Have you ever tried getting a taxi at Kuwait’s airport? Di you try getting one at 3am when there was a line that went from here —– to there? Well my friend and I did just that the other day when we came back from our little getaway this past weekend. It wasn’t a pleasant experience getting a taxi in Kuwait, not at all.
Bear with me, I have lots to say. And if I come off unorganized, just know that I didn’t get much sleep last night.
We arrived late because one of the airplane’s “felanges” had some problems and the pilot wasn’t sure if it was safe to take off so he had to return back from the runway to the parking area to have it checked.
We arrived around an hour late and were rushing out of the airport to look for a taxi. No friend no matter how good he is would pick us up at 3am, especially on a working day. The problem was we didn’t know where to look for taxis, we didn’t know where taxis normally line, or if there were taxis at this hour in Kuwait’s airport to begin with. To our surprise we found a waiting line (one that went from here to there). We waited inline and parked our bags next to us. The line was mainly made of expats, and only 3 Kuwaitis: Me, My friend, and one other man who couldn’t wrap his mind around the waiting-inline concept. No matter how many times I mentioned that there was line and he should stick to it (7ajjy ako 6aboor.. 9of bildor), he just kept standing in front of the line and waving at every taxi he sees. Thank God no taxi paid attention to him. (he looked like mar3oob by the way)
The waiting went for well over 30 minutes because there simply were no taxis available. There was also a gap between every taxi and the other that stretched, sometimes, for an unnecessary 5 minutes. It was hectic waiting with all the hot weather and humidity, and it was even more hectic having to keep an eye on the brainless people who were all competing for ‘Man with least brain cells’ award.
When we finally were 2nd in line for a taxi, a taxi driver came along and decided to skip us all and go for the last person inline. The whole line was now looking at that last person inline, all in an attack mode. That person looked around, feeling like he was about to do something wrong, then looked at us. He stopped in his place once he noticed our blazing gazes. The taxi driver then motioned him over while yelling ‘yalla!!.’ That person then decided to lift his bags and head towards the taxi. I couldn’t contain myself and yelled at them both. I yelled first at the guy with the bags, which made him re-plant his bags on the ground, and look at me with bewildered eyes. “wenta ma9adagt nadaak chan tarketh! Mako door o naas 9aafa gablik?!” I said. He said some words that were carefully chosen to sound as innocent as possible. I ignored him and his lame excuse and yelled at the driver to pull back from the end of the line to the front to pick the lady who is rightfully the first in line. The English speaking lady thanked me and my friend and took that taxi.
Our turn finally came. Our long awaited savior had arrived. But our savior was old and sleepy. He also wanted to know where we’re heading before we could put our bags in the trunk. Mar3oob was still there, infront of the line waving for taxis and asking us “entaw lail7een hnee?” The shock came when my friend and I were about to get in the taxi. The driver was asking other people in line if “anyone else was going to Mishref, or some area close to Mishref.” The car wasn’t a van or a big car, it was an old crown victoria. Why the hell was he asking other people to join in!? I, again, yelled, and refused to share the car with anyone else. But the taxi driver turned to me and with the nicest way possible he plead “Laish ya weldy.. khalna entarazag Allah… Afa 3alaik bs.. lik 3alay awa9elkom awal nas… afa 3alaik..etc.” I knew I couldn’t argue with the old driver, he was nice and looked too old to have me refuse his plea. I couldn’t help but shrug this whole situation off and surrender. I went to the car, got in, and waited next to my friend. A couple of seconds later the driver was helping another guy put his bags in the trunk.
10 minutes later we were home. 20 minutes later I was asleep. And then 2 hours later I was getting ready for work.