Rocky Start

Twenty nine hours ago we were supposed to be leaving Melbourne. But we were a little delayed departing because of a late incoming flight from Brisbane. Fourteen hours later we landed in Abu Dhabi, a bit late and we had a tight connection. For some reason we didn’t get a gate, so we had to wait for buses and then the ride brought home just how big that airport is, “perhaps they are bussing us to Amman” I joked – still thinking all would be well.

Then there was security, and my shoes had to come off. Then we ran through the terminal and panting arrived at the gate. The ground agent commented “we were about to give up on you, lucky you made it”. Time: 8:06, scheduled departure: 8:20. Yet the bus sat there for another 5 minutes. Finally we were whisked across the runways giving us another look at the bleak landscape with sand creating an infinite haze. Smiling and triumphant we arrived at row 10. There sat a very large and very grumpy man from the gulf wearing a Dish-dash-ah (white robe). There was a lot of chatter going on and we had clearly interupted. Grudgingly he got up so we could slide in. I thought briefly of suggesting he take the window, but that seemed like asking too much. So I slipped into the window seat and breathed a sigh of relief. 

And then the drama that we had interrupted came to a head and it became clear that the people in the other exit row were causing trouble so were being removed on Captain’s orders! Apparently they had attempted to sit in business class first, then stole two other men’s seats in economy, then topped it off with harrasing the attendant. Good to see jerks getting what they deserve even if it meant another half hour delay.

Finally we take off, jerks in the back of a big Lincoln SUV with security and me stuck on the wrong side of a man bear and no time for a bathroom stop in the terminal. He fell asleep instantly and even his phone’s alarm did not wake him up. When we finally roused him, rather than stand up, he attempted to shrink into his chair so I could squeeze past. I did my best awkward leap and cleared him. Unsurprisingly he knew the three men that had been thrown off.

Thankfully that flight was only 3 hours and we finally landed in Amman, ready to start our day! But the baggage carousel turned and turned yet our bags did not appear. We had “just made it” but our bags were not so lucky.

The baggage people told us it would arrive on the afternoon flight and be delivered to us. Ok, not so bad! So off we went to get our car and enjoy the family feast awaiting us. The lamb leg and rice was perfect. The Turkish coffee gave me a bit of pep that I desperately needed. 

Still operating on 6 hours of sleep, we got lost finding the apartment from AirBNB, then the SIM card we bought could not be cut at the first shop so we had to find another to make the mini SIM a micro-SIM (not a lot of iphone6 here I guess).

And then we got the news that our bags were still in Abu Dhabi. In a state of shock and exhaustion we decided to buy some critical clothes for tomorrow before the shops closed. 

We wandered dazed around a department store and finally headed to checkout. Unlike shopping in Asia which makes me feel like a giantess, shopping here meant the smallest available size was a bit roomy. Just then the call came, “abort, abort” Adam shouted, the bags were on their way to our door. Validating earlier comments not to trust anything the baggage people tell you.

So twenty nine hours later we have our working SIM cards, our apartment keys, and our luggage. Holis and goodnight!

Footnote: while opening our bags I noticed this tag on our bags and wondered if there is a “maxi rush” because clearly the “mini rush” didn’t cut it!

  

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