Monday, September 17, 2007

The Heathrow nightmare

2 hours prior to boarding my London-Doha flight, I was ready to rave about how great my experience at Heathrow had been.

I arrived without much fuss, many thanks to dear Cui for accompanying me on the tube. There was NO QUEUE at the check in counter, my baggage was 27.6kg, not overweight as I feared, and apart from the usual expected fuss (and queue within reason) for the liquids (I even had to do a liquid testing, which didn’t take a lot of time and in a weird way, quite cool) and shoes check, it was quite a breeze really. The final bits as I started my 20 mins walk to my gate and there was a buggy offered to me for my gate thanks to some nice old people, I couldn’t believe my luck! I was thinking, wow, thank you Heathrow, for making my England exit such a pleasant one.

And then it hit. They announced my flight will be delayed for approximately ½ hour – no drama. So I said there patiently with my Nick Hornby book and Glamour magazine. ½ hour later, they said the delay will be much longer – the flight had problems and they are not running the plane but wait for the next one to arrive in LHR and fly that one instead, so it’d take off at 1930 instead of 1505.

The rage. I knew I was going to miss my connecting flight to Singapore and there is only one flight per day, which means I will be stuck in Doha for a day. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I was with someone, but I’m all alone! Stuck in the Middle East all by myself for 24 hours?!

I spent the £10 refreshment voucher at the Japanese restaurant where the sushi was so badly made it doesn’t hold itself and falls apart when I pick it up with the chopsticks. Anyway, four hours later I board the plane, watched 2 movies in a row, slept for 2 hours and got to Doha.

Nothing of the promised ‘the ground staffs in Doha will know exactly what to do Madam’ was really felt when I arrived. We queued for ages, but finally got sent to a hotel.

The room is really NICE. I’m not going to ignore the fact that missing my flight back home pisses me off big time, but the fact that I’m in a swanky hotel in the middle of the West Bay Area (whatever that means) of the centre of Doha does help a little. I’ve got a fantastic huge flat screen Samsung TV and I’ve been channel surfing since. I think the wireless internet should have been free, but besides that, everything was great, like the three free meals had been great.

So I checked in at 6 in the morning, had some breakfast, and slept through till two, had a nice warm bath, went to the restaurant for lunch, had a walk around (literally one round around the hotel). There is just NOTHING in Doha. Well, nothing around that round around my hotel, at least. It is so warm, at least 35 degrees of dry heat, and so after 5 minutes I was ready to go back to my big luxurious king size bed and four pillows. Zoned out after being on the computer for a while before my new found friend who also got stranded in Doha with me came to my room and woke me up for dinner.

It’s 5 to 9 now and my bath is running as I am typing this (it's not real time as I posted it later). I’m going to enjoy my second and last bath (for a while) before getting ready to be picked up by the airport transfer at half 10.

I’m glad my Doha (or what I made of it) hasn’t been as nightmarish as I’ve imagined it to be. I’m refreshed and ready for tomorrow, although my biological clock was knocking my head asking what I am doing to my own body.

So yes people, I’ve actually been to the Middle East, with a stamp to prove it. Not a lot of people can do that, right? (Okay shut up Dubai).

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Giving a shit

It's all about whether one is deserving of it or not.

The level of happiness and quality of life has nothing to do with responsibility towards others. One should never step on another's head, especially when they have once lent a shoulder to step on to lift you up.

Escapist is so yesteryear.