Dubai, United Arab Emirates
We arrived at Dubai International Airport around midnight on Monday, after a 7.5 hour flight from Brunei. I tried to sleep but plane seats really aren’t, that comfortable. Every time I found myself drifting off to sleep a guy a couple of rows back would sneeze. Silent nights indeed.
The difference between Brunei Airport and Dubai wasn’t totally unexpected. There are shops. You can get water. There are lots of seats. A smokers lounge. And palm trees.
There’s also free wifi, only I must have been in the part of the airport it didn’t work very well. It’s one thing Brunei won. It had pretty good wifi. I’d told Juniordwarf I’d try to Skype him from Dubai between what would have been 6 am and 8 am Hobart time before he went to school, but the connection didn’t work and we missed out. I think I managed to send him a text message.
Transit in Dubai is fun.
We were there for about 2 hours. We had to get off the plane, walk the length of the terminal, gawk at the palm trees, turn right, go through security and bag scanning and make our way all the way back to the departure gate – stopping to pick up some water and tacky souvenirs on the way.
I think this is all part of the airport’s health and safety program, so that people have to get up and walk rather than staying sitting in the lounge. You know, deep vein thrombosis and all that.
When it was time to go to the gate, there was the mandatory passport check for everyone, and some lucky people like me got picked for the random scanning and bag checks.
One of the things that they do now with direct flights to the UK is ask you to power on any electronic equipment you’re carrying with you to make sure it is what it looks like it is. So I had to pull everything out again for the second time at Dubai, and power on my laptop, iPad and camera. This was the point I was glad I’d googled something completely unrelated before I left and had stumbled on this requirement, because it’s only been in place for about 3 months. If I’d not known about it, I would have had my phone with me, I wouldn’t have been able to turn it on and they would have most likely confiscated it.
It’s now 2 am Dubai time and we’re on the plane getting ready to depart for another 7.5 hour flight, which will see us arrive in London at 6.30 am UK time. Our hotel transfer will be waiting for us when we clear customs, and then we’ll be in England for real. I realise I’ve been mostly awake for 27 hours and I really need to get some sleep this leg. It’s 11 pm UK time now, so it’s bed time.
I just need to sleep until we get there.