Easter in Kuwait

I arrived safely in Kuwait after a stopover in Cairo for a few hours. I am spending my Easter Sunday relatively close to Jesus’ old ‘hood. I’m keepin’ it real this Easter.
It was quite an interesting trip. In customs they made me open my suitcase to examine my box of CDs and DVDs. It’s a little weird to try to explain the cover photo of my CD/DVD to a Kuwaiti customs agent. If you haven’t seen the cover or heard my prison rape joke, the photo definitely just looks like male porn. A big inmate is holding me from behind, both of us in orange prison jumpsuits, with the title “As Much As You Want” emblazoned above us for comedic effect, which I’m certain was lost on the agents.
“It’s comedy”, I assured them. “I would rape him back. Haha! Comedy!”
“Comedy?” one of them asked.
“Yes… jokes? I’m a comedian. I tell jokes, make people laugh.”
He examined the cover photo, not laughing, and asked “Comedy?”
“Yeah”, I answered, sheepishly.
Thankfully they let me go, I stuffed my merch back into my suitcase and I was on my way.
I walked out of baggage claim, scanning the crowd for someone holding a sign with my name. Alas, I didn’t see anyone. I saw one that said “Donna Concrete” but no “Ted Alexandro”. After about fifteen minutes I texted my contact to see what was up. After another forty minutes I was prepared to try to pass myself off as Donna Concrete.
I was told that someone would be there to pick me up. I knew
nothing beyond that, which looking back was not the best arrangement. I’ve had that happen before, though. When you travel as much as I do, snafus come up frequently and you learn to roll with it and not overreact. That said, it’s a strange feeling being in an airport, feeling conspicuously foreign and not knowing where your ride is or where you’re going. A Carribou Coffee provided an unexpectedly familiar place to kill some time.
Finally my ride, Hassan, arrived, apologized for the mix up and graciously loaded me into his S.U.V. His english was limited so when I made small talk about the weather being hot he turned up the A.C., which was unnecessary because the temperature was fine in the car. But you can’t really say “Turn it back down” after you’ve said the word “hot” to someone who misunderstood and was simply trying to accomodate you.
We drove in silence for a few minutes until he turned on the radio. To my surprise, Biggie Smalls unmistakeable voice came over the speakers “B-i-g, P-o-p-p-a!” I had to laugh as Brooklyn’s own serenaded me in Kuwait.
As we drove I looked up and spotted the moon, big and bright and about three quarters full. Just a few days ago I stood on Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria gazing at the moon through the telescope of a local dude who sets up a few nights a week and lets passersby check out the moon. He simply asks, in a very Queens accent, “Wanna check out da moon?” He’s real knowledgable and spews facts about the solar system, for no other reason than he loves space and astronomy.
Anyway, this Easter Sunday, as I sat in the front seat of an S.U.V. in Kuwait listening to Biggie with a guy named Hassan and looking up at the moon, I thought of that guy on Ditmars Boulevard and of how small the world can seem sometimes.

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