Travel is glamorous

Out cold. Five small boys asleep on the floor of the Dubai airport. An older boy sits off to the right. A girl cuddles against her sleeping mother, in black. Somewhere, there must be an infant, as a baby bottle is standing behind the mother. Eventually the father arrived and squatted over his brood.
Out cold. Five small boys asleep on the floor of the Dubai airport. An older boy sits off to the right. A girl cuddles against her sleeping mother, in black. Somewhere, there must be an infant, as a baby bottle is standing behind the mother. Eventually the father arrived and squatted over his brood.

Example of a journey that did not go smoothly.

1. Taxi was late picking us up at home.
2. Taxi reeked of cigarette.
3. Taxi broke down, but limped into the airport. (Driver had to be picked up from the airport.)
4. Virgin Atlantic was unable to check us in. (Travel agent did something wrong in ticketing.)
5. Travel agent couldn’t be reached for about an hour. Almost too late, but not quite.
6. Due to ticketing anomalies, our luggage could only be tagged and checked through to London, forcing us to pick them up and re-check them there.
7. All four of our suitcases were marked for “random” searching.
8. The security tape we put on our suitcases was removed by TSA, making the contents vulnerable for the rest of the journey.
9. Power outlet at Las Vegas airport was dead but I didn’t notice and completely drained my computer battery.
10. Had to go through immigration and customs in London in order to re-check the bags.
11. Emirates Airlines at Gatwick could only tag bags as far as Muscat.
12. No lounge access at Gatwick. (Emirates Air no longer allows Star Alliance Gold members.)
13. Exit row seats promised on Emirates are not exit row. Plus, someone else is assigned to the same seats we are. (Fixed: exit row seats had been assigned properly, but boarding passes were printed incorrectly.)
14. Couldn’t check email in Dubai, computer battery dead. (Could have charged computer on the London-to-Dubai flight, but I was too tired to deal with it.)
15. Same problem with seats Dubai-to-Muscat. (Eventually resolved.)
16. Had to buy visas in Muscat just to collect and re-check luggage to Salalah (Oman).
17. Shoulder strap of my heavy carry-on bag broke. Must hand-hold from now on.
18. Driver in Salalah had too small a car for us plus luggage. Called for another car. Waited half an hour.
19. At maritime immigration office, officer could not find Oman visas in passports. Waited an hour while he and four others flipped through our many passport pages. (Eventually resolved.)
20. Driver’s car got flat tire. Had to wait for another car and transfer everything.

After 37 hours, we and all our luggage arrived safely. Not too bad, really; just exhausting.

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