Friday, January 8
Roof of the StarMetro, Deira, Dubai, 9:30
Yesterday we arrived in Dubai prepared for a lengthy wait while we immigrated, and we got one. We waited in line for fifty minutes before passing through security in thirty seconds. We then took a fifteen minute taxi ride to the hotel and went straight to bed.
This morning we all woke up at 7:30, got washed and dressed, and went downstairs for a big buffet breakfast.
Now we are on the second floor roof, which is ten metres from room 205, looking at the swimming pool. We spend most of the morning here in the increasing heat, watching the airplanes pass overhead as they take off. Their sounds echo between the buildings which strikes me as interesting rather than annoying.
This is a remarkably pleasant way to spend a morning between flights, and we all decide that this is what we should do next winter. Other people come and go as we lay in recliners, some in bikinis and some in burkhas. Nobody seems to mind anybody else.
At 13:00 we will check out and go for a walk. We will find a department store which we will wander around for an hour or so, buying chocolate and sunglasses and not much else.
At 14:30 we will return to the StarMetro, collect our luggage, and take a taxi to the airport. The queue to get out of Dubai will be shorter than the queue to get in.
We will spend a couple of hours in the Marhaba lounge by gate 23 before boarding the plane for a delayed take-off. The food in the lounge will be excellent and so will the food on the plane.
When we arrive in Helsinki we will note that is approximately 55 degrees colder than Dubai. It will be snowing.