Saturday, 5 January 2008

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggedy-jig

Half past 2 this morning - that's when we went to bed! We got up at 4:45 yesterday morning! And in between we travelled - and travelled - and then we travelled some more!

It's noon here in Dubai as I sit typing this - I don't know about you, but I'm knackered - Mrs Dubaibilly is in bed with a headache. Why do we do this? Why do we put our minds and bodies through the abuse of travelling - oh, don't get me wrong, it was great spending Christmas and New Year with the in-laws (yes, I do like my in-laws) - but getting there and then getting back!!!! Ye gods, when is somebody going to invent a teleporter for goodness sake!

I've just read the post I posted prior to leaving (BTW, thanks for the comments Bridget) and I got it almost exactly right! The only thing I missed out was the 17 mile walk from International arrivals at Jo'burg to domestic departures - yeah, alright, it isn't 17 miles, but it isn't far short! I challenge anyone to get off an international flight in Jo'burg, collect your bags, clear customs and Immigration*, walk with two suitcases, a pull along cabin bag and a wife to the domestic terminal, have a quick trip to the loo, check in for your flight because the bozo's on Dubai check in wouldn't check you right through, find your boarding gate and catch your flight, and do it with less than 4 hours between flights - I do not believe it can be done! And if you have kids with you or are disabled - forget, you would be better off over-nighting in Jo'burg and continuing your journey the next day (or alternatively not going).

Coming back wasn't much fun either - we arrived at Cape Town airport at 6 am only to find the queues for check-in were right out of the door! We were on a domestic flight and so only had to check-in one hour prior to departure - Yeah right - 15 minutes before departure we were still in the queue to check-in! Not the best start! But the plane waited for us (and a few others) - then it waited for our baggage - then it waited some more - then the Captain must have got pissed off waiting 'cos he decided to go anyway! Then we got delayed in Jo'burg - our flight to Nairobi was delayed by an hour. Then we had to run through Nairobi airport (nothing to do with the troubles there, we just had to run to catch our next flight), then we got held up in a stack waiting to get into Dubai - then, to the accompaniment of a look of stunned surprise on the face of Dubaibilly, our baggage arrived!!! Then we went home!

One bit of light relief - we have an e-gate in Dubai (for those of you not fortunate enough to have one of these, it is a sort of electronic immigration officer - you put your e-card on a reader enter the gate, scan your finger print, wait for the gate to open again and continue on your way - all very easy, incredibly fast and hassle free! So why where the e-gate queues as long as the queues for ordinary immigration? Mrs Dubaibilly went to investigate and found some other e-gates with not many people at all at them and bade me join her there. Across I went and found people scanning their card, entering the gate, failing to scan their fingerprint and exiting the e-gate the way they had come in and then trying again! Mr and Mrs DB watched this process for a few seconds and offered to "have a go" (as you do). Scanned our cards, entered the gate, scanned our fingerprints and exited the gate (on the right side). Mrs Dubaibilly was smugly explaining to people which finger needs to be scanned whilst I, even more smugly, walked away saying to Mrs Dubaibilly "Come on, Gal, if they can't remember which finger they had scanned into the system originally that is their problem not yours". (Or words to that effect). Cheered me up no end that did.

*Watch this space on that lot.

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