Week 26 - Doha to Dubai (again)


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Middle East » Qatar » Doha
November 29th 2012
Published: November 29th 2012
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Well, the day has ended just like it began – frustrating. Travelblog is down and it is already passed my bedtime, so I’m writing this on word to copy in later so I don’t forget everything.

I had an early morning weekly meeting at 7:30 with our big client for my big project. I thought I would be going myself but I got a text from my boss who met me there. He hasn’t been involved in the project but he is definitely good at laying out the facts and making the client happy at the same time – a rare talent. We were out in 25 minutes, as opposed to the hour they usually keep the other meetings. So, it went quite well, only I was upset before for some reason, I could not say the word “subsequent” – I am laughing now, but how embarrassing.

Next I went to the office to finalise the big report we’ve been pushing to get done. I had hoped it would be done earlier this week, but there was just sooooo much information to go through and I know that we still have mistakes (minor) in it. Fortunately, the practice here is to give the client the report to review and comment on, so these mistakes can be rectified for the final report. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to finish another minor portion of the project that I’d planned to (so, I brought it home with me – bad lexy!).

Finally, I had an email that said I had a conference call with the US on another big project that had been giving me a huge migraine for the last two months (especially the last month). That was set for 4:30. Argh! I had my flight leaving at 9 and I didn’t pack my bag because I wanted to MAKE SURE that I would be finished my report early and that I would leave early- I had been working long hours this week to make it happen and I deserved an early day, by golly! It was not to be… I stayed for the conference call, which went very well actually, and finally left at 5:15. Just enough time for me to sit in the worst traffic of the day, throw some stuff together and head out.

Generally, I leave my car parked at a hotel and get a taxi to take me to the airport. But the hotel I picked today was cordoned off, most likely due to the Climate Change Conference going on right now – lots of high level security around town, including at my hotel. So, I had to drive to the airport but there are NO SIGNS FOR LONG TERM PARKING!!!! Not one, until you’re waiting in line at the Short Term parking with dozens of Doha beeping drivers behind you. I got my ticket, drove to the gate attendant, he gave me directions to the a$$ end of Doha, drove back, figured it out myself, parked and practically ran to check in. I had just enough time to pass through customs, then security, and then since I was taking United (a US based plane), I apparently had to enter a separate gate area for an ADDITIONAL round of security. Americans…

I get on the HUGE, clean plane to find my personally picked seat in the back by the window – my usual – only to find some local woman with a baby is in my spot. The guy in front of me has the aisle and was settling in and I tried to look at her, said “uhhhh…” – she deliberately looked away. So, I went back to the flight attendant. The pilot had just announced this was not a completely full flight but to sit in our seats. I told the attendant I didn’t mind getting moved to another window seat, but she put me in an aisle seat, the same that the woman was supposed to be in. Did the woman thank me for not complaining? NOPE! That is typical behavior here. After dozens more people got on (I thought he said it wasn’t full), the attendant came back to me saying she had a window seat for me in Economy Plus – yeah baby! My own row too! When I sat in the next to empty Plus area, the two attendants were near my seat and the one explained the situation. The other was like, You’re just going to Dubai? (Not continuing on to DC) – Heck why don’t we put you in business class? I don’t care! I said SURE! But I told them I was fine as it was just a 40 minute flight.

And that, my friends, is an American, or at least the ones that I miss. People who understand and appreciate when you do something nice for others and they do something nice in return – it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Here, if you do something nice, like let some poor laborer walk across the street in front of your car so he can get a cheap dinner from the market while you’re waiting in roundabout traffic anyway, you get loud horns and someone nudging your bumper. That just made my day feel all worth it.

I was able to watch the Big Bang Theory on the flight (I caught myself giggling out loud – embarrassing…). We hit some incredibly scary turbulence on the approach in Dubai, one while we were turning so we were sideways, the other that made my stomach lurch, with the kit-kat snack on the plane threatening to come back up…

I love going through customs here – always a show. I need egate, so I can just pass through quickly. But until I get it, I have to wait in line with the rest of the sheep… er, people. At one point, a guy came next to me to open the line and I got excited… but he was letting just families with small children go through to another line. Bummer, but I actually liked the gesture – get them poor babies to bed! Dubai is a very kid friendly environment; actually, the whole Middle East is. As long as you make sure you strap them in a car seat… When I finally got to the desk, I handed him my passport turned to my visa, stamped, done.

Then I was able to skim another long line and hop into the Ladies only Taxi and got a sweet Ethiopian chatterbox, Zizi. She and I talked the whole back to my home and even made a wrong turn at the end because we weren’t paying attention. She gave me Dubai dating tips and was basically the friendliest driver I’ve had yet, so I gave her a good tip. She told me not to be shy because that is not the way to attact boys - why am I so shy? I also love the Ladies Taxi because they drive soooo much better than the guys when I close my eyes and pray that I make it to my destination.

Well, that was my Thursday – looking forward to rugby this weekend.

How was your day?

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30th November 2012

Pink!!
Love the ladies only taxi!!!
30th November 2012

Awesome!
Sounds like a busy, but all in all good day! Mine was too! Class and work. Of course at work I got to play with acid, so I was super happy! :) My countdown is on...13 days till I'm home in Ventucky...though I must admit it will be weird without you!!

Tot: 3.073s; Tpl: 0.021s; cc: 24; qc: 117; dbt: 0.0373s; 3; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.6mb