Saturday, 14 August 2010

The coffee episode

Day 1-ish (difficult to determine given jetlag and stuff)
Dubai Airport

OK, I said I needed to rant at the end of the last entry, so here goes. We arrived at Dubai International Airport, very swish and the terminal building is truly immense. I had vowed to punch famous racist Jim Davidson if I saw him, but I had no luck on that score. So we wandered up and down a bit, bought some duty free vodka for those nights when you’re stuck somewhere the bars aren’t open (trust me it does happen). We decided to get a drink, so opted for Costa, faithful coffe shop they are. Jane got a can of pop, I wanted a nice iced coffee. The menu wasn’t very explanatory, so I ordered an iced Americana and we sat down. It was brought over and what I got can only be described as iced coffee, by which I mean a plastic cup of cold coffee with ice in it. No milk, no sugar. It wasn’t the delicious coffe milkshake I expected, the one you get at Starbucks or, yes, even Costa in the UK (and, surely, every other country in the world). Of course I needed to add sugar to it to make it palatable, but it was cold so SUGAR WOULDN’T DISSOLVE IN IT!!!!! I mean, HELLO!!!! What’s the point of a diluted espresso with ice in it? It’s not even got the hit of a proper espresso. It’s what would normally be described as dregs. Are these people stupid? Actually , probably not as I was the one to pay £5 for the two drinks (seems expensive, but I paid in sterling and any change would have been in UAE Dirams or whatever).

OK, rant over.

Normal service is resumed. We boarded our plane at Manchester smoothly, despite other passengers not actually understanding the idea of boarding according to zones. We were at the back of the plane so should have been one of the first on board (apart from Silver club members and people dragging sprogs on board), but we still had to queue.

We reached our seats and were amazed how comfy they were and how great the entertainment system actually was. Hundreds of films to watch, and video games to play. We both had to swap our headphones for new ones as neither one worked, but they we had new ones straight away, then we (and by “we” I mean”me) were plied with alcohol throughout the flight.

The food was really the best I think I’ve eaten on a plane, a curried main with a great strawberry cheesecake for dessert. Better than I recall in the two times I was lucky enough to get an upgrade to business class on Singapore and Lufthansa respectively.

We touched down in Dubai, pearl of the east, or whatever they call it at about midnight. An Emirate of massive wealth, enormously phallic buildings and home to various UK tax exiles, including Mr Davidson (see above). Despite the time we landed, the place was absolutely thronged with people in transit. The terminal building is huge and has any number of retail outlets where you can get your fill of burgers, coffee (also see above), sportswear and duty free, but can’t buy a beer. Actually, that’s not strictly true as they do have a very expensive looking bar and restaurant, as well as an even more expensive looking seafood restaurant, but your usual traveller’s bar wasn’t there. Most disappointing. Still we managed to kill the couple of hours we had here before embarking on our next leg to KL. It was here that the incident mentioned above, and which I will now refer to as coffeegate, occurred. Really, iced coffee with no milk or sugar, what planet are they on?

So we went to the departure lounge for the flight on which was unremarkable, apart from the fact that there was a woman wearing the baggiest harem pants I’ve ever seen, in purple, queuing for our flight to KL, which raised the question of whether she had a major incontinence problem.

On board we dd the same stuf, I played more games, watched Shutter Island but only drank a couple of beers as we were both feeling tired.

We landed in KL, disembarked and proceeded to look for where to get the bus to Melaka. We eventually found the place to discover it actually wasn’t the place, so we ended up having to get a taxi for about 4 times the price, though this was still only about £30, and this was door to door as he dropped us off at the hotel directly, so no need to get a taxi or walk the distance from the bus station wherever that may happen to be.

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