Surprise! I now return from my trip to New York, which was thoroughly enjoyable.Fortunately, I did not have to go through any gruesome experiences at the airport. Chicago O'hare Airport is large and beautiful, but I could do without the sneaky what-are-you-and-what-are-you-up-to looks. This was the first time I saw the full body X-ray machine, but no one asked me to go through it. I was patted down instead. It felt sort of ticklish when the lady swept her hands over my hijab and shoulders. I had to keep myself from laughing while Humza made funny faces at me.
"I didn't have to be patted down," he snickered afterward."That's because you're not even strong or imaginative enough to do anything illegal," I replied.
The airport security took a little longer with Dad, but we were good on time when we reached the gate. Humza busied himself with his PSP and I with my iPod while Mom and Dad conversed about gifts to give to the bride's family.A little girl, maybe seven years old (I'm terrible at telling age), was sitting across from me with her Dad. I tried to shut away the envy I felt when I saw her holding an iPhone with a sparkly pink cover. That obviously could not belong to her Dad.
She looked at me curiously while I slid my earphones underneath my hijab. I smiled at her, but then she just kept staring at me. Man, I couldn't focus on the music. And then I remembered my friend Farah who never listens to music. Then I thought of my cousin, a med student, warning me that I'm knocking over the cilia in my ear when I listen to really loud music. Why do people make me feel so guilty?I got up to buy a water bottle just out of boredom and because I knew I would feel dehydrated in the airplane. Humza says I stick to my water bottle like a baby does to his milk bottle.
In the airplane, Dad and I sit together while Mom and Humza sit across the aisle from us."Abu, what are you gonna get me when we get to New York?" I asked.
"Beta, you already have a I-Love-NY T-shirt. What more do you want?" he teased."Reyhana told me they have no tax on clothes in New Jersey. I need to go shopping."
"No tax, huh? Well, we'll save money then," Dad mused. And he was right. Did you know Chicago's tax is 10.25%? That's quite a lot.We stayed over at a motel, even though the bride's family insisted that we stay over their house. But it gets crazy in a house where there are so many visitors and preparations going on. They were very polite to ask, but I'm sure they were dying to hear a no.
Dad has a couple of friends in New York, so we didn't waste a single second the next day in sightseeing. We've been to New York before, but it's been a while.For lunch, Dad's friend and his wife treated us over at their house. They have a beautiful house and adorable non-bratty kids! In the evening, we had the mehndi to go to which was super exciting! I picked out a forest green Anarkali suit and luckily, my dupatta cooperated with me so that I was able to form a hijab with it. The bride, Safiya, was very pretty and her friends performed graceful Bollywood dances for her. How can these girls have so much energy? They performed about 5 dances and then danced even more. Dad and Humza had already left before the dancing broke out; Dad doesn't think it's appropriate for them. He found Wall Street more interesting.
I must say the bride was looking much better during the mehndi than during the wedding. She was caked with makeup and rose garlands. I was hoping she wouldn't suffocate. But the Nikkah was breathtaking.I ate too much at the wedding, and I couldn't help it. There was so much variety. Biryani, Tandoori Chicken, naan, kabob, curry, tons of fruit, cake, kheer (which thankfully didn't taste like sugar syrup) and all the candies from the favors. I had to brush my teeth really well at night!
I made a couple of new friends at the wedding also and we exchanged names so we can keep touch through Facebook ;)All in all, it was a pleasant trip. I shopped like crazy even when my feet hurt!
The only downside was that I missed ISNA :( And it was in Chicago too! There were so many people missing at the wedding because they were at ISNA instead. Insha'Allah, God Willing, next time!Now I have to go make some sandwiches for lunch!
American Muslim Girl