house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Babytoes Butch

A month ago, waiting in the Islamabad office of Emirates Airlines, to change our tickets (no luck, Emirates bamboozled us with small script and a huge price.  We gave up and put them on a black list, and dash the inflight entertainment.)
The office has all the accoutrements of smooth efficiency and comfort – carpets, water dispenser, tissues, air-conditioning, a machine that spews numbered tickets, colour-coded for business class clients or economy.
I take mine and wait. An age goes by, very slowly. Young people in Emirates uniforms sit behind their clerical fortresses – desks and screens and telephones. They use a lot of makeup, but clearly haven’t learned how to use a smile. I start to wish our travel plans hadn’t brought us to this office.
Then three men walk in and one word forms in my mind: ‘impeccable’. They are spotless, shiny, almost synthetic: starched long robes, close shaves, clear eyes, perfect haircuts. Some people, by their very presence, make you instantly aware of ALL your imperfections.
And then I see the one, the great, the truly, spooky thing about them: their feet. They all have perfect, pink, soft feet – the type you might associate with babies, supermodels, milk baths, Thai pedicures, daily seaweed scrubs, slaves and hot towels . If Dr. Lecter walked into the Emirates office right now, I'd shiver just the same.
P.S. The facts that these are young men, that their sandals are made of white plastic, that they may have been raised in rich Arab households, are incidental and secondary to the confirmed fact that they are all foot fetish freaks. They also have top-flyer golden business class tickets so they are instantly whisked away to a secret and selective Emirates heaven on the first floor. There, I imagine, the elite-customer lounge rolls plush carpets under their toes, may they stay soft and pink a hundred years.


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