Sunday, November 6, 2022

Malta to Dubai, November 6, 2022

I had a leisurely morning and decided I might as well get to the airport to stop the anxiety.  I called an ECars at 10:15 and she was there in four minutes. I love that. She just started three weeks ago because she loves driving. She was working for social services but it was too stressful so now she does this.  She went to her doctor to see what was the matter with her and he suggested she start taking pills. She looked at him and said “I don’t think so. I’ll quit my job!”  Her husband has been a driver for five years and they have four children. He’s Canadian and she’s Maltese.

I don’t know what it is about departures but I’ve become so nervous and anxious; it’s not funny. Usually it starts the night before, especially if I have an early flight.  If I have one later in the day I will get a good sleep but be pacing come morning time. Once I am at the airport I am fine and I guess that is the secret - to get there in plenty of time. Today for instance my flight was at 2:35 PM and I arrived at 10:50. That is 3 1/2 hours early - not required, at least by the airlines but it seems to be a requirement for me.  Once there, I’m perfectly fine. 

It might have something to do with the fact that I have missed a flight or maybe even more than one. A couple winters ago I was flying Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta to meet Jane and at that time just Nico and Andi. I had left my place in Ajijic very early and had even checked the day before at the bus depot to make sure I knew where the bus would stop. I stood on the sidewalk and waited and waited and waited some more. A few buses stopped but when I said where I was going the driver shook his head and drove away. So eventually one came but he had to be the slowest driver on the planet. He talked to everybody who got on and he dawdled. Guadalajara airport is off the highway and the buses don’t go in so you have to walk,  probably half a mile. By the time I got off the bus I could wave at my plane overhead.  Luckily there was another flight I could catch to be there on time but of course it cost more money, a lot more!  I can’t even say live and learn because I left with plenty of time but a simple call to Uber and I would not have had a problem.

My anxiety might also come from all the school trips I did. We sometimes left North Battleford at three in the morning and I always worried that vehicles would break down or it would be foggy or icy and we wouldn’t make it. That’s what anxiety is though; worrying about the future and in a lot of ways we cannot control the future so why worry?

Upon check-in I had to show my vaccination verification. That’s the first time so far. I flew Emirates which is a good airline. They are efficient and give you lots to eat and drink. I watched the movie Elvis which was very sad because he was abused like so many superstars are, just so others can get rich.  The music was so good!

I thought I had to get a visa to enter UAE but apparently not. Currency exchange was very good and it’s hard to believe but the airport was so busy- at midnight!  I probably walked a mile from where I got off the plane to customs. Once through, there had to be 100 taxis waiting and in no time I was at the hotel. The meter starts at 25 Durham or $9!  My reservation is for the seventh but in hotel talk, 2 am is still the sixth.  They said I could have a room right now for $147 or I can wait until 6 AM and have it for $36 so I’m sitting in the lobby drinking bourbon I bought at duty free, people watching and reading my book. It’s pleasantly warm outside but very humid. It feels like a cooler sauna. There are two supermarkets close by – one is across the street and open 24 hours and one is half a block away and open until 2 AM. It is such a different way of living!

I’m looking forward to going to the big mall tomorrow and meeting up with some of my fellow travelers. This is going to be fun!

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