Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Snores. Smooches. Stupidity. Travel!

Today was unique, that's for sure.

Started by meeting an Iraqian. A truly amazing man who has accomplished a great number of things and was a joy to meet. I hope to see him again, just not in Baghdad, where he wants me to visit.

Then spending the afternoon with an Aussie, Brit, and young Swede and getting doused in kiwi lemonade from head to toe just before the young Swede took me to the airport in his BMW sports coupe at tremendous speed.

The airport was fascinating. Usually when I fly in and out of Dubai I'm flying out of Terminal 1 that has flights going to Sydney, Paris, Manchester, Chicago, etc. So you see a wide variety of ethnicities and cultures, but also many westerners. Terminal 2, however, is totally different. It serves flights mainly between the Gulf States: Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, etc. In Terminal 2, I STOOD OUT. With my sport jacket and tan slacks, I couldn't have looked more American if I would have dressed in Captain America's leotards singing 'Yankee Doodle Dandy' with Toby Keith's warble.

The flight from Dubai to Doha was an adventure. Atlanta to Dubai at 15 hours, no problem. Dubai to Doha was an hour and ten minutes and felt like an eternity. First, the flight was terrifyingly rough. Second, myself removed, the collective intelligence quotient on the plane was a number lower than the amount of pounds I've lost since New Years. When the pilot says "Turbulence ahead, please return to your seat and fasten your seat belt," don't get up and walk up and down the aisle demanding a cappuccino. (Yes, this happened.) Plus I was sandwiched between a smelly loud-snorer and a love-struck smoochie-smoochie Arab couple. Honestly, an hour and ten minutes of kissing noises is way worse than five minutes of a Ted Cruz/Donald Trump dialogue.

One other thing about the plane. You know how some people get up and begin removing their belongings from the overhead bin before the plane comes to a full stop at the gate? This happened on this flight too, but the difference was that they left their seat and opened the overhead bins while the plane was still doing about, oh, 200 miles an hour. One flight attendant freaked, shouted "Sit down!" and ran down the aisle slamming all the bins as the plane slowed to only ludicrous speed on the landing strip.

Upon deplaning, a man with five wives (FIVE!) were nonplussed by an escalator. The women stood at the bottom, fearful of taking a step onto the moving stairs. After 30 seconds, they gave up and looked for an elevator. (Why??) And the female half of smoochie-smoochie inexplicably fell on her ass (not related to the escalator). Giggles and smiles ensued between me and a group of nervous, new-to-Qatar Nepalese laborers.

Last but not least, my Kenyon cab driver unwarrantedly laid on his horn ten times whilst delivering me to my hotel.

Least, now that I'm at my hotel, America is waking up and the normal workday email chaos begins.

Phew. I'm having a beer and going to bed.