Monday, November 24, 2008

Back from Dubai again...

...for what will hopefully be the last time this year.

Friday's trip was about as easy as a 16-hour flight in economy class could be. The guy at the hotel who took over half an hour to check me out last time managed to get the job done in less than ten this time, the taxi to the airport was prompt, the line at the ticket counter at DXB's gleaming new Terminal 3 (which is now fully operational) was short, passport control and security screening was speedy and I ended up inside the concourse with plenty of time to spare until my flight finally departed. My seat was towards the back of the airplane, away from all the screaming babies, and since the airplane wasn't full this time around I managed to have a couple of seats to myself. I was about as comfortable as I could be in economy class, even though, per usual, I wasn't able to catch any sleep. I still wish Emirates would put footrests in their 777s like they have in their A340s.

We flew a much "higher" route than normal this time around, flying up past Moscow (unfortunately, there were too many clouds, so no pics of the Kremlin from 32,000 feet), across the top of Greenland, and down over Hudson Bay, Manitoba and the Plains States. Even from high altitude, and in spite of the fact that it was essentially camouflaged by snowcover, I could clearly recognize Winnipeg by the distinctive trapezoidal shape of its Perimeter Highway. I still don't understand how people manage to live in that part of the world during winter, but to each their own, I guess.

The wait at customs and immigration at IAH was short, and Lori, who took avail of Intercontinental's cell phone lot to wait for me, drove by to swoop me up once I emerged. From there, it was a speedy trip down the Hardy Toll Road back to the house, although we stopped by my parents' house to say hello and to pick up Kirby first.

Trip over and done. It's good to be home.

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