Oz: transit time in Dubai

0100 – 0930 was spent in the Dubai International airport flight connections hall. An impressive setup, very well appointed in many respects, except one. There aren’t enough seats. It’s a holding area for a lot of airlines who are ferrying their passengers further east or back home to Europe. Anyway, the Duty Free is reasonably well done, plenty of choice, and if my brief foray into the mobile ‘phone prices was anything to go by, some bargains could be had. I didn’t find the noise reducing/canceling headphones that I have been looking for, nor did I find the Seiko Divers 200m kinetic timepiece (plenty of other flavours, but not that one).

Not surprisingly, this brief stopover (it didn’t feel brief at the time!) in an Arab speaking environment took me back to my five years in Libya. Sadly all I could remember of the language were a handful of the numbers (both spoken and written). It seems however, that the UAE is like most of Europe, English is commonplace. Memories that I did not realise I had came flooding back: the sound of a gentleman “clearing” his throat in the washrooms, wow! And the ladies, some with their ill-fitting shoes, often one or two sizes too small. The black outfits, some covering themselves head to toe, others being a lot more brazen. One thing that is very different about the women here: most of them are carrying mobile ‘phones. Perhaps the women in Libya are too?

The airport itself seems to be huge. It took us about 10 minutes on a coach to get from the aircraft to the terminal building. The Emirates fleet is huge, hence the size of the airport perhaps? Because of the size of the fleet, there’s no room for inefficiency – everything seems to run rather smoothly, very efficient. Internal transport for the elderly, the infirm, woman with children and the downright lazy takes the form of 4-seater electric golf buggy-like devices. Thankfully the airport has aircon – it was 36c outside last night at 0100 when we arrived.

I must be wearing my invisible clothes again. People just seem to “not see” me and end up walking through me. My lack of visible presence also means that it is me who ends up weaving in and out of crowds. I don’t see anybody else doing this. Similarly, I could be looking at the Seiko watch display or the Citizen display and somebody will walk in front of my view – something that happens when I’m shopping in Tesco too. I usually stand back from displays and shelves of food…so that I can see what’s on offer. It’s usually very obvious what I’m doing, yet folks still walk in front of my view, interrupting what I’m doing for their own gain. It’s very selfish, but I don’t think folks realise that they are doing it.