We have arrived safely in Dubai after a pretty epic journey that began at 5am yesterday morning in New Zealand with a flight to Auckland. I went for an induction session at Cognition HQ while Jacky went to St Lukes to meet Brian and then Tina. Keegan was able to pick me up after my induction (Cog people were a lovely bunch - I enjoyed catching up with Chris, Jess and Repi - rest of the office were all new people) and deliver me to St Lukes. Fantastic to see them all before we left.
We haven't seen Tina for ages and it was great to catch up! The thing with special friends and shared history is that you can pick up again instantly. It was also our first sighting of her special little guy, Oliver. He's going to be a heart-breaker!
Keegan delivered us to the airport and it was a special thing: being able to say farewell to him. The A380 took us first to Sydney and then, after about 20 hours, we landed safely in Dubai at 5am this morning. Nothing to it when it's written down but 20 hours is 20 hours!
For some reason everybody in the world decided to exit passport control at the same time. We finally made it to the desk to be told that I had to get an eye scan and a new piece of paper from the opposite end of the building (or as the passport guy said, "Corner"). Handy. Another queue and then back for an even longer queue/wait to get a stamp in our passports. All up two and a half hours of standing in line! Ridiculous.
Luckily we were able to get into our hotel room early and had a sleep (we agreed on two hours but ended up snoozing for five). We were both cream crackered. I slept for about 2 hours on the plane and the rest was fitful moving around with eye shades on (not even room for tossing and turning). I did watch the usual procession of movies: Toy Story 3 (fun in spots but enough already); Salt (started out with Bourne style realism and promise but then started getting silly - still a good actioner though); Robin Hood (Ridley and Crowe - again looked fantastic and the action scenes were brilliant. Ridley obviously paying homage to the Saving Private Ryan beach scenes in reverse - the French getting wasted in a beach landing this time). I also spent time listening to music and reading the new Mojo magazine. No matter what you do though, 20 hours on your bum is hardly fun! The care packages given by Samantha and Jade did help us out immensely though - we're still working through the fruit bursts!
We've just been for our first walk back in sand land - gotta love that heat! The mall was like an old friend and we had a lovely meal at Paul's. What a great feeling to be back in the land of polite service and smiling faces (a real contrast to the sullen treatment from the cafes in Auckland airport).
Tomorrow we are being picked up and driven to our new home in Al-Ain (about 90 mins south of Dubai). Stay tuned!
Love and peace - Wozza