Never before had I been an “international” tourist, let alone “uluslalarasi turist”. How I had earned this trip, is a story for another day. Today am telling you about the trip itself.
The weeks leading up to it had been busy and wearisome, what with trying to get a visa.
Unlike the stress I would later learn to endure at the Ivory Tower during the pursuit of documents; this chase I had done happily.
My excitement was palpable. To say I slept the night before we set off would be deceitful.
I was voyaging with Hajjat, definitely one of my favourite people in the world; and to see us off, Hajji and a few other loved ones accompanied us to the airport.
The memory of the drive to the airport is a bit hazy. I remember holding my breath. Afraid it was all a dream. It seemed too good to be true. God knows why but I have a sharp recollection of stopping by a Forex bureau. Most probable is because I was getting a different currency from what I was used to. My first very own! To spend!!!
And then we were at the airport, bidding farewell. That day’s farewell embraces were different. It wasn’t the “I don’t want to go to school so don’t let me go” kind of hugs. Quite the opposite. For I was gleeful, nervous with excitement and filled with anticipation. After a dua, off Hajjat and I went.
I’d imagined myself in a plane hundreds of times; being a part of something really dramatic. This was courtesy of spending a big chunk of my early childhood watching Hollywood motion pictures and reading European-written novels. Even though my first plane ride fell short in comparison to my favorite action movies, it was undoubtedly still memorable.
Looking back, it’s the small ordinary things that made my flight historic on a personal level. The snacks, toiletries, screen, my neighbours… And oh! The aerial view!!! Breathtaking.
To Be Continued…