Saturday, August 25, 2007

Avoid O'Hare!

This is the second time in two months that I get stuck in Chicago! And this time around, every thing that could go wrong did!

For the first time, my Iranianness became an issue; and I was subject to gender based comments which I am planning to take up with a court. ("Oh good, I get the pretty one", said the homeland security half-retard agent, as they separated my husband and I to speed up the "tagging" process!) As a result, I had added stress of running around in that mad airport!

Then the tornado hit. Twice. Once when we were about to board. So they evacuated terminals, fearing flying glass, as the water was pouring down the ceiling! Second, when we were waiting to take off, and they had to evacuate the tower, thus cutting off our plane from communication. Thank goodness for cell phones; and for the movies I could watch in the three hours we were on plane until they told us the flight would be canceled.

And once the flight was canceled, we were left on our own: rebook your flight yourself, book a hotel yourself! Neither an easy deed! Two days of O'Hare shut downs and a long backlog of stranded passengers. Hotels were either fully booked or had lost power.

Staying up on a chair, however, gave us a good view of the lack of efficiency with which O'Hare operated. It seemed like an over-staffed airport, with excess laziness and overwhelming LACK of enthusiasm! Listening to the conversation of a couple of flight attendants who were stranded and left hotel-less was quite interesting. For 12 hours, America was marching in front of us.

In any case, as much as I dislike Chicago, Madison, Wisconsin was a little jewel. Only if it weren't that far, I would see myself living there. But I have the Tehran bug and I need noisy cities to be happy. Next time I go to Madison, I won't fly through Chicago. (That is not to say that the Northwest Airlines and Detroit are better, as I have been stranded there as well. But O'Hare beats all of my airport disaster stories.)

Now what is new?


Anonymous said...

though I like unforeseen delays, I am not sure if I want a hurricane, paranoia, bad manners and bad service in a single package...
[may be those people were having an off day... or perhaps you are an off-day magnet :)]

Naj said...

Usually I am not a disaster magnet and things go my way. This time nothing did!

But I had never seen such an extreme weather in my life.

And I had never been called a potential spy because of my "charm and intelligence", as stated by the retard agent!

Anonymous said...

Just Wrong Time and in a Wrong Place!

Naj, Just for curiosity forgive me, may I ask, why you went to USA?

Naj said...

Visit a friend :)

Anon-Paranoid said...

On behalf of my country I would like to apologize too you for sexist remarks made about you by the airport Gestapo.

On another note I would like too say I'm glad you finally got where you were going.

Take care and ...

God Bless.

Anonymous said...

For rude people, just come to Iran and deal with some of the government offices; you will be surprised.

pen Name

betmo said...

naj- hate to tell you but i think it is the entire airline industry- not just o'hare. every time we fly to florida from new york- we get stranded on the way back through the filthy-delphia i mean philidephia airport. last time we had to rent a car and drive 3 hours home or book a hotel room and spend the night. they weren't pleasant their either. odd that our luggage made the plane but they canceled the flight for us people.

other than that- not much :)i see that you have experienced the acute idiocy and global warming that america has made possible to the world at large.

Naj said...


In my recent visits to Iran, I have been pleasantly surprised with the improved levels of courtesy in public offices.

Luckily, I have not dealt with Gov offices. The universities are nice, the airport staff are nice, the taxi drivers are nice; but I know what you mean. I just hope I won't run into the misogynist ones anytime soon.

I don't know, maybe they are nice to people who come from abroad, trying to lure them back home.

But, Iran doesn't have legislations against discrimination and rudeness, so comparing rudeness in Iran to that in America is comparing apples and oranges. My expectation from America are DEFINITELY higher.

Anonymous said...

charm and intelligence makes a spy? I wonder what convinced them that you are not a spy? [ I am curious since there are a lot of immigrants there... How do they get around?!]

Larry said...

I have always hated O'haire and it sounds like you have a horrible experience.

I had a flight in Nashville cancelled recently at the last minute and the airline rebooked my flight, found me a hotel, sent a hotel shuttle for me and paid for half my hotel room.

They should have done that for you.

Naj said...

Larry, they do take care of passenger's who suffer cancellation due to mechanical, not weather!

