The next day I was returning back to Dubai. I got up early and finished my packing and was ready by 8.30 and waiting to say my good-bye's and thanks to the client and everybody at his office for the great time I had in Jordan. My client's office is situated bang opposite the hotel and was to open at 9. I went there a little after 9 and finished my thanks and bye's and returned to the hotel to pick up my luggage and head to the airport.
As I entered the Marriott gate I saw a crowd at the entrance. I thought it must be for some event to take place at the hotel. I kept walking from the gate towards the long corridor before the main lobby of the hotel. I saw the corridor empty till the entrance of the lobby where another crowd had assembled. As I was walking down the corridor a tall gentleman, all of probably 6' 4" start walking towards me. He was tall and well built.
At this point let me describe myself. I'm around 5' 11" and only 53 kgs to boot. So you all can imagine how I would have measured head to head with that person.
I thought nothing of the person walking towards me till he reached me. I was concentrating more on the crowd at the entrance. The people seemed to have formed a circle around a person and there were flash bulbs going off periodically. As soon as he reached me he put his hands out straight as if barring my way further. I was flummoxed by this action. I asked him what did he mean by that and told him I was a guest in the hotel and I was going to my room. He looked back and noticed that the crowd had parted and started to move forward. He put his arms around my extremely small frame and had me in a lock which left me unable to move totally. He then proceeded to pin me against a large ornate pillar, one of the many which lined the corridor. By now I was angry and confused and started arguing with him to let me go. He just stood there impassively with out speaking a single word the whole time. It was also futile to struggle since he had me effectively locked in this arms and moving my lips was the only thing I could do in those circumstances.
Giving up, I started staring at the crowd that was moving out of the hotel. There was a distinguished short gentleman with a shock of white/graying hair speaking to reporters with microphones thrust in his face. All while the photographers were busy clicking his pictures. Surrounding that gentleman were more persons in black suits and of the same height and build as the gentleman holding me. Something clicked in my mind, but I still could not fathom the situation. The crowd passed the place where we were standing and moved further away. The person holding me let go of me and ran forward ahead of the crowd, living me confused and bewildered. I stood there for some time staring at that spectacle and then walked back inside the hotel.
I went to the reception and asked for my room keys and also what the whole incident was all about. The person at the reception replied "Oh, that, that was the President of Algeria".
I was stunned for a moment and also a little happy that I got to witness royalty at a very close range. Emotions took a different hue altogether from the ones I had 2 minutes back.
I rushed back to the room picked my luggage and came down to clear the bills and board the car for the airport. I reached the airport and was lost trying to find the counter for paying the airport exit tax. I asked a security person the way. He again asked me in Arabic "Wal Hindiya?" I replied yes. He came all the way with me to the counter and was chatting in broken Hindi and
English about Indian movies and Amitabh Bachchan. Very nice of him, but then through out the trip I found that as an Indian I received very nice treatment from the people of Jordan.
Boarded the plane and was back in Dubai 3 hours later.
Thus ended a memorable trip and also the experience with Z Plus security. Of course nowadays head of the state security is not as simple as my experience, still.............