Bleary-eyed stopover in Dubai

I was so tired when I arrived in Dubai that I probably didn’t appreciate it properly.

I remember stumbling off the plane at about 4:30 AM, locating my next gate, and ambling in that general direction. There’s a train. Yes, a train. Okay. It will take me to my gate. Okay. Cool.

I arrive at my terminal and go up an escalator or two, and I see a man with the ever-familiar cup. There’s a Starbucks nearby. Using my spidey-powers of Starbucks detection, I start walking in the direction from whence he came. I am using my ancient hunter-gather skills from my ancestors. Somehow, though, I think this isn’t quite stalking a sabertooth tiger to survive hunting, but hey – 21st century skills, right? If we never stopped hunting sabertooth tigers, we’d be rather sore off now, wouldn’t we?

I walk further down, and suddenly, I smell it – oh, heaven. It’s the green mermaid, and she’s smiling benevolently down upon me. I haul up to the counter, deciding on a caramel macchiato (no “special” Dubai drinks, I guess), and when the barista asks me how I feel, I say “tired.” He says, “they always say ‘tired.'” I’m like, dude, I left at 11:30 PM the day before, and it’s now only 5:00 AM. I have a three hour layover and a 5 1/2 hour flight still to Budapest.

I’m tired, yo.

After getting my coffee, I start wandering in and out of shops, mostly looking for duty-free fireball whiskey (it’s a long story, but it’s delicious). I decided on a duty-free copy of The Economist and Time magazine. I can read them at the gate and pretend that I’m really smart. I mean, secretly, I wanted the Hello! magazine with Kate Middleton on the cover, but I thought that would negate my desire to look worldly and informed.

Just kidding – I actually like The Economist. The 2015 issue is fascinating. I don’t necessarily understand the economy, other than people tell me it goes up and down and sometimes BOOM!, but the articles are helpful for understanding international issues in terms of economics and politics. I am at least interested in those topics.

Anyway, I take my coffee and magazines and hang out with all the sleeping people by the gate. It was a nice break, I thought, and afforded me some time to think about the upcoming trip.

Unfortunately, the A330 to Budapest is – small. The seats are – well, not for American hips. I have to discreetly pop up the arm rest so I can sit a little more comfortably. I wanted to watch a movie, but my sound on the TV wasn’t working, so I got to watch Frozen and Night at the Museum 3 and make up conversations in my head. Let me tell you – Frozen is a lot more entertaining when I’m making up the conversations.

As the plane makes its descent, blue skies give away to steel, “Soviet gray” sky, as my cabbie tells me. The landscape around Budapest is fairly flat, and the fields lie pretty dead still. They are in alternating patterns of greens and browns. The land is a box of Fannie Mae Mint Meltaways.

I get through customs and find my cabbie. He thinks I speak Polish because of my last name (nope), and that I may speak Czech or German (on account of my other backgrounds – nope). He thinks that I could possibly be Hungarian (nope). We just stuck to English. That I can handle.

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