The recent bombings in London and Sharm Al-Sheikh, Egypt have stirred up a funny memory. Not that suicide bombings are funny. They are, in my opinion, abhorant acts carried out by seriously mentally-ill religous zealots.
So, when I write this story about my experience as a suicide bomber, please take it with a grain of salt.
Years ago, maybe 10 years ago, when I was living in Riyadh, I was out shopping one day with my friend, KD. There is was a beautiful store that we used to go to called Gazzaz. When you walked through the doors the air was perfumed with expensive fragrances, there was a HUGE chandelier hanging from the second level straight down through to the first, and there was an aura of pure luxury. The bottom level sold mostly beauty supplies, lipsticks, perfumes, make-up, purses, scarves, etc and the upstairs level sold household items such as crystal, fine china, jewellery and gift items. We used to go there quite regularly to kill time before running off to visit with our boyfriends.
So this particular day, we were hanging out at Gazzaz and we both had our overnight bags with us. We were in the store for just a few minutes when we noticed this really irritating noise: buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. We spent some time looking at make-up and such and then headed upstairs. All the while complaining about that noise: buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. So, we're upstairs and I say to KD: You know that damn noise is following us! It's driving me CRAZY! KD: I know what you mean! It feels like it's going right through me! But we were shopping, and tried to ignore the sound. After a few more minutes, I noticed that one of the shopworkers was following us. KD noticed too. But, that wasn't really so strange. As Western women we were often oogled at because our faces weren't covered. More minutes pass, the buzzzzzzzzzzzing continues. KD is getting more and more irritated, and the Freakin shopworker is still following us! I was starting to think that maybe he wasn't so much enthralled with our beauty, that maybe he thought we were thieves! Anyway, a little more time passes and finally the man comes up to us and starts pointing at KD's bag. He clearly didn't speak much english and just kept pointing all the while searching for the right word. Well....You guessed it: BOMB?! (Point-point, point-point)
At that moment, the light goes on in KD's face. She opens her bag and there, buzzing happily away was her electric razor! No wonder the buzzing kept following us around and she could feel it going right through her!
At the time we were hysterical with laughter and embarassment thinking how crazy it was that the guy actually thought we were carrying a bomb. Imagine!!! Us!!! Suicide Bombers!!! And if it were a bomb, did the shopworker think he was going to un-detonate it?!
I guess that was what security was like 10 years ago.
Today, this story would have a completely different ending.