Dear Airport Security Officer,
I noticed your slim shirt, sharp tie, and crisp hair from the passport check queue and found myself wondering if your shoes are as polished as your upper body. I’m not a freak or anything, but I find that distracting myself and letting my imagination run wild (safely wild, I promise) helps minimize the waiting time. At some point, we all walk up to your colleagues at passport check and answer politely when we are asked “How are you today?” Distracting myself can make the 30-minute wait feel more like 30 minutes and less like seven hours, especially after travelling halfway across the globe, with a few layovers for fun, to reach the queue.
That’s why I had a spark in my eye when you smiled at me and pulled me aside.
You noticed me too!
Yes, pull me to one side, let’s talk! I just hope you don’t smell my breath!
It doesn’t seem like you’re interested in mundane everyday things like the smell of my breath, though. You’re deep.
You’ve done this before, haven’t you, you cheeky flirt! You ask me where I’m from, where I’ve been. I like a man who’s interested in my roots, you never really know someone until you know where they’re from.
Why am I here? Well, I’m here to study.
See? I’m deep too! I’m looking to be englightened!
And judging by the questions you’re asking me now I think there must be some real chemistry between us. The way you look at me while I tell you about myself. Every. Detail. Of. My. Face. There is definitely some chemistry here. You definitely like me back.
Twenty minutes in, I don’t care if my friends are waiting to pick me up outside, I don’t care. I feel like we’re connecting here, Airport Security Officer.
I know, it’s such a fucked up situation back in my hometown, isn’t it. We have pubs and everything, and it’s safe, just that maybe sometimes it can be dangerous.
Oh I don’t know why it’s dangerous, A.S.O! I’m just a kid with a few dreams. You think I care about what goes on back home? Let me tell you now I do not. The reason I’m here is to enjoy the life you have made for yourself. You have free healthcare, a multi-cultural society (I saw that on the brochures!), what a life-loving, peace-loving, open-minded, supportive, and dare I say sharp-looking country (although I still haven’t seen your shoes – are they designer?).
I thought I was here to study and learn and make the world a better place. Having met you, I think I just want you to like me and take me in your arms.
Let’s live your dream together, ASO.
You ask me what my dreams are, and I feel like it’s getting a bit hot in here now. Are we going to kiss under the big UKBA sign? How Romantic! Mistletoes are too mainstream.
Well, dear A.S.O., my dream was to be a student again, and to think about the things I want to think about.
But now I met you, and found you’re so interested in me, everything’s changed.
My dream is to come see you every three months in case you ever choose to ask me out for a micro-beer. It’s to let you know where I’m staying as soon as I can, just in case you want to come over one day (I make tasty exotic foods, wink wink). Fuck it, I guess I have to do something else with my time while I’m here, so might as well give this studying business a shot. My dream is to tell you about every single minute that I spend working, because you care about me, because you care for my mental health, you care that I don’t overwork myself. You want me to learn don’t you, ASO, I knew you cared about me as soon as I saw that smile.
Nice teeth, by the way. The more we talk the more I get the impression your shoes are not going to disappoint once I get to see them.
I know, I’m such a good Platonic lover aren’t I. It’s my parents, man, they raised me to be like this. To make sure that the person I’m in love with is happy with our relationship. Who needs privacy when you have love like this?!
Oh wow. This is getting serious now, you’re asking about my parents. They’re great people, I’ll tell you all about them. This is confusing me a little bit, though, shouldn’t you at least like buy me a drink or something before we start bringing the families into this? It’s only been two hours since we met, and I know this is love on a level I have never experienced before, but come on let’s take this slow and steady.
Or you know what, fuck it. I realize now that I’ve never experienced love like this probably because we don’t do love like this back home. But hey, who am I to stand in the way of love and passion in the UK, huh!
You know what, I get the feeling you’re not that much of a player after all. I can see what you’re trying to do here. You’re going to go to my parents and ask for my hand in marriage aren’t you. Do you have gay marriage here? Okay, I’ll pretend to be naïve and I’ll play along. We don’t have postcodes back home, but I’ll tell you how to get to my house.
I have to warn you, they might be a little bit surprised when you first show up, but they’ll love you I’m sure – especially with that smile you have you charmer. What tooth paste do you use?
See where I’m from this kind of thing doesn’t happen every day, but I guess that’s why I’m here aren’t I. To learn to love, to learn to be like you, have a sense of style like you (not too corporate, but still sharp), to speak like you, smile like you, to love like you, to be loved like you.
And then, in a few year’s time, when I have to go back home, I’ll let you know about that too, and maybe you’ll come with me. Our streets are nowhere near as cultured, historic, or clean for that matter, but we make exotic foods – have you heard of zaatar?
But even if you decide not to follow me back to my hometown, dear ASO, I’ll forever cherish you and what you’ve taught me about love and relationships.
Yours obediently, gratefully, and sincerely,
Image Source: CC Licensed image by Ilona Gaynor, on Flickr