I dropped into Wetherspoons at Heathrow airport with the intention of enjoying a pint of Old Speckled Hen before my long haul flight.
I found myself sharing a table with two young ladies - Nadia and Amira. Amira was having difficulty getting into one those irritating little sachets of tomato ketchup. Suddenly a projectile of red sauce launched itself into the air before landing all over a horrified Amira, across the floor, on my flight bag and on the sleeve of my newly cleaned cream jacket! That broke the ice well and truly!
It turned out they were sisters in their early twenties and they were stuck at Heathrow for a four hour stopover during a journey from Kuwait to Chicago.
Kuwait is their natural and spiritual home, and they had been visiting their family there. In Chicago, Amira is studying education and Nadia has graduated in Philosophy.
They clearly lead two completely different and disparate lives. They showed me photos of themselves at home dressed head to foot in modest black. Yet sitting in front of me then were two girls who looked as American as the forth of July. All jeans, bright colours and pink baseball caps!
Yet there in London they were in a sort of limbo. Stranded between two existences - two different sets of values and two contrasting cultures.
Nadia and Amira, thankyou for making my time at the airport so enjoyable, and I wish you all you wish for yourselves whether it be in Kuwait or in the States.
Oh yes - should I send my cleaning bill to you or your father?