I can’t remember your name. We met over a year ago at the Mohamed V airport in Casablanca, set for the same flight to Dakar, Senegal. I was alone and you were with a group of friends. Even in the crowded airport, you all were noticeable with your cool gear and striking build. I,however, sat in a corner in the boarding lounge, getting drowned in nervousness with each minute. I have a phobia of flying and I never really look forward to the suspension in the air for the long hours. I sat there, dreading the three hours and reciting all the prayers that came to mind.
About an hour after our scheduled departure time, we finally got in line for boarding. The queues were long and you were just beside me. While waiting, we got into a conversation and I remember the surprise on your face when you saw my green passport. That one time, I was grateful to have it on me, just so I wouldn’t have people remaining skeptical about my nationality. To you and your friends, I was the typical young Senegalese woman: tall, dark, slim.
We spoke for a while, sharing stories of our experiences in Morocco, agreeing and disagreeing on various issues. We discussed student life and were both excited to be going back to our families, if only for a short while. Our turns came and we parted ways to sort out our boarding details. I went ahead, walking at a funny angle, pulled down by my many bags. In my vocabulary, ‘travelling light’ was omitted. Thus, each time I travel, I’m faced with the hassle of carrying excess baggage. That year, I was lucky to have been allowed to convert some of my main luggage into hand-luggage, adding that to my hand bag and laptop case. You may stop shaking your head now. My mother has seen worse.
Just when I thought I couldn’t move a step further, you came by and took the heaviest of my bags. As is normal in our part of the world, I hesitated first, muttering something about not wanting to disturb you. Deep down, I couldn’t be more grateful for the blessing. I was glad chivalry wasn’t truly dead, as I was forced to conclude after many had passed me without so much as a look in my direction. We resumed our debate on the authenticity of my nationality. In the end, you claimed victory when I admitted that I had Senegalese origins. We got to Dakar and I wished you were close enough to help with my bags again. More importantly, I wanted to thank you for helping and perhaps get your contact details. I got round to doing the former before hopping into the waiting car, even as you advised that I stay in Dakar for a day or two to avoid the fatigue. Yours truly, however, was determined to cross the borders that same day, and so we parted ways.Your kind gesture did not go unnoticed and each time I’ve found myself struggling with luggage, my mind wanders to that moment. I probably should have learnt to travel lighter, but I always find more stuff to carry than the airlines allow.
I met you for only a few hours and can’t tell if we’ll ever meet again. I may have forgotten your name, but I can never forget your kindness and the burden you lifted off me… literally. I thank you!
P.S This is the 100th post on the blog! It’s been a beautiful journey and one that I haven’t regretted. Through Linguere, I’ve made friends and acquaintances who remind me all the time about what I do and how I do it. I’ve had readers who’ve stayed faithful from the first day. New posts also brought new readers and you all are the reason I got to this stage. Thanks for reading, commenting, liking, sharing and appreciating the work I do on here. I started it for fun and now, it’s grown even bigger than me. Here’s to many more years of blogging… hopefully on bigger platforms, about all things important to us all. Until then, I say get set for the next 100! I appreciate you all.