As if the first time being away from one’s baby isn’t intrinsically stressful enough, my countdown to take off went something like this:
* Calvin comes down with conjunctivitis, necessitating takng him out of creche, hoofing 3 miles across town to the doctor and then another mile back home.
* Visa official off sick so I have to leave for my destination, visa-less
* Hard drive crashes claiming latest preparatory work
* We still don’t have a meeting venue because the hotels we were going to use have been commandeered by someone else!
So it was nice to try deep beathing exercises in the limo sent by Emirates, be fast tracked through check in and immigration, and finally go to sleep in the almost fully reclinable seat.
The stop in Dubai is barelt 10 hours, enabling some e-mailing, a snack, shower and snooze before heading off again in the morning. Another eight hours on board and I’ll finally be at my destination.
But even the inside of my hotel room provides a flavour that reflects the multi-faceted Dubai. Personal espresso pod machine in room (unfortunately no decaf pods.) Belly button baring patrons next to burkha-clad women. And my personal favourite: juxtapositioned by the green sticker adhered to the bedside table that indicates the direction of Mecca, coasters bearing the Byron quote, “Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter, sermons and soda water the day after.”