Sojourner: As I said, the guy was a retard who needs a whip from his supervisor. I was in rush to catch my flight or I would have made sure he did get a beating for his unprofessionalism. I still intend to have him disciplined :)

Anonymous said...

"I don't know, maybe they are nice to people who come from abroad, trying to lure them back home."

Even though still good to see these things happen in Iran.

"I still intend to have him disciplined :)

Naj, you don’t loose any think did you thought writing to them of your concerns and unhappiness, ask for apology, I think they will take these things seriously may be they send you a letter.

Manas Shaikh said...

I hope their nose reddened in the court for the remark. Best of luck!

MarcLord said...


Welcome to America. (Madison is way cool. But I thought it was in Canada.)

Funny, I've never been complimented about my "charm and intelligence" while being searched, robbed of toiletries, having my sleeping child awoken, or further searched by airport security. Maybe it has something to do with my usually barely controlled anger?

My family was traveling in August of '06 when the ridiculous "Peroxide Plot" was uncovered in the UK. I knew it would never be safe to take shampoo on an airplane again.

Naj said...

You know MarcLord,

What DISTURBED me the most was their trying to provoke me "against" my nationality, against my supposed religion!

They were advising mr that I should bring all my family to America so I can give up my Iranian citizenship.

Making flirtatious comments to see if the Muslim in me would be offended!

And calling me a spy!

It was ALL to try my patience!

It was all with the assumption that any Iranian who is not looking like a Muslim woman would naturally hate her Islamic country! HOW STUPID IS THAT?!

But you know, I can't blame them! With the idiotic Iranians that are still hung over their 10 year old childish memoirs flooding the "literary" markets, and with their stupidity turning into best seller, I cannot blame Americans for having such a distorted view of Iran!

In Madison, I was PREVENTED from talking about POLITICS (Madison, the bluest of states, where impeach Bush is a fixture of urban space) my Iranian friends FEARED to express their opinion about politics! HOW LOW IS AMERICA SINKING?! It is beginning to look like the Islamic Republic of Iran, minus good food!!! :))

Pff I am getting angry NOW! :)

Anonymous said...


Since 9/11 the Americans are going around being afraid of their own shadows.

They now break their own laws, lie, and cheat.

I am not surprised that they have been trying to provoke you, there is a lot of prejudice in US - not just against Muslims or Iranians but also among their own native populations: Whites, Jews, Black, Spanish, etc. They have a lot of social problems in that country which is getting worse all the time.

In regards to the Iranians in US, what do you expect. They are weak spiritually and have lost their anchor.

Any way, u cannot change the world there; only brutal confrontation with Reality will disabuse people of their fantasies (I am seeing it everyday in Iran itself.)

pen Name

Id it is said...

I'm sorry you were subject to such moronic and ignorant behavior; I can understand how you feel as I experienced something similar when I was in New Delhi this month. I was harrassed for over an hour outside of the International airport because apparently my car had hit the car up ahead ( which it hadn't). The driver of my car (a rented taxi) was pushed around, abused and threatened but in reality they were only trying to intimidate me into compensating them for the (non existent)'dent' in their car. I sufferred this for over seventy minutes cooped up in the car in 100 degree F temperatures at the unearthly hour of midnight! I finally gave in and offerred them a thousand Indian Rupees and thadt did it!
The experience left such a bad taste in my mouth that it'll take me a while to think India again.
...but I guess it takes all kinds to make the world.

Naj said...


That is awful. But that kind of bullying is a symptom of the developing world. It's the economic disparity that causes it; it's a form of taxing.

I have that anxiety when I am in Iran, to be held at a threat and asked to pay up. be held up by official and unofficial crooks. Bribing induces the same violent feelings in me.

