Dubai Airport Transit Day 1: A penguin meets a camel

Dubai International – Dubai International offers a non-smoking environment, however, there are enclosed, ventilated smoking rooms located in Concourse C. Separate prayer rooms are also available for ladies and gentlemen. Restrooms can be found in the vicinity of every transfer desk. Wi-Fi Internet access is available free of charge throughout the airport. All three terminals provide a wide choice of local, continental and fast food restaurants and Duty Free shops. – dubaiairport.com

Stepping off the aeroplane into the heat was  beautiful. It was only 7am but the heat was immediate and I was already miles from the grey weather of England.

My plane was late into Dubai so my morning breakfast with Loud Noises was cancelled. He had already arrived, and we were originally aiming to catch a big Dubai fry up before our connecting flight (he flew from London). Upon exiting the plane from Birmingham, a woman from Emirates is waiting for all of the passengers connecting through to Bangkok – that’s me! She is shouting the word Bangkok aloud repeatedly.

I rush over, not wanting to get left behind or miss my flight. Like the typical Japanese tourist guide with an umbrella in the air, she is standing waving a clipboard with the word ‘Bangkok’ on it, whilst a mix of nationalities flock around her in anticipation of their next flight. Once assembled we are a group of eight, and the journey to the departure gate begins. The word journey is not an understatement as it takes almost half an hour to navigate the escalators, elevators, security checks, random OAP’s, and the underground shuttle of Dubai airport!

It is a beautiful airport, and such a shame that I can’t stop to take it all in. Waterfalls cascading down around the elevators, modern facilities in every direction, and every type of food and fast food you could ask for. But for me, the best thing is the mix of people around the Duty Free area. Such a mix of every culture, you could be anywhere in the world! I half expect to see a camel and a penguin crossing paths. It is difficult to explain just how big and busy this airport is!

We are a massively mixed group of people, in terms of nationalities, size and age. Like children on their first day at school no one speaks, giving just a polite smile as we pass through a security check, waiting for the small, older woman with not a care in the world. No one would think her flight was leaving in twenty minutes! It was in one of the many elevator journeys that I got chatting with Dutch Cougar, she was very friendly and we swapped our travel stories. After our shuttle journey Dutch Cougar flew solo as she had a different gate to go to. She did stop to turn and give me a big smile and goodbye though…

A stride like a giraffe crossed with a gazelle and I’m way out in front of the rest of the group, together with our Emirates escort, conscious of the imminent departure of my next aeroplane. She may be small, but she glides through the airport like a small rodent.

As my gate appears in the distance she tells me to go ahead, to save myself, and make use of my giraffe like legs with gazelle like speed. I see Loud Noises waiting patiently at the gate for me, the only person waiting.

Now it’s a party! Let the adventure begin.

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