Started At 8am and published at 7pm

Its 8 am and -4 degrees outside. I’m sitting in my hotel room drinking black coffee trying to will myself to get off my bum and shower and get dressed. I slept so much last night! this is what happens when I am on another continent to my children. If you’re a mother then you will understand that when you have little children you sleep but not really. There is a lever of your subconscious which always stays wide awake listening for a cry or a weird sound at night that pokes the rest of you awake the moment it happens. 9 times out of 10 it’s nothing. No 9.9 times actually but its wired into mothers and that means that even if you sleep your not fully asleep. (or maybe I’m a bit paranoid, God knows!).

So here, across the ocean and thousands of miles away, I slept an obscene amount of time last night and I love it.

I called my children only to find out that S is travelling with his uncle tomorrow for the long weekend. M is taking B and K away as well to the sea side and J is staying in Riyadh because she’s a brides maid in a wedding over the weekend. So by tomorrow my mini family will be on three different continents!

My flight over here was not bad. The best part was the layover in Dubai. I saw my sister and my beautiful nephew whom loves me more than any of his aunties because he knows I’m his best friends mother (just saying). We had a great day, an amazingly yummy dinner and I Hated leaving!
My flight was supposed to take off at 8.30 am the next morning but there was a long delay because of “problems with passengers”. Thats as much info as we got. Of course my imagination ran wild with images of crazy passengers refusing to get on, off the plane or some celebrity doing something insane or something equally as interesting. WHat probably happened is someone missing the flight but my version of what it was is more interesting. We finally took off an hour later.

I flew on the huge Emirates airlines plane which had us packed in like sardines but the seats were very comfortable. I didn’t get to see the first class suites and the huge bathrooms there. Was planning on taking a little walk but when we took off a woman came on to the PA system and told us that we are not allowed to walk around or congregate in groups or hang out around the bathrooms or do anything suspicious. So decided my little Saudi self was not going walkies. The rest of the flight was peppered with warnings and rules we must abide by. Someone stood up when the plane stopped but before the seat belt sign was off and he got a stern telling off over the PA.

I personally was dreading the immigration check. I hate immigration checks anywhere in the world they are all taught to be horrible and I am sure they try and goad the person in front of them. Not sure if it’s because I am from Saudi or if they are like that with everyone. So I got a man who was less than polite with me. He said “why are you in NY” I said, because I was nervous, “to meet my mother.” so he put the passport down and looked at me and said ” To. Do. What?!” So I told him in detail about my mother’s doctors appointments and if he let me I would have given him our whole family history. Then he asked “what do you do in Saudi Arabia?” I said “I am a mother of 4 children… so that’s what I do” or the short version of it anyway. He looked through my passport and said “You travel a lot for a mother of 4 children” and I am thinking seriously? You’re going to judge my parenting skills at the border of NYC? “yes, they travel with me most of the time” I said reminding myself that I have to be polite regardless of what he says because the end goal is to get into NYC. I should have said “do you know where they’re going to be tomorrow? One will be in france the other in the eastern province. and on that note do you know where other members of my family are? we’re a cosmopolitan lot we are”

I remember once going into London the immigration officer was really especially rude that day. He kept insinuating that because I am from Saudi that I have loads of money and do nothing in my life. He kept saying things like why didn’t you come on your private plane? and where are all your maids? So when he asked why I was in London I said “I had so much money just laying around I figured I’d come and spend it all on a shopping spree! I mean what else can I do with it right?”.
And funny enough in London, and I see in NY as well, The immigration officers are immigrants themselves with heavy accents. How interesting is that!

Oh! another thing I found out this time travelling, my theory that the SSSS’s on my boarding pass always means I will get check is correct as the man helping me find the gate told me “you better hurry, the S’s mean they are doing to check you before you board”. So I always seem to get the “random checks”. I mean Every Single Time I come into the USA. There must be someone out there who shares my name who has done something at some point to warrant my name being flagged Every time I am here.

So here we are, in NY, missing my kids but excited about whats outside my hotel! SO in order to go see it I have to get up and get ready!

Got up and got ready and left for a long day with my mother. We had lunch at Fred’s in Barney’s where they have the best pizza with aged balsamic vinegar (trust me it’s insane) and then I dropped my mother off at the hotel and went on a shopping spree in FAO Swartz where I got all the gifts out of the way… for now. I found lollypops with insects in them. One with a scorpion, one with a worm and one with a cricket. Wonder if any of my children would actually eat them!

I feel like I should be getting ready to go out for dinner or something but all I want to do is get ready to get into bed! Is that sad? I am on my second jar of hotel gummy bears today and am thinking of ordering a hot chocolate and watching a movie. BLISS! I’ll go out to dinner tomorrow.


  1. I can emphasize all too well for your experiences at security and immigration. My husband and I were always stopped and searched extra…and that was in spite of his diplomatic passport! I remember one time at Dulles Airport I went ahead of him through security. I was pretty much waved through. He was behind me and of course was getting the full degree of search. I waited for him when one of the security guys saw me and told me I was free to go. I responded I was waiting for my husband. When he realized my husband was the guy getting the extra search he motioned me back in and said I needed to be searched again too! Yet, by comparison, I have always been treated with such respect, ease and SPEED when I’ve gone through Saudi customs. c’est la vie.

    Have a good trip!!!

    • I’m totally convinced it’s got something to do with someone who has the same name. Because I get the whole shabang every time. I once even had the dogs brought over to sniff my stuff lol. Having said that they always search my husband as well but that’s not surprising he’s an arab man in his 30’s. The worst part is getting checked to get ON a flight from the USA. Then it’s just ridiculous with every nook and cranny of our hand luggage searched, our children searched, the baby searched, etc. Our tactic is to give my husband the youngest of our children to carry and I would get into another line at the security checks with the rest of the children and they would inevitably speed up his search. I remember I was going through security check once with S who was 2 at the time and they checked him then made me let go of his hand to check me and he was wondering off and I was frantic and annoyed as they wouldn’t let me hold his hand to keep him in place and took their sweet time checking me. He wandered into a shop and walked out with a stuffed toy!!! ANd I was stood there with my arms our and the woman patting me down. I could have kicked her I was so angry.

      • That is unconscious-able that security would just allow your child to take off while you were retained!!!

        I know that we were always detained because of Abdullah’s nationality. It both saddened and angered me yet my dear husband always told me in his kind way that security was just doing their jobs and not to get upset.

  2. I am not Saudi but can not travel (lake of money), and if I could even if the security was so difficult and etc…I don t care much! I can travel!

  3. Wow and I thought we had it bad.
    And I agree about it being particularly unfathomable why another ‘brown person’ who judging by his or her accent recently migrated, can be so harsh.
    Anyway, enjoy your trip! I hope it is sucessful, inshallah!

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