Last winter, when I went to Iran, Britsh Ariways lost our luggage. Sadly for my nieces, it was the one bag full of gifts. I figured it would make someone's Christmas tree colorful! And I accepted the loss. But in the back of my head, I felt, maybe I should bribe someone to get it back. Corrupt systems make us paranoid. Devoid us of our good will. Individuate us. Make us prays and predators. When I reach for my bag to bribe, I don't think of the next one's right that will be violated. The one who receives my bribe doesn't feel shame, he feels entitled. (I'm happy to have not been forced to do so yet; and I hope I never will) This is how order turns into chaos. Developing countries suffer it most because the gaps are wider; because they are chaotic by the essence of their immaturity. Old tribal morales and honor are not quite replaced with law and order. They are in transition. I look at them sadly. developing countries, China, Iran, India, Southern America are NOT occidental entities. Their political and economic philosophy of materialism is caught at a schizophrenic juncture that crosses capitalism ... well there is Japan ... Hong Kong ... who knows ...

But whereas I am forgiving of the corruption of the poor, I am not tolerant of the corruption of the rich.

Now imagine what all these recent stories of the "rich corruption" in the US are going to do to the social morale in America! We are bombarded, with images of these handcuffed millionnairs! I think America will be suffering ANOTHER crisis of identity soon: that its all good Capitalist system is not too sanitary nor saintly!!

And what shall they replace it with?!

nunya said...

So sorry for the foul up. Weather is bitchy everywhere, but according to the oil companies, there is no global warming.

Dudette, you didn't go fishing and eat the fish did you?

Anonymous said...

A popular joke in the United States of the late 1980s depicted Iran as a country that had for long generated substantial troubles for successive U.S. administrations. A U.S. President, so the joke went, had his State Department tasked with bringing him the U.S. government file on Iran. The Department was unable to find the Iran file under the letter “I.” The President asked that the search be conducted under the letter “P” for Persia, Iran’s pre-1933 name. As the second search also failed, confusion set in the White House whereupon an advisor suggested that perhaps Iran had been filed under the letter “U,” to which the President asked what it stood for. The reply: Ulcers.

Anonymous said...

"I can't blame them! With the idiotic Iranians that are still hung over their 10 year old childish memoirs flooding the "literary" markets,"

Oh yah you really need to see this to see who is 100years behind

Anonymous said...

Now imagine what all these recent stories of the "rich corruption" in the US

Watch your door hoome the corruption much graters by stealing the poor money and dress Mullah

Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, whose family rules over a vast financial and business empire. From the pistachio farms of his hometown Rafsanjan to huge oil trading companies, the ruling theocracy’s former president has used his power and influence to expand his wealth. Conservative estimates put his fortune at well beyond the 10 trillion Rial mark, the equivalent of $1.1 billion.

Anonymous said...

This is Iran today what these ladies have done to deserve these treatments?

You just asked some questions, you became angry and slashing US system all of that and you made it against Muslims and Islam (you admitting you are not a Muslim or an Islamic believers) so why all this fake propaganda and haters toward west, is better go back to your home country and experience some of very ugly things like these innocent ladies?

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi said she had asked the United Nations to investigate the status of women in Iran and accused Iranian authorities of detaining activists demanding more women's rights.

Iranian-American Journalist Faces New Charge in Iran

"If returned to Iran, she faces certain imprisonment, likely severe lashings and possibly even stoning to death. Her crime in Iran is her sexual orientation," said Peter Tatchell, of London-based gay rights charity OutRage.

Naj said...

To the Grumpy Anonymous:

I borrow from my comment on

And categorize you in group 4! ;)

Iranians, as you may know well by now, can be divided into 4 categories:

1) progressive
2) Retard
3) Radical islamist
4) Radical anti-IRI

The progressive ones acknowledge all the shit that is happening in Iran, but they also put it in a perspective. The have a sense of priority. One obstacle at a time. There are two flavours to these progressive ones. One Islamic progressive, the other nationalist progressive. These two groups have one aim in common: transforming the Iranian culture, politics and economy to a centralist form which makes democracy not only attainable but also sustainable. Many contributors of NIAC and CASMII belong to this group. These scholars also have much in common with the reformists in the Iranian Regime, who are willing to sincerely apologize for the wrong doings of the IRI. At present, these people have one concern: to make SURE Iran is not getting attacked. They are rightfully concerned. they very well recognize that behind the “ideologic” facad of US animosity with IRI rests economic interests. the aim in Iran is NOT to overthrow the regime, but to paralyze Iran’s infrastructure. In a way, they KNOW they cannot take on Iran now, so they are writing an Iraq scenario for it, to be actualized within the next 20 years.

