Posted by Kanga.
So, we have completed a marathon travel experience to reach North Carolina for our daughter’s one and only high school graduation.
It began like this…
[Dubai] At about 11 pm we dragged our suitcases out to the curb to begin the process of flagging down a taxi. DaddyBird remembers suddenly that he forgot the money that others have given him to buy a few things (iTunes cards and barbecue sauce), so he runs back to the apartment and I am left standing on the curb with three large suitcases and two smaller bags looking for a taxi.
A taxi pulls over almost immediately. The driver gets out and comes over to me. He begins telling me that it is a busy night. It is difficult to get into and out of the airport. I have a lot of bags. And then a sentence that I think was supposed to be along the lines of what was I willing to pay for this service, but ended with something along the lines of “how much give to you?” I needed to stall anyway, until DaddyBird had time to return. So, I made this guy repeat his request several times, saying that I didn’t understand what he was asking, which technically is the truth since his grammar was all backwards. He gave up just as DaddyBird appeared around the corner, got in his taxi and went away.
We got in another taxi soon thereafter. There was no discussion. The driver helped get the bags into the car quickly and away we went. He got us to the airport quickly. We paid the fare and tipped him well. That is how it should be.
The first driver must have seen a white woman standing near a hotel with a ridiculous amount of luggage and thought “here’s a tourist I can scam.” Sorry buddy, I’m not a tourist here anymore. I know I don’t have to haggle for a taxi ride.
As for the rest of the trip, our first flight via British Airways to Heathrow Airport was a little taste of hell. There were no vents above the seats to blow cool air and it was horribly hot the entire flight. We desperately needed to sleep, but could not. Second leg of the flight from London to Raleigh/Durham North Carolina was better temperature-wise, but sleeping was not easy or very satisfactory due to the discomfort of economy class seats. This flight was operated by American Airlines and I will say that the food was good.
We changed our currency and ended up with quite a wad of bills because about half of what she gave us was in $5 bills. Thankfully, she didn’t resort to giving it to us in ones.
Anyway, we landed safely, although exhausted and a bit smelly. We checked into the hotel and went immediately to sleep. It’s about 3 am local time now, so I should try to get a little more sleep and try to adjust to the new time zone. Jet lag is a cruel mistress.