Saturday, May 24, 2008

tail lights

It takes about an hour & a half to reach Dubai from Abu Dhabi. So if I had started at 10.30 am, I should be in Dubai at 12 noon. In fact that is what happened on 22nd May.
Four of us had booked tickets to go to Bahrain for the Toastmasters Intl District 79 Annual conference. We found that Jazeera airlines offered cheap tickets from Dubai. Infact we were in Dubai at 1.45 pm. The lunch was more than what we had expected at our friend's place. Flight was at 6.45 pm. We were ready by 4 pm. It should not take us more than 15 minutes to reach the air port. All looked good.

Those few moments when you think every thing is fine, is what you should call "panic".

And if everything is coming your way, may be you are on the wrong track.

Suddenly our friend realised that he had mistakenly given his credit card to his son. The next 45 minutes were spend trying to retrieve the card. Time was 15 minutes short of 5.

Taxis simply refused to stop for another 10 minutes. That is when HE appeared; the guy who offered us his services for a fair price. He had a van & he would take us to the airport.

The next 10 minutes were spend walking to the place where he had parked his van. I thought we had already walked half the distance to the destination. Once we saw the van, I knew that my premonitions were about to get real....

The van was full of impatient sweating men. There were 4 of us & there were only 3 seats. Any ways the van took off...

Took off?.....what am I saying here?

The next 90 minutes were spend trying to reach the airport which I am sure I saw twice when we passed by some adjacent roads. Our driver had a SMALL doubt regarding which exit to take to reach terminal 2.Our friend simply made another call to confirm the terminal number and this time there was a change. We should be at terminal 1. This time it was our driver's turn to curse. But cursing unfortunately doesnt stop the clock. It went faster than our van in the circular race.

Before 6.30 pm we reached the airport. Check in counters had closed 45 minutes ago.

Once again we purchased tickets for Bahrain. This time on Gulf Air. Twice the amount. We remembered that we had come all the way to Dubai to board a budget airline. Gulf air had flights from Abu Dhabi also.

Our next flight was at 11 pm. I am not exaggerating here: all outbound flights from Dubai were on time; except ours. The one that was supposed to start at 11.45 also took off. We looked at its tails lights with mixed emotions.

Finally we boarded our plane after 12 midnight.It was lovely; the last one to leave an airport gets to switch off the lights.

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