When I finished typing, they made an announcement that our plane was going to be at a different gate. As I’m sitting there, waiting, I’m getting pretty sleepy. My phone is dying, but there’s no time to charge it. In front of me is a couple. A cute Asian girl and a scruffy blonde guy. To my right is a group of two girls and one boy. All of them were staring at me. They began to call each section, mine being last. I make my way through the line, hand the lady the sorta looks like Nicki Minaj my ticket, and follow the crowd.
So we board our plane. It’s crowded and the aisles are thin. Three seats on each row, three rows – in the Economy Class, anyway. By the way, it’s Delta Airlines. It was also a huge HUGE plane. The first class had some pretty cool seats. They looked like pods, where you could just sit and stretch out. They looked so comfortable…
I make my way to my seat. Middle row, outside and on the right. Next to me is the Asian girl, and beside her is her boyfriend, Scruffy. She smiles and introduces herself. She says, “We may as well get to know a little about each other since we’re going to be spending so much time together.” Oh boy… I thought, and not because I didn’t want to know her. Instead because she would be subjected to putting up with a restless sleeper, who sleeps HARD and wakes up wiping the drool off her face. I just knew it was an uncomfortable space and thirteen and a half hours on this trip was not going to make for a pleasant me.
I introduced myself, but kept talking to a minimal. I did tell her I was headed to India, but didn’t give many details. She was staying in Dubai with her boyfriend’s mom. She also thought it was great, what I was doing, because ‘We have to do this while we’re young. And thank god we don’t have any kids to hold us back!’ I mostly just smiled and agreed until she figured out that I was ready to be done talking.
So the assistants introduced themselves, and the video tutorial on ‘how to survive disasters you don’t want to hear about when you know you will be flying over an entire ocean’ started playing on the individual screens on the back of the previous person’s headrest. When that was finished, the plane began to take off, and lights were dimmed. Everyone then had the choice to play games, listen to music, watch movies and T.V. shows, or even check the flight information right from the touch screen. I picked the newest Thor movie, and watched it while listening to my iPod. My neighbor was turning up the volume on hers, and I thought, ‘Oh, can we hear it out loud?” Nope… And I didn’t figure out how to hear the movie, until about a third of the way there.Here you can see the monitors. 😀
They served dinner, shortly after. The choices were between Penne Pasta with Tomato Sauce (for the vegetarians), Spicy Chicken with vegetables, or Yellow Rice with shrimp. My first idea was to eat the Shrimp meal, because I really wanted the rice… But I chose chicken instead, because I wasn’t sure what the condition of the shrimp would be. It was so good! Very hot and spicy, and so full of flavor. After that, and clean up, the lights dimmed again. I chose a different movie. Then I just turned it off, because I wanted to sleep. I desperately tried to get comfortable, and I just couldn’t do it. I woke up often, legs asleep or numb. My stomach was rumbling and making loud and strange noises. I was too uncomfortable to sleep. No window to lean on… Getting to the bathroom was an annoying process… But at least the lavatory was completely clean, every time. I managed to sleep on and off.
They also served breakfast (I had coffee, a turkey and cheese sandwich and some fruit. There was also this crumbly looking stuff with what looked like raisins and peppers in it. It looked odd, but I tried it. Still odd… But good odd. 😀 ) and lunch. (I had a turkey and cheese melt, with a salad and a cookie. 😀 ) Over all, I can say that it was an exhausting trip, I didn’t sleep much. I was drinking a ton of water, yet I could feel myself drying up. Every time the plane was ascending or descending I had to close my eyes, yet again, and hum. It made me feel dizzy. In conclusion, I suffered. But hey, those flight attendants were super nice! And I later found out it was possible to view the flight in progress, live from each individual computer screen. I’m impressed, Delta!
We got to the Dubai airport around 8:15 PM – ish, as we were a little early. I passed through security and thought ‘Wow… This is so different from America.’ It was a new feeling, not having security completely paranoid and all over me.