Iranian Retards are those who wish Reza Shah the second will go back and clain the throne. They are also those who think MKO’s president “elect!!!” Maryam Rajavi can go back to Iran and claim presidency!! No need to discuss these lunatics!

Iranian islamists share much with American fundamantalists! They too seek an armageddon!
An American attack will bring closer the “return” of the Muslim Messiah!!

Iranian anti-IRIists share features with all three above!
They are similar to progressives because they care for Iran.
They are like the retards because they are hung up over Iran’s “poor human rights” records and lack a sense of priority in establishing a political infrastructure in the country.
They are like the islamic fundamentalists because you cannot argue with them. They have a blind sense of revenge against the IRI, and they are willing to throw the baby out with the bath water! They are completely INFLEXIBLE in the ability to ACKNOWLEDGE or LOOK at the progress that is made during that past 30 years; with a smack of Iran has poor human rights, they call anyone who opposes their Messiah’s attack on Iran, a terrorist!

On that note, I do not foresee a possibility for American attack on Iran; unless they are completely out of their mind and in search of total chaos! Which is very possible. It is for Americans to be vigilant. I trust there are enough good American citizens and patriots to not let their country overtaken by the neo-con agenda!

But history will tell!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Tuesday, August 28, 2007 3:40:00 AM:

Mr. Rafsanjani's family was wealthy even before the Revolution - he himself helped Mr. Khamenei & a few others at that time.

I think there is nothing wrong with being wealthy; our problem in Iran is that we do not respect the law; 100 years ago we wanted "Edalat-khaneh" and we got "Mashrooteh".

We are still far away from the ideals of 1905 Revolution.

pen Name

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Tuesday, August 28, 2007 4:38:00 AM:

While I greatly respect, admire and slaute the courageous Mrs. Ebadi, I cannot agree with her recent efforts to get UN involved in the issue of status of women in Iran.

The status of women in Iran, or indeed in any Muslim or non-Mulsim state, should be worked out based on the sentiments and traditions (social, legal, etc.) of that state and polity. UN has no bearing on that.

I think he initial approach, namely using the Islamic Tradition to create a more equitable dispensation for women in Iran is the most productive approach.

I cannot see how UN can make any difference in a country that calls boys "doo-dul tala", women "za-if-e", and in which 90% of the population desire boys.

pen Name

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Tuesday, August 28, 2007 4:38:00 AM:

Strictly speaking, Islamic Law is silent on homosexuality among women (so is Jewish Law).

So, this Lesbian woman does not have anything to fear if she keeps quiet. On the other hand, if she wants to act like those homosexulas in the gay pride march in Toronto, she will be considered "Mufsid fi al arz" and dealt with accordingly - and rightly, I might add.

"wa yan-ha mi'in al fahsha..."

pen Name

Naj said...


Mr Rafsanjani was NOT wealthy BEFORE revolution. There were HUNDREDS of far more wealthy people in the province of Kerman, whose livelihood was entirely CONFISCATED!

Mr Rafsanjani monopolized the Pistachio industry, while he was not even the pioneer of pistachio trade! Whith the boom of the green-gold rush, he became the leader of the new-rich!

He is corrupt! He is power hungry.

And no matter what you say, it deosn't wash his CORRUPTION!

And yes, he did help khamenei, and that is why he is holding him by the ...uhm ... ecxuse me ... balls!

Anonymous said...


Of course ther were families that were wealthier than his before the Revolution. And it was his family that was in the pistachio business.

You say he is corrupt, what law has he broken?

Islam is not against wealth, business acumen, etc.

pen Name

Naj said...

Having had a little Pistachio orchard, doesn't necessarily make you the OWNER of a business, that was run by LARGE families, before Mr Rafsanjani established his "kingdom"

I don't have anything against his wealth.

I have problem with the way he acquired it.

DRIVING OUT THE PISTACHIO OWNERS FROM RAFSANJAN AND KERMAN, on charges of FEUDALISM and ANTIREVOLUTIONARISM!!! Then, MONOPOLIZING the businees by funnelling everything through "sherkate pesteh".

