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Semi-Naked Men And Me

February 18, 2014

It’s not often that you stroll out of a airport lounge into a terminal full of semi-naked men.  They weren’t there when I’d gone in, but when I came out they were everywhere.

I didn’t really notice at first. I was a bit distracted as I was off to catch an aeroplane which had been delayed by 4 hours and I was keen to put the (lack of) delights of Islamabad airport behind me as quickly as possible. 

Then I saw the chap coming up the escalator.  He was elderly.  He had a white towel around his waist and a white scarf draped over his shoulder and that seemed to be that. 

It was a little startling, I don’t mind telling you.  Then I looked up.  The room was full of men wearing the towel/scarf combo.  You don’t find that at Stansted. 

Using my unparalleled deductive skills I sensed that this might have something to do with the Hajj (the ‘once in a lifetime’ pilgrimage to Mecca which is one of the 5 pillars of Islam). If the room full of half-dressed chaps didn’t help, the label that had been put on my hand luggage at check-in was something of a clue…


But I’m going to Birmingham!

Apparently the dress code is ‘two white sheets, both unstitched’.

That was what we called a toga party at university. 


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One Comment
  1. Sara permalink

    Ha! Wish I could have seen your face! Did you get to have the pleasure of any self brought food on board? In Africa this was often the custom when flying on Hajj…there was usually local fish involved;-)


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