My best friend duly pointed out that I am a queen. Even though I’m a little embarrassed by the title, I couldn’t agree more. I am so spoiled it’s not even funny. Having traveled business class for three years every summer I was used to all the perks that came with it. Less lines at the counters, first to step on the plane, the business class lounge, and the extra luggage space was something that I had gotten used to. (I’m not sure if more luggage space is available for all airlines, but it is with Gulf).
Last year I went to visit my friend in Dubai. Yes, I know this story has been repeated quite a few times. Don’t roll your eyes just yet, there’s a different side to this one. It was the first time I was travelling alone, and I had chosen one of the cheap flights to Dubai *gulp*. I was so scared, because I didn’t know how I was going to maneuver through the airport (you’re free to role your eyes now). My best friend had specifically told me exactly what I should expect at the Dubai Airport. Knowing me, she was more scared for me than I was.
As I said, my best friend and I both agree that I’m a spoilt queen (I don’t like the word brat). I didn’t have to worry about what I’d go through at my local airport. (Oh, the shame) My uncle works at a high profile government job, and his protocol officer literally whisked me through every step. I reached the plane five minutes before it was about to take off because I had arrived at the airport fifteen minutes before the flight took off. Very dramatic, I know!
So this babied woman was supposed to manage herself at DXB, how crazy! With my heart thumbing I got off the plane at DXB and followed the other passengers. If you, like me, are traveling alone for the first time on cheap airline tickets this is what I recommend you should do. I followed them down the escalators, along corridors, on the walking belt. You name it and I followed them, hoping that I wasn’t following the people who were in Dubai for a stopover.
I reached the customs counter in one piece, and I got in line. After I got through customs, which was a little nerve wrecking because the Arab had to tell me to look in to the eye piece twice. The second time he told me I got a little flustered, I was looking in to that damn thing already! I started making my way to the escalator when I heard someone call my name. I maybe a spoiled queen, but I’m not a famous one, so I was a little surprised when I heard someone call out to me. It was my mother’s cousin. I was saved! She and I went through rest of DXB together.
On my way back home, I toughened up. I did everything on my own, which was a little scary at first but at the same time very liberating. I got my boarding pass, managed to check in my luggage (which was thankfully just below the required weight), got through all the security checks and spent an hour at the duty free. One thing I made sure to do this time, rather than follow someone was to ask around if I got lost or didn’t know where to go. It made me feel safe that I was walking the right way. I also made sure to check the directions on the signs as well.
On arrival at my local airport, the protocol officer was waiting for me as soon as I got off the plane. Later that day, a concerned best friend called to make sure I had landed safely and that I had managed to get on the right plane. I’ve been obsessively checking cheap flights to Dubai these last few weeks. I want a cheap ticket, that I can easily save up for. I’m going again in a months’ time, and this time I am prepared! I refuse to be babied at any airport other than my own! (haha!)