Thai version

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

From the Past written by my dad thought it would be interesting.


Edwin Kime

Saudi Prison

It is August 1976 I had just completed a tour of Paris; I make my way to the Charles DeGulle airport in Paris. I climb out of the taxi I get my suitcases and make my way to the Saudi check-in counter. There are no others at the counter which is operated by Air France. I check my two bags and am given my boarding pass to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This is my first time traveling to an Arab country. I find the boarding gate number on my boarding pass and begin searching for the boarding gate. The boarding gate is located at the very end of one of the concourses. When I arrive at the boarding gate I settle in for the wait for the boarding of the flight.

The boarding gate waiting area starts to fill up with the passengers for the flight. They are a very mixed lot. A lot of Arabs in their normal dress some of the women in the normal covering in black and veiled some of the younger women are dress in the latest cloths they have picked up in Paris or Europe. There are a few westerners and Europeans also waiting on the flight.

After a very long wait we are informed that their will be a short delay to the boarding as they are loading additional freight on the flight. After the delay they announce that the boarding of the flight will start. Everybody rushes to the boarding gate. Boarding passes are checked as the people board the flight and locate their assigned seats. The plane is a beehive of activity as people put their carryons in the overhead storage areas and get into their assigned seats waiting for the take off. It always seems that the Arabs always buy too much and try to bring it aboard as carryons so they will not have to pay extra for the additional items.

The stewardess move through the cabin checking that the hand carry luggage is stored in the overhead luggage racks and that the aisles are cleared. Then they start demonstrating on how to use the seat belts and the other safety equipment and show were that the planes exits are located. When this is almost complete the plane is pushed away from the concourse. Soon the engines gain power and the plane moves toward the taxi way. The lights from the airport fade as we near the runway. The plane turns onto the runway and you can feel the power as the plane surges down the runway to gain take off speed. We soon feel the wheels leave the runway as the plane reaches take off speed and we are airborne. You are able to see some of the sites in Paris for a short while out of the planes windows. When the plane reaches the proper altitude it turns to get into the prescheduled flight route to Jeddah, which allows you to see some other parts of Paris that we are over for a short time.

I am tired from the Paris tour and am almost asleep when that dinner is served. The movement in the cabin and the noise keeps me awake and absorbed in the other activities on the flight. The large number of babies aboard crying keeps the noise level very high, since the babies are unable to balance the pressure in their ears. Soon the meal is completed and the nose level is lowered after the trays are removed and as the people watch the movie or try to catch what sleep they can before the landing of the flight in Jeddah.

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