I’m up in the air again. About a few things. But right now I’m leaving the furnace desert heat to a more tolerable summer climate, like only 95 deg F and humid. The Emirates Airline terminal in Dubai is about as modern and efficient as airports have gotten. It’s the first time I’ve checked in with a boarding pass on my mobile device, although one can do that most places in the world. The immigration and security processes were all of five minutes. That may not hold true for the other terminals here, but as Emirates is their signature, they pay attention to the details.
But not all the details. This time they took away my tiny trimming scissors at security (but give out metal knives with the meal onboard). However, I could pass by with a large water-bottle and other creams over the 100 ml limit. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of consistency. On the flight from Bangkok to Dubai, (bkk quite detailed at security) they apparently didn’t do the full check on the guy sitting next to me. An Australian guy living in Rangoon and I were chatting about five hours into the flight when there was a loud muffled “boom.” The Arabs around us continued jabbering like nothing happened. The Aussi wondered too what the loud noise was then he reached into his pocket and pulled out bits of a lighter which had just exploded.
Anyway, the flight left at 2:50 am, and the large terminal was jammed packed as most of their flights take off and land somewhere between midnight and five a.am. Most but certainly not all. Boarding the new A380 was confusing. The new Airbus full double deck plane seems to have than a half dozen entrances on two levels.
At 37,000 feet, this nine hour flight is nearing its end. The economy section seats about 400 passengers, business class another 75, plus the first class suites — it’s all full. I’m towards the front of economy watching one of the flight attendants at his computer terminal neatly tucked in a cubicle area. Again, the lavatory to passenger ratio superior to most airlines — which is certainly a relief to the poor woman on the inside of my row. I’m on the aisle seat of a three-seat row and the two on the inside are up and down like yo yo’s. They don’t get up together. When one gets up, I’ve got to get up. The other one usually waits until I sit down until he asks to pass so I get up again. And then of course they return at different times. No one else in this entire section is so active to the lavatory like these two. At least it gets me stretching, although they were really interrupting some needed sleep.
I made the mistake of ordering a special meal (seafood), thinking it would be softer. They bring the special meals first before serving everyone else. The attendant comes up to me and asks, “sir, you ordered a special meal?” I had been dead asleep so she woke me. As is usual when sleeping, my mouth and throat get super parched. I couldn’t answer her as I couldn’t talk with the parched throat. She couldn’t know this and asks twice more, in a rather loud voice whether I ordered a special meal. Finally I was able to retrieve the water-bottle from the bag under my seat, take a swallow and tell her, in a voice barely audible, that I didn’t want to eat.
She then asked twice if I wanted to eat it later. Meanwhile, it seems like everyone around me is paying attention to the (mostly one-way) dialogue. I take another swig of h2o and say, as clearly as I could muster, “if you can save it until later, great. if you can’t, then dump it. right now it’s 4 a.m and I’d like to sleep.”
Anyway, hopefully all this time spent up in the air will produce something that is not so up in the air.