A pack of chips

Regardless of whether we may support US foreign policy or not, we should not fail to appreciate the American people who are warm-hearted, welcoming and caring.

Saadia Qamar September 13, 2010
I was travelling via air in the US in March this year and it skipped my mind that in local flights passengers have to pay for their meals.

Very confidently, I asked the flight attendant for a pack of chips.

“Well, you have to pay,” she said. As I was about to give her money, she informed me very kindly, “We take credit cards only and not cash.”

The poor traveller in me was hungry but boldly let go of the pack of chips. Only for it to be returned with a smile by the flight attendant who said, “I often treat my special guests to a special meal. At least once in a day. Today, you are my special guest. Treat yourself.”

She went away but I was to ponder over the incident.

As I munched my chips, I thanked the wonderful lady in my heart, more aware suddenly of the hospitality that is genuine in so many people. Regardless of which corner of the earth they are from, they offer a hand of pure and genuine friendship.

This is not always true of governments though but we need to differentiate between them and the citizens of a country.

Yes, it is true that the American drones kill innocent civilians when the target is the Taliban. But we should not extend the same acrimony to Americans in general that we might feel towards the country’s foreign policy.

Regardless of whether we may support the American government policies or not, we should not fail to appreciate the Americans who are warm-hearted, welcoming and caring.

You would want to challenge that, I am sure. But can you? Just look at our own government and its policies and how different they are from the man on the street.
Saadia Qamar
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.