The trip out here was not quite as much of a hassle as the last one; I didn't really get any sleep this time, but Delta's in-flight entertainment system managed to not crap out until the flight was almost over so I got to watch a movie and listen to some music to pass the time. I was also treated to an awesome view of Paris as our flight path took us just south of the city. Even though I've never been to Paris, I was able to recognize some of the landmarks rather easily, even from 37,000 feet up: "Oh, look, those towers down there must be La Defense... If I follow that axis, I should see the Arc De Triomphe - there it is, right there - and the Champs Elysees... And if I look across the Seine from that point, I should find the Eiffel Tower... There it is!" Baron Haussmann would be proud. I really wish I had my camera with me so I could have taken some pictures.
Within the span of three months Delta has raised their drink prices from $5 to $7. At this rate, they'll be charging $10 for a beer before the year is out.
The good news is that the office here has accomodated my request to stay in a hotel within walking distance, which means that I don't have to wait in the hot sun for taxis anymore. Of course, the only reason they were able to accomodate me at this particular hotel is because the hotel is offering an August special (August is a particularly slow month for tourism in Dubai) which brings the price to within our budget; it's unlikely that this special will still be available if I come back in September or October. But I'll take it for right now.
One of the project managers here is going on vacation at the end of the week and wants to tie up as many loose ends as possible before she departs, so I imagine things are going to get busier as the week progresses. And I still need to have serious negotiations with those in charge as to what it will take for me to make any more trips out here this year. But otherwise, things at work seem to be going smoothly, at least so far. I even had a productive meeting with a client yesterday, for a change!