Arrival

5 Jul

Friday

From the moment I stepped onto the plane it was apparent my life was changing. More used to the cattle class of the budget airlines, even Etihad’s “Coral” class seemed a cut above. The polyglot cabin crew in their unusual head gear seemed exotic and somehow out of place in drizzly Manchester. It wasn’t long, though, before it became plain that I was the one who was displaced.
Taking that first tentative step out of the chilly air-conditioned cabin into the Abu Dhabi evening was enough to make me realise I had left everything familiar behind. My mind couldn’t quite comprehend what had hit me. Suddenly engulfed in what I thought was the hot blast from the plane’s engine, it took me a few seconds to realise that this was the weather.
The fan-heater afternoons of a Greek summer hadn’t prepared me for this. I’ve been trying to find some way to describe the sensation and can only come up with standing in front of a giant and powerful tumble dryer vent. The humidity is staggering. My glasses immediately steamed up and as I gripped the steel pole of the shuttle bus my hand slipped in the condensation.
It soon became apparent that the majority of my fellow passengers weren’t terminating their journey here but were travelling further afield. This meant that there was no comforting crocodile of people heading for baggage collection or the exit. No problem, I could follow the signs which were in both Arabic and, thankfully, English. Except suddenly I was in a shopping centre. Not a sign to be seen, just a queue snaking its way between the stores. It was only my aversion to standing in line that stopped me joining it and searching furthur afield.
Once I was back on track, though, it was plain sailing. My cases were already going round on the carousel, a luggage trolley was at hand and Customs didn’t bat an eye. Best of all, there was Neil waving to me. Suddenly I was right at home.

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2 Responses to “Arrival”

  1. Leenjoan July 5, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    Good Luck in your new home ,I am already looking forward to the new blogs.

    • lamputts July 6, 2014 at 4:28 am #

      Thanks Joan. Looking forward to getting our own apartment but loving AD.

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