Sunday, September 23, 2007

Another Strange Thing...

... and it's really gross this time. BE and I went to the airport to buy plane tickets home for Christmas. Naturally, it took much longer than it should have-- over 2 hours, actually-- but as we were paying, I looked over into a waiting area and saw a man who appeared to be nodding off. On closer inspection, he wasn't actually nodding, but sort of asleep and sneezing repeatedly. Before seeing this guy, my husband and I were trying really hard not to look at this fat old woman in a knee-length skirt sitting with her legs wide open so you could see her sensible white panties and mottled thighs. It was like a train-wreck and we couldn't stop looking at her.

So this sleepy sneezing guy provided some distraction from the old-lady panties. There were two long, thick strings of snot streaming out of his nose and he kept clumsily swiping at his face, but definitely wasn't quite awake. First, I pointed him out to BE for a giggle, but then it slowly dawned on us that the guy wasn't at all well, so we suggested to the travel agent that she call the airport infirmary. She did, and said, "They'll be here in about an hour." People sitting around the guy were starting to move away, which is strange for Turkey because usually crowds gather, not disperse, but the sneezing was worrying and the snot was nauseating.

Two security guards came by and some people pointed the guy out to them. They both puffed up with self-importance and went up to the guy, then saw the snot and looked put out at having to deal with this. The woman guard stepped back and got on her walkie-talkie with a disgusted look on her face, while the man guard went up and poked the guy a few times, saying "Bey effendi, bey effendi," but he didn't wake up or respond.

I guess the woman guard was actually talking to the airport infirmary on her radio and not her friends, as some medics showed up a minute or two later and went to work. "Drunk," said the travel agent. BE couldn't contain his curiosity any longer and scurried off to watch the growing commotion that everyone was still watching from a distance. Fortunately, the first thing the medic did was wipe up the snot.

"Yeah, drunk, " said BE as he walked back. Which was what everyone was saying, but I couldn't figure out how being drunk would make a guy sneeze like that.

"We get them all the time," said the travel agent. "Alcohol-induced comas. One time a guy got drunk and passed out and missed his flight. He came to my counter and said, 'I got drunk and missed my flight, what should I do?' and I told him, 'Don't drink!'" She shook her head and smiled at the obvious wisdom of this advice and said again, "Don't drink!"

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