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Leaving on the jetplane

Friday 24th April saw Ameba, the family and I leaving on THE jetplane. Over-packed and under-spaced we arrived early hoping to flash our pearly whites and get our luggage through. Packing had taken me about two days (not helped by the flash lightening / rain storm the day before!)

At the check in we were told what we already expected - our luggage was over weight. The solution, wear as much as possible, and if you can't wear it, put it in your pockets! My jacket had THE heaviest pockets, but because it was cleverly slung over the mom's shoulder it was over-looked. What was not over-looked and was THE most disappointing part was the wine.

When you have a limit of 20kgs and each bottle of wine weighs around 1.75kgs (somewhat due to the waterproof-wrapping) practicality dictated that the wine would not be furthering it's journey. I was devastated and suggested throwing clothes out instead (into Ameba's bag) but she was having none of it! We were destined to drink cheap plonk from Sainsbury's.

Instead we sat in the airport and drank some of it... If anyone would like to start a petition to allow wine to be carried on as hand luggage I'll be the first to join your club / petition! (It's amazing what you can repack into your weighed hand luggage after it has been weighed!)
However the wine lifted everyones spirits a little and we soon found ourselves joking around...

The dad having a giggle with the bottle of Cloof Cab Franc / Merlot. The strange brown thing is a packaged example of what we hoped to carry with us!

The mom suspecting something might be amiss.

"It's Dead!"

The girls who came and surprised Meebs


The Family

The feet of The Family

Our flight was divided into two parts. The first half took us to Dubai. If anyone ever tells you that Dubai airport is small - they are lying. It's flippin huge. And we found out. After departing from the plane in somewhat of a dwall - we were woken up a 1am to have breakfast - can't really tell you what time we landed (I'm sure there's a record somewhere) - we headed to customs. Low glass walls make the place seem light and airy, but don't be fooled, the calm before the storm. We had a slight hiccup at customs - we'd bought a bottle of samboobka in duty free, stowed it in Ameba's bag and the scanner picked up on the irregularly large bottle. BUT because the Dubians have such a strict male / female divide when we beeped and there were no women at hand, they couldn't give us a good patting down. In fact they were particularly embarrassed when we mentioned that the reasons for the alarm going off were our bracelets, earings, zips and wire from our bra's and told us that we didn't have to specifically name everything.
Once through customs we had some time to kill - about 1 1/2 hours. So we did what any smoker would do - enquire where we could have a quick cig. We had already ascertained that we didn't have any Dubain dollars, so would have to go thirsty (yes we found the water fountains, strategically located by the bathrooms). At the info centre we were told that there were 2 places that a girl could go for a smoke.
1. A bar (sounds good BUT) where we would have to spend a minimum of 10 Dubain Dollars purchasing a drink before we would be allowed to light up. OR
2. Go to the smoking section in part 1 of the airport.
We chose option 2. The lady told us it was a 5 - 7 minute walk. Great we thought, we could stretch our legs, get the old circulatory system going again.
Well we revived that one and got another whole new one going. I think she meant that if we stole a golf buggy we could get there in 5 - 7 min, but we'd heard that they cut your arm off if you stole anything, so were slightly hesitant in choosing that option. What we were not aware off is the surprise that awaited us at the smoking room...
It was MENTAL! Totally mental. You could smell the room +_3 min away! Inside, luckily we had watched lots of movies and knew that smoke rises, so we crouched down as low as we could so that we could see our hands - the room was also packed and there were no more seats left!
The second half of our journey was flown on an airbus, where there is just a little bit more space in steerage class that makes all of the difference! That was also a long flight, especially because we seemed to be flying forward but the time was staying the same. Also by this time we had only had two hours sleep and were becoming slightly delirious!
However we passed the time amiably, watching movies, drinking the odd G&T and laughing at the Flight of the Concords and Top Gear!
Finally we landed at Heathrow where the customs guy asked us where we had come from. I replied "Cape Town, via Dubai" he told me not to show off. I told him that if we'd come straight from Cape Town we'd be a lot happier and probably look a lot better. He told me that we looked lovely - full of colour. I told him that it was probably the booze!
Lucky

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