Sunday 6 November 2011

Lounging around

I'm back in Dubai's shiny new airport, all marble and stainless steel and reflective surfaces over vast areas of space. There's a separate entrance for First and Business class passengers that's most spacious of all, but they don't tell you that after you've been wafted through check-in, you have an enormously long hike to get where the action, and all the plebs, are.

I had a small stoush with a bolshy young Arab lady who tried to push in the queue at the shop where I was offloading the last of my local currency: boy, did she argue! But I stood my ground and she, in a hurry, eventually stormed off with a lot of huffing. The Brits may have moved out of Dubai sixty years ago, but that's no reason to abandon one of their most useful gifts to civilisation.

And now I'm in the lounge, disappointed that I can't get my iPhone to connect wirelessly (hence no photos), struggling with a public keyboard with most of the letters worn off, and rather tempted to have my shoes shined, for the novelty of it - the last time was in New York, years ago - but anxious that it may involve tipping, and I have no more cash (see above). I do have some Samoan currency that I forgot to put into the big glass charity jars back in Auckland, but pretty though the notes are, I doubt they would be welcomed. Certainly the man at the Dubai Mall money exchange yesterday laughed with genuine amusement at the very idea.

This is a very big lounge, and somewhere in it is a rack of newspapers that evidently includes the Sunday Times, so that's my next mission. I do keep busy, on these trips.

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