to find that both my wheelchair and repair kit was intact. I wish I didn’t experience all that stress, but at least everything worked out. While I was talking to all those security people, I met an older man who lost his passport. I hope he’s finds his passport during the last second.

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