A Travellerspoint blog

February 2018

Welcome to Dubai

After 17 hours of travelling I finally arrived in Dubai.

- I flew a 9 hour American Airlines Flight from Miami to London. The flight was full. I was fortunate-I was in an aisle seat with just one big Jamaican man next to me who took up the armrest. (I was in the last row near the bathroom (there we're only 2 seats in this row vs 3 in every other row)-which fortunately didn't stink. I slept mostly-and watched parts of movies I have seen before-the first part of Snatch and on and off parts of Sideways. The food was fine and the service was fine (not exceptional-just American airlines).

- In London, I had a 3 hour layover, where connecting passengers had to go through security. This took an hour of the three hours. I just took a nap.

- The last leg was on Qantas flight from London to Dubai-I scant 7 hours. This flight was comfortable as there we're only 2 of us in the 3 person row, a middle age guy moving from London to New Zealand. The seats reclined pretty far back for economy. The food was good-they had an interesting Lamb roll a snack before landing. Too bad my Jamaican friend from the previous flight wasn't here because it looked and tasted like a Jamaican beef patty. On Qantas, the service was great, and as much as it pains me to say, the flight attendants we're young and attentive. One even took an interest in my accent-and she told me how she always wanted to live in the States. I had to dote on the age of flight attendants-as I think it's disgusting how people complain about flight attendants being too old and/or ugly on US carriers. But on Qantas they we're young-and it's been a long time since any woman ( particularly a young one) took any interest in me.


- Landed at 11:05 pm. After taking an elevator and then a train that felt like it took an hour through the Dubai airport-I went through passport control after a very slow line, and went right through. It amazes me that when I used to go to Canada, passport control always asked me what I was doing, where I was from, etc. Pretty much anywhere else I went through without question (including here-where the agents dress in the traditional Arab white garb, and I am here with my Jewish name and no return ticket).

- i was overcharged for the cab ride I am sure-it cost roughly $45 USD from the Airport to the At The Top Hostel, which is supposed to be the highest (altitude) hostel in the world-on the 66th floor of a building in Dubai. The blond girl at the desk with a Russian accent, who's country I couldn't guess, brought me to my room-with 8 people in there I think, and showed me my locker. I accidentally put my key in the wrong locker, and woke up some blond kid with a British accent, who's locker it was. Unfortunately, even though it was the wrong locker-my key opened it, and I was able to get in.


I finally went to sleep.

Posted by DavidPearlman 21:38 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (0)

Day #1-Getting there


I have made my initial destination Dubai, as I have wanted to go there. (I don't know exactly why)-Maybe it's because it has the tallest building in the world-but as I learned-sometimes trusting instinct is good enough. I don't necessarily need to know why I want to go somewhere. Now Emirates has direct flights from Fort Lauderdale, and the service on Emirates is supposed to be legendary, but those flights we're upwards of $800. Now for a little over $50, I was able to use my American frequent flier miles from Miami with a connection in London-so that is what I did.

So for a 7:20 pm flight, I left the house at 12:30 pm, for two reasons, (A) I take the cheap way to the airport, which is a Broward County bus to the Tri Rail. This involves schlepping down the road to the bus stop, schlepping down the road again from the bus stop to the Tri Rail station, and a long walk up the stairs from the station to the people mover at Miami Airport. I finally arrived at the airport around 3:00 pm-but the entire trip set me back $7.00.

(B) Reason #2 is that I had one more coupon to the Admirals Club at Miami Airport-so an opportunity to enjoy free food and drinks for a few hours before the flight.


So that is where I am now.

Posted by DavidPearlman 13:56 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Heading Out Again

semi-overcast 29 °C

For the second time, i quit my job to travel, and the idea came from Hurricane Irma.

As many know, the first time I took 9 months off after working for the same company for 11 years. During those nine months, I went to Europe and some of Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore).

After returning home for the past two years, I have been working for a travel agency, helping others with cruises, air and land packages. Now most travelers seem to skew towards either the young, who stay in hostels, or the older, whose needs are, well more complex. The agency I worked with (probably like most agencies) tended to serve mostly older travelers. So I have had to deal with air packages where business class, or at least premium economy, is necessary because of arthritis, artificial knees, etc. Similarly, the flights had to be a certain way because it is hard to sit for so long.

And these we're the folks who we're able to go. I have had many incidences of cancelling fully paid-for vacations-because of broken legs, heart attacks, deaths in the family, and just general incidences where "the doctor recommends that I don't travel"

Now, I am not making fun of these people, and I certainly aren't saying older people shouldn't travel. It's more like-if I wait too long, I will be one of those people, Although I will be turning 48, as I learned a few years ago, I still can sit in economy for long period, I can take long walks, I can sleep in the top bunk of cheap hostels and enjoy pub crawls, and that is where Hurricane Irma came in.

Remember Hurricane Irma? For South Florida today, there are a handful of tarps on roofs, and stumps where trees used to be-but that's not what was predicted. This was one of the strongest hurricanes on record-and South Florida was right in it's path. All sane folks we're finding their way out of town. The evacuations/preparations started on Labor day, (although the hurricane wasn't predicted to hit until the following weekend).

By Friday of that week-a lot of folks had evacuated (or tried to). Some friends drove to Alabama because that is where they could find a hotel room. There we're many stories of sitting in traffic for hours and hours on end. There we're other stories of people trying to fly away-only to find their flights we're cancelled.

Anyway, I was able to evacuate at the last minute-miraculously, on just some random -shits-and-giggles checking I found a flight to Dallas, and I was on my way out of the path of the hurricane.

That evening, in my rented Hyundai Elantra, driving across some suburban-sprawled highway between Dallas and Fort Worth, I found a country station, and it played a song I haven't heard before, called "A Last Time for Everything"-by Brad Paisley. It was a sad song-it talked about making out in the backseat of a car, using a fake ID at a college bar, etc-and other stuff that are maybe just rites of passage.

Well I can still travel like i'm young-so that is what did it.

Posted by DavidPearlman 12:59 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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