Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Emirates Stumbles, E@L Falls

Several things about Emirates Business Class.

Their new "lie flat"(ish) seats are WAY too freaking narrow. I was on the aisle on the far side, seat J. The separation between the seats is so total you'd need a visa to get to the window seat beside me. It must be 8-10 inches thick. A great lumpy electronic control thing sticks up where your right elbow would like to rest. In fact there is nowhere to put your inner arm, all that dividing thing does is take up the space where you arm should be. The guy beside me (Window seat? Visa please!) had the same trouble. Like me, he kept fidgeting, putting his elbow first up on the electronic thing, then down across his chest. You'd think in Business Class you wouldn't have to sit with your arms crossed.

Now the Singapore Airlines Business Class seat is something else, right! It's a marvel, so wide there is nowhere to REST you arm. So you stuff an extra pillow there as a cushion. Now, THAT is no problem, but to cramp you up like you were in Economy defeats the purpose of paying for BC, doesn't it? [Addendum: just thinking further. Every guy in the Middle East is huge, right? like MAMMOTH, and yet the Emirates business class seats are so freaking small, whereas you could fit three Singaporean guys into one seat on SIA and still have room for a char kway teoh stall.]

The Emirates seat does lie pretty flat, or seems to, as the foot-rest comes up higher than the old SIA or Cathay "flat" seats, which made you slide inexorably to the floor. I slept well, but it had to be on my side. My shoulders wouldn’t fit in if I was flat on my back, no way. Things jabbed into my arms. Plus I snore when I'm on my back.

Food? No idea. Slept through it.

And why do people insist on bringing on-board their obviously over-size bags? It fucking pisses me off to watch the stewards shuffling my bag around to fit some lazy bastard's SUITCASE into the overhead lockers. Everyone is looking around for places and spaces: they came on late, of course there's nowhere left! Check 'em in, you dicks!


Several things at Dubai Airport, the new Terminal 3, exclusive to Emirates.

There are too many people flying Emirates, either that or this new terminal is too small. It was 6:30am and it was freaking packed solid. People coming at you from every which way - as bad as the Carrefour at Plaza Singapura, as Causeway Bay shopping district in HK, like Burke St (as we used to say in Melbourne). The opposite of that vast empty cavern at Changi's Terminal 3. The size is OK, it is built to human dimensions, unlike Changi which was designed for a race of giants, but it is just too crowded.

Even the Business Class Lounge was full! Chock-a-blok! You had to queue to get in. No seats. There are four sets of toilets at the extreme corners of the very large lounge. In each of the Mens are two urinals and three cubicles. All four toilets areas had queues for the cubicles. Everyone guy in the queue was complaining, they had all walked the loop and checked the other three toilets already as I had also done, but they didn't all have aching fucking feet like me.

Food looked good as I walked past the bain-maries, but after 30 minutes to get into a toilet, and there being nowhere to sit, I had no time left to sample anything. I went down and took a Starbucks Frapaccino and a muffin onto the plane with me.


Several things at Kuwait Airport.

Firstly, after I had waited 50mins in another queue to get a Visa on Arrival, the guy at the visa control said "6 D". Six Dinar. I gave him USD$40 and received KWD2 from a battered square blue tin at his side as change. Can you do the math? One Dinar is worth USD$5. He passed my passport and visa form to some other guy and motioned me to follow it along the counter. No problem yet.

"Did I give you receipt?" he asked.

Maybe because I had already started to move on to the end of the counter to watch the other guy place the 3 stamps (adhesive, like postage stamps) on my papers and then stamp them twice (with an ink-stamp) and my passport once, maybe he figured I wasn't too bright. (This idiot moved off without his receipt, hor hor! He's ripe for a little subtle baksheesh!)

He wrote out a receipt, and I picked it up as I walked away. It said: 3 Dinar. Three.

HEY! WTF! I just got ripped off $15 bucks! Fuck that, MY COMPANY just got ripped off USD$15, because I'm putting in a claim for $30!

Secondly, still fuming, I came to the Baggage area and …

No bag.


No. Freaking. Bag.

Two guys with the last of the bags from Dubai on trolleys pointed me towards the Lost Luggage counter.

"Ah, Mr Expat! Your bag, thir. Have call from Dubai. Ees still in Dubai airport, thir, no have time for the change flight, thir," said the tiny lady behind the counter in a lilting Philippino accent.

All my meds. All my pool and beach clothes! Today is the only free day I've got to sample the delights of the deep blue, unpolluted (I hope) waters of the Arabian Gulf. Conference starts tomorrow. I've never swum in this sea before - it's one of my secret list things, to swim in as many differently named oceans and seas as I can. Shit.


"The nexth flight is 4 o'clock, thir. We will send you hotel, no problem, thir."

Hell, yes there's a problem, Ascenciona or whatever your name is, I'm gonna have to sit around in these fart bloated clothes for another eight hours and blog and whinge about everything I can think of, instead of going for a swim in the fucking Arabian Gulf!

Oh, how I wish I'd brought my luggage on board with me! What a dick!


[p.s. Here in Kuwait the line across the top of the Blogger page is in Arabic, so I had to use trial and error to work out how to log-in!]


Indiana said...

You could always try to go swimming sans cossie? ~grin~

Lost in Melbourne said...

I am sure that the people in that part of the world would be very open minded about you taking the 'clothing optional' approach.

savannah said...

is it any better now, sugar? xoxoxo

expat@large said...

Yeah, swimming nekkid in Kuwait, right.

8pm. 11 hours later Still no luggage.

expat@large said...

Bag just arrived 9:30pm. Rest easy, blogosphere.

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