The DXB connection

We have returned to real life, work and 6am wake-up calls. The kids went back to school this morning (yes, I know everywhere else is off this week – don’t @ me), but I very much doubt that they’ll make it successfully through to second break without dozing off. It was 25 hours and 25 minutes from door to door. It would have been a bit quicker, but for the Cape Town flight being delayed by an individual being removed from the plane (no idea why) and their luggage being difficult to find.

And it would have been so much more pleasant at DXB if only we could have bent the rules a bit. Let me explain:

We had about 1 hour and 40 minutes from first plane landing to second one taking off – just security to get through in between. Tight, but manageable. I’ve done it before in under an hour, and in fact, as an example, this same process only took us about 25 minutes on the way out (albeit that we got lucky in that the arrival and departure gates were very close together).

Pretty exhausted after an overnight flight from the UK, we were rather annoyed when our A380 from Manchester didn’t go to the terminal, instead parking right down at the bottom end of the runway, well away from all the airport buildings and meaning that we had to bus to the terminal. Even just after dawn, the air in Dubai is sticky and in the mid-30s. You’d rather be inside.

So it was a bit irritating, but these things happen (though not very often with A380s, to be honest). And with 500+ passengers to unload, followed by a long journey across the airport, it meant that it took 50 minutes from touchdown to actually getting to the terminal. Crazy.
However, when we did get there, we were met at gate by an Emirates guy holding a very reassuring ‘CAPE TOWN EK770’ board to personally take us to our flight, so there were no worries about missing it from that moment forward.
A very rudimentary x-ray of our bags, then another 15 minutes through the terminal on foot to gate C43 – just about as far from where we’d parked up as you can be.
And then – guess what? Back on a bus to get to our 777. Another 20-something minute journey back to the aircraft parking lot.
And when we got there, while we queued to get up the steps, I took this quick and dirty phone pic…

There, in the foreground, our 777 for the Cape Town flight. And in the background, all of about 100m away, the very same A380 that we disembarked from well over an hour earlier.

Nooooooooooooooooo!

Travel Saver rates do not apply

Hello. I’m somewhere over Iran. And I’ve just got this message on my cellphone:

Network On Air (Aerospace) is a satellite. Travel Saver rates do not apply. We encourage you to make calls at R23/min for int’l calls rather than receive calls at R150/min, R2.75/SMS & R128.00/MB for data. For T&Cs and rates visit www.vodacom.co.za/roam

I’ve already checked that my mobile data is switched off, but if you could all avoid calling me for the foreseeable future, that would be just great. Thanks.

Memories

I’m not about to leave Sheffield without some mementos of last weekend’s events.
A quick visit to Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane sorted that out.

I got a mug as well.
Happy days.

Last full day

It is, and has been, as the title suggests, our last full day in Sheffield.

After being thrown out of the restaurant last night, we needed a decent pick-me-up, and so early morning swimming, a really good lunch here and then a cool time at the local Escape The Room was quite literally the order of the day.

It was all going so well until we managed to get a child locked in the Voodoo Room in Malin Bridge, but I guess it means there will be a bit more spare space on the flight tomorrow. And five of the six of us did manage to get out, so that’s a 83.3% success rate. That’s almost three South African matric passes, so don’t try to tell me that’s not good.
Always look for the positives, as my dear old Mum used to say.

The rest of us will be heading back tomorrow.

Indian

What a day.
We’ve been shopping all day.

All. Day.

I mean, I like shopping as much as the next man, so you can imagine what sort of day I’ve had. I did manage to avoid visiting the new Ikea here in Sheffield though, and it’s those sort of small victories you need to cherish. Especially when you’ve been shopping All. Day.

So tonight is date night and I’ve chosen a local Indian restaurant. It’s this one in a local suburb, and things were going fine until someone rhymed the two words by saying Ranmoori Tandoori. And now I can’t stop saying it. And when I do, one of the kids says it again (because it’s hilarious) and then I start saying it again.

We’re basically about an hour away from me being a total buffoon and insulting them to their faces.

What a day.