10 August 2010

Traveling in the Middle East

We have seen some interesting things traveling on a discount airline in this region of the world.

The first (well, after the doggie purse and stapler incident at the airport), and most shocking, happened as we were flying from our home city to Dubai. There were quite a few guys on the plane who had OBVIOUSLY never flown before. They were clueless about things like how to open a door with a push-bar across the front, how to put on a seatbelt, and basic airplane etiquette.

Let me set the scene.

It's the middle of the night. I'm groggy, nauseated and delirious. Traveling through the night always makes me feel this way. I'm holding a sleeping child in my arms watching a young man in one row ahead of me and across the aisle. He had already needed help with his seatbelt and with obtaining a cup of tea. Which in the end a stranger bought for him cause he hadn't any money or any idea what was going on. I won't go into how confused he was by the large paper cup and the funny plastic lid with hole in it.

Aaanyway, he must have had some congestion cause he hocked a loogie and then SPIT IT ON THE FLOOR. On the carpet. Under the chair in front of him.

oh. my. goodness.

My jaw literally dropped for a few minutes at least. My eyes as wide as saucers. I was in disbelief. I mean, I don't blame the guy... he lives in a culture where men and women do spit anywhere. Probably he's never been anywhere where spitting is prohibited.

But seriously... that was just gross.

Moving on.

At the transfer terminal (Dubai Terminal 2... which is VASTLY different from Dubai Terminal 1 and not recommended), I needed the loo.

Can you read the sign? It says "Toilet for Ledis."

Um, I guess that's me?

So I'm taking care of business and I see this.

Maybe you can't see. The ambitious cleaner lady (which I would normally really appreciate) thinks it's a great time to clean the floor and tried to flood me out of the stall with soapy water! Which worked, actually. After I rolled up my trousers, that is.

Moving on.

Then in Qatar, I saw this.

Unattended baggage. Lots of it. This would never fly in the U.S. Seriously that stuff would have been surrounded by the bomb squad in 2.5 seconds.

Moving on.

Lastly, my favorite.

A sign in the airplane bathroom demonstrating proper toilet usage.

This is necessary signage and I appreciate it very much.


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