Three years ago today I landed at Dubai International Airport for the BEST vacation of my life. My flight (12.5 hours) landed at 0806 local time. I am grateful that the current screening rules didn't apply. I had a huge bag, makeup, hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
As you walk through the airport there were UAE armed services personnel patrolling (heavily armed) and that freaked me a little ( as opposed to exciting me, the way American military do, lol). You were herded exactly where they wanted you to walk.
I went into a ladies room to freshen up. It was lovely and modern as was the rest of the airport. Nicely tiled walls, big mirrors, fresh flowers, flattering lighting....................then I opened the door to a stall.......and there was a hole in the floor with a grate...........and a small hand sprayer on the wall (like the one next to the kitchen sink).........and my mind went blank. That was when I began talking to myself, not a word here or there, not whispering, but a whole conversation. I didn't actually need to go to the bathroom, I had gone on the plane. I discussed with myself how lucky that was. I wanted a stall to change some articles of clothing. Had I looked in the stalls at the other end of the room, there were "westernized toilets". I then went out to the counter, dumped my bag out and continued talking myself......people moved away. You see everything from soup to nuts. women in full abayas, western clothing, discreet pant suits, jeans and tank tops. I washed my face, brushed my teeth, brushed my hair, applied makeup ( I looked just like someone who had been awake continuously for 36 hours, lol). I changed my shoes from my comfortable Keds to dressy sandals. My fingers fumbled badly on the buckles. I looked in the mirror and announced that this was really the best I could do.
Then it was out to customs. The woman behind the counter was in a full abaya. I clutched my sacred American passport (I am not being sarcastic or flip, I do view it as sacred). First question....gibberish......"Pardon me?".....gibberish........."I'm sorry but I have just been on a plane for 12 and half hours.".........."Where....you....come...from?" Ahh! "America! I am from Boston, in the United States!" She stamps my paperwork and shakes her head.
On to baggage claim. Of course I have two enormous bags, one weighing 45 pounds, the other 53. I know because during phone conversations, SB had expressed alarm over how much I was packing and started me worrying about over the limit weight charges. In my anxiety I had told the airline employee who checked my bags in Newark the whole long story. He announced the weight of my bags, smiled and asked if I wanted to go home and get more shoes. I secured my bags, put them on the wheeled cart.
Two hours after landing, I walked out to SouthieBoy. Over a chest high railing I leaned into him and asked him to take me home. Except for the births of Tommy and Frankie........it was the happiest day of my life.