During the last days prior to our departure things had become a bit manic.
It started with the visas which were applied later than I would have liked.
Because of a silly salary letter that took 9 days to get signed. This was due to the fact that the guy who signs it suddenly got so sick that he did not come to office. My husband was recently promoted to General Manager.
That came with all the shenanigans that accompany such a title.
It was very stressful, as one after another, nothing seemed to be going right. The seats were no way near confirmed, and everyday I was making the travel agent's life miserable.
The icing on the cake turned out when the expiry date of the credit card tied in around departure dates, and the hotel could not be booked.
4 years ago when we last visited Bangkok, I had booked through the net what later turned out to be a very nice hotel. My husband kept on about what a dump it would be considering the price I paid. (12 USD per night for a DOUBLE room with extra cot,including FULL AMERICAN BREAKFAST for 3 of us).
The Mandarin was not available at all, 3 hotels booked subsequently, came back a few days later cancelling due to overbooking and glitches in their systems, blah blah blah.
My cousin called me up and offered to set us up at the AMBASSADOR, but I said no no, thats Sukhumvit (an area) which has most of the pubs/hookers/etc and becomes a nightmare after the evening.
Sukhumvit is an area which is a very desi/arab hangout. It was one of the first areas of Bangkok to develop as a tourist hub and has grown from there, not to be confused with PATPONG which during the day is a normal area for shopping and as the evening starts turns into a REDLIGHT area.
So 2 days before our departure we managed to get confirmations, at a place which was a little out of the main city, but seemed like a really nice place.
We had to book 2 deluxe rooms (@ 150 dirhams per night), as my Mum was to join us in bangkok.
So we went from 12 dollars a night to 150 dirhams. My husband did tell me that I should stop being stingy and book a good hotel. Things were not the same, inflation etc etc. We should treat ourselves to a nice place for once, and so on. So I booked deluxe.
Well, after all the stress the day came to leave and despite all our attempts we left AbuDhabi at 6.30 pm. Our flight was at 2200 , and we were supposed to drop off our car at Qusais. My husband knows this guy who has his garage there, and they specialise in BMW's.
Things didnt quite work out as we hit the slow traffic upon entering Dubai.
My nerves were frayed as we watched the time fly by.
End result called up friend, who took a cab to airport, met us there, took the keys and we raced to check-in.
I haven't been to Dubai airport since 2000. Which is a hell of a long time, considering the map of Dubai changes over the weekend.
Security, security and more security.
Despite trying to travel as light with minimum hand luggage, and virtually no jewellery, I had to remove my shoes many times. The husband all his cling clang. (MY GOD! people make fun of women's handbags what not comes out of a man's pockets.....).
I have come to the conclusion that its best to travel with rubber flipflops and loose cotton drawstring pajamas.
I dont mind the removing of shoes etc etc, I know its for our own safety. But there are some people at the airport who do not seem to comprehend the sensitivity of the machines and will travel with more bling than a rock star. There should be seperate queues for this lot.