It’s home time, and I’d be lying if I said I was disappointed. The novelty of travel can wear thin pretty quickly, especially when you’re on your own.
I needed to leave the hotel by 12pm and wanted to fit in a gym session before I left, so I was up at about half 7 for breakfast. After ordering my poached eggs on bread, I plated up hearty plate of chicken, pastrami, and veg. Along came the eggs, on toast this time, but given that I’d eaten half of Hovis’ stock last night I left that along. Not knowing when I’d eat next, I finished this royal feast with some mixed nuts, yoghurt and a coffee.
Once I’d resisted the urge to nap, I answered a few work emails and headed to the gym. 12pm rolled around and it was time to shower, change and check-out.
Rather than flag down I cab, I was feeling flush on work’s money and had the hotel send a car to take me to the airport. A huge Lexus rolled up. I let the hotel staff load my bags into the boot and open the door for me – definitely pretending to be a high roller – headed for terminal 3. My driver was a chatty fella called Vinod. As I sat in the back chatting I couldn’t figure out if he was short, or if it was just that the car was massive. At the airport, my question was answered, as the fun-sized Vinod scurried around the car to let me out. He had a surprisingly firm handshake for somebody with micro-sized hands. Kudos Vinod, kudos.
After an uneventful check-in, the hunt for food began. I saw an advertising board for an Arabian mixed grill, but I thought 3 in 3 days was a bit keen. Also, I wasn’t sure it was wise before a 6 hour flight, despite strategically ensuring I had an aisle seat. I found an Italian place inside a mocked up tram and ordered a chicken salad. Pretty enjoyable apart from the processed cheese sprinkled on top.
Yesterday I withdrew 100 Dirhams, about £20, of my own money just in case I wanted to pick something up at the mall. I didn’t, so I generously dedicated the money to pick up a present for Vikki at the airport. They say you can’t put a price on love, but on this occasion love had an RRP of 100 Dirhams.
Expensive perfumes and cosmetics were out of the question. Cheap perfume was available, but most smelled like they were extracted from a dehydrated camel. Chocolate it was. I’m sure once someone said the best presents are those you can share – if nobody has actually said that before then I have just now, so it still counts – and with that in mind, I opted for this unpriced bag of joy.
I was 80 Dirhams poorer but somehow felt richer.
Time to board. I sat at the gate with my ridiculously small bottle of water and waited impatiently.
Obviously, when I got to the front of the queue at the gate after a hundred or so people had already boarded, I was asked to wait.
As always I ordered a gluten free meal, as in my experience it’s normally tastier and you get it when the kids get their meals. A stroke of genius if you ask me.
I spent the rest of the flight reading, listening to podcasts and watching Locke. I did this while trying to ignore the guy next to me who was:
– Playing games on his phone with the sound on
– Hogging the armrest
– Asking for nuts after 5 minutes of being in the air
– Asking for biscuits on 5 occasions
– Asking about wifi packages
– Requesting jam for his bread roll with his curry
– Deciding to swap his meal.
Thankfully he dozed off after 4 hours.
I collected my bags and met my taxi driver. No big Lexus this time around. Even more disappointing was that the driver was full-sized. He didn’t shake my hand so I have no comparison to Vinod’s firm grip.
Although I do a lot of travel, this trip felt the toughest of the lot despite the sunshine. This idiot abroad, is glad to be home.