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Published: January 5th 2022
Park near Peggy's apartment
Their building is the white one on the left.
The Lufthansa flights to Frankfurt and then to Dubai were easy – only about a third full on the first leg but every seat taken on the second. I had heard about great shopping in Frankfurt airport, but I don’t know where, because the areas around the gates where we landed and departed – in two different terminals – were almost bare of any amenities. From now on, I will travel with water; it cost US$3.00 for a 250 ml bottle of mineral water! Thank goodness I had a peanut-butter-filled hot-cross-bun to munch!
Regrettably, I landed in and depart Dubai at night, so I won’t see the desert and the sea from the air. Seated beside me on the plane was a man who was Croatian, living in Germany, stationed for the last six months in the UAE, specifically Sharjah. Being ignorant, I had to learn that Sharjah
is the neighbouring Emirate north of Dubai
, almost a contiguous city.
We disembarked onto buses, walked through a long, tent-like hallway (temporary during construction) and into a large modern customs and immigration hall. I thought Peggy had planned to have a welcome service meet me, but there wasn’t anyone –
and no need. The place to collect visas was perfectly clear and simple: show the previously supplied photocopy to collect the original. Then line up - very similar to Heathrow.
Of course, having started in what would have been a very good line, I switched to what appeared to be a shorter one. Unfortunately, a single person was processing it, and he seemed to be infinitely more meticulous than the other officials. Instead of switching again, I foolishly persisted, thus being amongst the last to leave the hall. Somewhere behind me a (possibly German) man suddenly sprinted across the lines to the one reserved for those with 96-hour visas, where the line was empty. He shouted about the time it was taking, made rude remarks and crumpled his visa. He started back towards our line, un-crumpling the visa. He was called over by the official in the residents-only line, and I thought he was going to prosper. But, after a short consultation, we heard the words “and don’t ever come back again”. The man walked at a furious pace back to where we had entered the hall, presumably to book a flight back home. Really, he could have just
changed to another regular line without losing his temper.
When my turn came, entry was muted and quick. I collected my bags and wasn’t required to go through anything like customs. Peggy and John waved, and I flowed/pushed through the crowds.
Peggy and John had a great apartment in a modern building just off a modern, 6-lane thoroughfare - all of Dubai is modern. They have furnished the living/dining room with wicker and Indian furniture. The “railway kitchen” has everything, including a dishwasher. There are three bathrooms, a master bedroom, a study/spare room, and a storage cupboard. The water is safe to drink (created by desalination via steam, which is a bi-product of electricity production, fueled by natural gas), but they actually have bottled drinking water brought in. They used to drink the water but were persuaded out of the practice by friends, in case the piping had faults. View map showing Dubai.
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