day 2 travelogue
As I walked down the aerobridge, the first thing I see in Dubai is an A-380. I could not get a better look since it was twilight, but it definitely is ***huge***. After a security screening, we walked into the Terminal 3 of the Dubai International Airport which is home to the biggest Duty Free section. We found the gate that we were supposed to take for the next flight out. It took us nearly 15 minutes to walk up to gate 223 and by the time we were there I had spotted the whos-who of the brands and their logos. We settled near the Haagen Dazs counter with some of the most enticing graphiti on earth. mmmm. But the thought of having ice-cream and that early is the morning was not a very welcoming thought. So I gave up the idea. The free wi-fi was great and my phone was working too. After a while, I went strolling around the terminus and nearly got run over by one of those golf carts that swoosh around soundlessly. This place could pass off as a superbrand mall. I had been given a task to figure out the comparitive prices of some perfumes. 5 minutes into the section and I was nearly gasping for breath. I eyed the prices quickly and escaped. The book section was more promising, and I saw stacks of Nicholas Sparks’ lined up. The prices are prohibitive though and it would make better sense to buy then cheaper back home. I checked the chocolate section to eye the goodies which I have to get for some chocoholics (you know who you all are!). Ended up buying a pack of soda flavoured Haribos for myself and got the others addicted to it as well. The others got busy photographing each other as per directions given by Ankit and I was nearly in splits by the time the entire mission was completed.
We were waiting for the announcement for our flight but it never came through. Additionally, the display board was also announcing the number of the earlier flight to Los Angeles. We decided to join the crowd of passengers, that was slowly gathering around. Very soon, they opened it and we queued up. The guy at the desk flipped open my passport, raised an eyebrow up and looked at me to match with the photograph. I nearly laughed. We went through the lobby without any more incidence. Inside, there were quite a few families traveling with very small children. These kids immediately started to get together into groups and started running around. Very soon, the mothers started running after them trying to extricate their kids from the various tussling and bawling groups.
Our flight was delayed by an hour. By the time we boarded I was too tired and after putting on the channel with Mendelssohn’s music fell asleep almost immediately. I was dreaming that the flight was taking off and only awoke to find that we were still very much at the bay. Thankfully, I did not wake up during the actual take off. I slept for nearly 2 hours and then woke up for the next meal. I watched the highly recommended ‘Julie and Julia’. And Liked it. By that time we had probably only covered 3 hours of flight. Another 12 to go. We faced a lot of turbulence around Sri Lanka and announcements were made about the rough weather. I was tracking the time in IST and sometime after 7 hours of flight we were flying over the Indian Ocean approaching the islands of Indonesia. I tried watching ‘Love Aaj Kaal’ next. Arrgh… bad choice! Changed to Mendelssohn‘s symphonies and fell asleep again to the nice music. I was in and out of sleepland very often. With 3 hours of flight time remaining, we reached the western coast of Australia. By this time I was famished and was waiting impatiently for breakfast. Breakfast done, I played some Mahhjong and very soon we were gearing up to land. A little baby in the row ahead had been providing much entertainment to everyone around and the relaxed stewardesses also came by. One of them tried to get her to agree to come home with her.
Before landing the plane flew out onto the Pacific Ocean to make a turn for the runway. It was already morning and we landed sometime around 7AM local time.