A trip starts in the waiting room for your flight. This is the first time you see who’s actually going where you want to go. Since I opted to go from Bangkok to Tbilisi via Dubai, I had that moment occur when I entered Terminal 2 at Dubai airport. I originally thought about waiting out my 7 hour stop-over in the plush Emirates-only Terminal – especially given my memories of Kuala Lumpur’s awful Air Asia terminal – but I figured I might as well get used to my future, temporary habitat by setting up shop in ‘low cost’ Terminal 2.
Dubai’s Terminal 2 is the primary hub for flights going to Iraq, Afghanistan, and pretty much everywhere else where you have to pay people six figures USD to get them to go live and work there. That meant I could pass the time trying to guess which passengers were working for oil companies, NGOs, military outfits, business men, or just returned from an overseas shopping trip. Seeing flights to Kandahar and Kabul being called up, my choice of the Caucasus as a destination seemed quite conservative and tame in contrast. It also occurred to me that I’m a pair of combat boots and a gym habit away from starting to fit in, so maybe I should reconsider my albeit casual plans for full sleeve tattoos.
Dubai this time of the year is hot. As in really hot. Gangway aside, there’s another place where you’d notice that in an airport. Heard of heated toilet seats? That’s what it feels like sitting down for business when the air condition runs at 18 degrees Celcius with the incoming water pipe mingling with 40+ degree Celcius tarmac. Talk about a steaming pile of shit.
People watch Blackwater dudes? Check. Shit in an oven? Check. All achievements in this location have been unlocked. Please proceed.