I followed the crowd into the building and wow! It was really pretty inside! I didn’t pull out my camera, because I didn’t want to seem like the new kid. I wanted to seem like I had been there and done that, to avoid being targeted in any way. The first thing I did, was find a bathroom. I didn’t expect to see these toilets until India, but surprise, surprise!
Pillars were colorful at the base, and golden at the top. Fake Arabic-style windows were at the top of the high walls, with sunset hues and stars painted behind them. Guests from all over the world were there. I saw many Chinese families and friends (with the most interesting exchange between a Chinese boy and Korean girl), a Swedish family, an Australian woman, a man native to Europe who was planning on travelling the world (because he was bored)… The airport security drove around in golf-cart type cars, either wearing suits or full-length Saudi-Arabian style robes. (I’ll get back to you on the name of the garment.) Children from Europe (I assume London) were laughing and playing in the food court. Some women were in full-length burqas. It was all so fascinating to see.
I found a place to sit, in the food court, pulled out my laptop and.. My laptop was dead. :O My phone was dying – almost dead. Even if I could find a place to charge it (which I didn’t), my plug might not have matched the outlet. Because I was international, I had no service to text, and my phone just couldn’t hold on to any WiFi connection – and still hasn’t been able to. I put my laptop away, got up and wandered around.
I was definitely stared at a bit, there in Dubai, but it didn’t slow me down. I found a quiet place to sit and just waited, listening to music. I had a few hours to kill. There was a guy passed out on the floor next to me. He had the right idea. I’m not sure how he was that comfortable, or maybe he’s accustomed to travelling. As soon as he heard the siren on the golf cart, he bounced up and went on his way. I chose to sit, not completely alone, but instead close to a man reading a newspaper. He seemed kinda surprised I wanted to sit there.
I watched all sorts of people walk by, which was possibly the only reason I didn’t pass out in the first place. I was staring at a vending machine that sold coffee, when a man dressed in full-length robes bought a coffee from the vending machines and sat down beside me (in a row of seats with many empty seats) to drink it. There was no exchange, he just sat down, had his coffee and left. Oh yeah, there was also a McDonald’s and Starbucks in the airport. 😀 As I was sitting there, a group of boys came up behind me, and took a picture of me just sitting there. Then they started giggling like school girls. Ahaha… I merely laughed and thought ‘Enjoy that picture of the back of my head.’
After some time, I felt like I should be closer to my gate, so I got up and sought it out. On my way, I saw men and women’s mosques. Let me rephrase. I thought they were bathrooms, as they were just doors, with painted signs above them saying ‘men’ and ‘women’, but then they said ‘mosque’. Isn’t that interesting? 😀 That’s really great that there is somewhere to go, to pray, while you are on the go. Anyway, the area surrounding my gate was flooded with people. Two older women were dressed in brilliant white dresses, others just wearing colorful and faded clothes.
Two women my age, were wearing really pretty sarees. One had a green saree with purple accents, and the other women was wearing a bright yellow saree. She was so pretty – and her hair was so long! I found a seat at the end of the crowd. I listened to music again, and spent time looking around and fighting sleep. As I sat there, the cutest little boy ran my way. He was about 2 or 3 years old, with caramel skin, golden hair and golden eyes. He ran my way, turned around to run back and then noticed me. He smiled the sweetest smile and then ran back to his mom, sitting a few seats down. That made my night. ♥
They began boarding soon after, so I made my way through the gate and into a bigger room of people waiting to be invited onto the airplane. As I was approaching the window, the woman in the green saree left the woman in the yellow saree standing alone. I didn’t know why, so I stood by the woman in the yellow saree, so she wouldn’t have to be alone. Without exchanging words, she seemed to know my intentions and we walked side by side, keeping pace with one another, the entire way to the plane.
At one point, a boy beside us became unreasonable close to her. She seemed uncomfortable, so I stood behind her instead, putting some distance between them. He went from invading her space to trying to peel my backpack out of his stomach. That’s when we reached the plane…