Two Airport Lines

Two lines at the Lahore airport, as I was departing. I chose to stand in the foreign passport line, although I was also an unaccompanied lady (and thereby classified with the unaccompanied children and senior citizens).

I was, as far as I could tell, one of very few women traveling alone and managing my own bags. I had one big rolling suitcase, and another duffel tucked on top, and they were a little wearying to wrestle through the airport, but certainly within my capabilities, even though I was also sick. Most women didn’t attempt to move much in the way of bags — either they had men with them who did it, or they paid porters to do it.

At one point, there was a (slightly older than me) woman traveling alone, with something like five bags, and she had to get them onto the security thingie and then off again, and it was a lot of hauling and she was struggling, so I ended up stepping in and hauling the big ones for her. (No men stepped up to help.)

It made me think about strength and capability and weight-lifting — if society “protects” you so hard that you never build any muscles, then when you really need those muscles, you won’t have them.

But also, if you can haul around the laundry and massive cooking pots and and giant bags of rice and children and everything else in domestic life, odds are, you can probably haul a fair bit in suitcases too. Try it.

Lahore, Pakistan.

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