Travel days suck. They just do.
It was recommended that I catch the 11:25 bus. ‘K. At 11:10 I checked out and by 11:15 I was standing at the bus stop. The bus however was not so cooperative. When it hadn’t appeared by 11:40, I studied the schedule and found that there was an 11:50. So I waited. And that bus didn’t show up either. As there was another one at 12:15 I gambled and won. Then I couldn’t find where to check in and the very helpful Italians wouldn’t tell me where I needed to go and the signs were no help at all. I went to an information booth and the man behind the glass would only shake his head at me. I’m aware of how annoying it is to answer stupid questions all the time, but nobody held a gun to your head and made you go into hospitality. But I found the departures desk, checked in (where the woman screwed up my seating assignments on both flights so instead of having window seats I ended up in the middle both flights.)
On the flight to Dusseldorf I was nearly sick despite my trusty Dramamine. In case it ever happens to you, try to arrange to be sick with a helpful English speaker next to you. I had a very helpful, but non-English speaking Danish man to one side and a fluent English speaking German man on the other side trying to pretend it wasn’t happening. It’s got to be me. I exude a pheromone that attracts only unpleasant Germans. Not that I wasn’t trying to pretend it wasn’t happening too, but when you’re sitting there with an airsick bag clutched in one hand and a napkin in the other, pretending only works so well.
I had a glorious 6 hour layover in Dusseldorf and to my good fortune this terminal was much better than the last. It even had a super secret waiting area with cots. Then is was shoveled into my next flight where I was not just in the middle of the row, but also in the middle of the plane and once again we had a rather rough landing that left me clenching my teeth and thinking, “I think I can, I think I can.” Honestly, all of Europe seemed to have an unwelcome mat out. Other places, even random people on the street were nice to me. In Italy pretty much only the bus drivers were nice to me and I think that had a lot to do with how bedraggled and wet I was that first day.
In Abu Dhabi I took my sweet time getting off the plane and through Immigration. I had a 4 hour wait for the bus to Al Ain. At the Immigration desk I watched the officer poker face everyone who went through until he got to me. He looked at me, looked at my residence visa, grinned and waved me on.
I arrived in Al Ain at 10:30 in the morning. There is a 2 hour time difference between Venice and Al Ain, but that still has me traveling for 21 hours. The fish feeder had quit working at some point while I was gone, but the fish had the grace to not eat each other.
Travel is starting to get a bit wearing. Having to figure everything out all the time, like when the grocery store is open. Getting lost. Arriving at a destination and realizing you’ve forgotten something key. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Crabby immigration officials. Unhelpful information desks. You know, I’d really like to know what’s going on next time I go someplace. I may be headed to Paris Disneyland for Christmas next year out of desperation.