You are not going to argue with me that people who have "connections" in Iranian governement will not have it easier to gather wealth, will you?!

Anyways, I am not going to discuss this disgusting shark, thief, murderer anymore!

Anonymous said...

Strictly speaking, Islamic Law is silent on homosexuality among women (so is Jewish Law).

Go and Read Quran man, go read about LOOT and His wife and why Allah destroyed that nation!!!

Off course you knew from Islam just Temporary marriage which is "your Islam is” Strictly speaking, Islamic Law is silent" and its not in Quranic teaching but your Khomeini and all those Mullah for convince attached to Islam.

What bizarre some one keep speaking about Islam appears to be he is selective and unknown what in Quran!!!

I don't have anything against his wealth. I have problem with the way he acquired it.

How he did it?

Yes Him and his Son help Udday Saddam to smuggled Iraqi oil and sale it across, oh yah he is very religious and very Islamic believers and he is a leader for Islamic revelation.

Is their more corrupt and more lies that all this, as I understand Muslims are been a Muslim from his behaviors and his attitude not by dressing like Mullah or he graduated from Qum or Najaf

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Tuesday, August 28, 2007 2:43:00 PM:

I have read the Quran and what you state is not there. There is mention of Lot but nothing beyond a generalities may be gleaned from the text - in my opinion.

In fact, even sodomy is not explicitly mentioned in the Quran (it is mentioned in Leviticus and in Corinthians - if my memory serves me correctly.)

Moreover, because of the silence of Quran on the sodomy topic, pederasty was an accepted Muslim practice for centuries. In fact, in the Persian language book Qabus-nameh, the Perisan Prince Qabujs ibn-e Woshm-geer, advises his son to "sleep with women in the Winter and with boys in the Summer." Also, you can read Abu Nowas's poetry in which he describes the enjoyment that he recieves by having sex with a woman while being sodomized by a man.

All of this has been part and parcel of Muslim culture for centuries precisely because it was not considered against the Quran.

To my knowledge, Islamic literature is pretty much silent on female homosexuality - I just do not recall ever coming across any mention of it - even obliquely.

As for temporary marriage I do not find anything woring with it - Sunni Doctors of Religion do not approve of it but they also do not approve of anal sex with one's wife. I am sure glad that I am not a Sunni Muslim.

Iran had no deals with Uday Hussein. What Iran did was not to enforce UN sanctions on Iraq vigorously. Thus Iraq could sell oil - the oil tankers kept close to the Iranian shores.

In regards to being "very religious and very Islamic believers" that is something that no human being can judge - it is no God's hands and he will know what is in their hearts. As a Muslim, you are there to preach the Message of the Prophets and not to make judgements that only God could make.

pen Name

David said...

Sorry about your airport disaster Naj. I heard about Chicago's bad weather here in Indianapolis. Indeed we caught a bit of it ourselves, but fortunately, all we got was a couple inches of rain, which we sorely needed!

It has been a few years since I flew anywhere. Big city airports in the U.S. are really becoming terrible places to have to pass through. Too many people are flying and they are crowded together for too long in uncomfortably small spaces. This country used to have a great train system. It was always on time, and it was a very efficient way to move people from place to place. Sure, it took longer to get to your destination, but sometimes a slower pace can be much more relaxing. I rode trains a few times when I was a small child. I remember it as a fun experience. I can still taste the flavor of the dining car hamburger. :) I really envy European countries that have excellent modern train systems. America has only one, the Acela, which makes a fast run (fast is relative - I think the train's top speed is over 100 mph, but it is much slower than French or Japanese trains!) between New York and Washington, DC. There are many short routes in the U.S. where a train would actually be faster than an airplane, considering all the delays at the airport terminal, and the waiting to take off and land. I have been wishing for years that the U.S. government would make some major investments in fast trains!

Naj said...

Fast trains? And then stop selling us Chevies?! Nooooo! ;)

Whereas I think a fast train between San Fransisco and LA, or New York and Boston is essential, I cannot foresee how trains can be cost effective for the US. You would still need a plane to go from Huston to Philadelphia!