customs, qatar palace style
at the base of the airplane stairs a smiling woman held a sign proclaiming "miss kitty" and "miss margaret". she guided us onto a shuttle bus. once inside, i grin. the men who aren't wearing their thobe--their long white robes and turbans, are dressed identically to me. i've nailed the local dude dress. the immigrant to qatar dude dress: flair pants, long sleeve patterned button down shirt and a sweater vest. all of us. but i'm jealous of the guy's vest that looks like it's make of shiny blue spun plastic.
we pull off the runway up to the airport. instead of the standard mile long custom lines, we are whisked to a lounge of comfy chairs and espresso. she takes our pastsports and baggage tags and we barely have time to use the restroom before she's returned. but we do go to the restroom. what we see there feels so instinctively wrong. the local women have left the purses on the public airport restroom sink while locking themselves inside of the stalls. just leave 'em on the counter. whoa.
so five minutes after landing and we're being walked past the customs line, and welcomed to the country. i haven't touched my luggage since new york and it remains that way. everytime i reach for a door handle i am tsked away.