Posted by: patriciamar | August 15, 2009

Flying away

15 August, 2009

We woke up early this morning, left Smaragdlaan for the last time, and headed to the train station, using the second to last day of our Eurail pass (so first class-hurray!). We took the train to Dusseldorf airport and oddly enough, we were accompanied by part of the Netherlands (Beijing) Olympic track team…

We are now on the flight to Dubai with what seems like a lot of quite wealthy people. I have never seen so many kids running in and out of business class and first class to visit their nanny in economy.  It was very odd seeing the initial flight map. I have definitely never started out with a view of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. It was a bit eerie flying directly over Baghdad as well (even though we were 39,000 feet in the air). It isn’t something I ever really thought I would do.

The Emirates female attendants wear a little hat that has a cream colored scarf attached and hangs down the right side, loops around their neck and tucks in. I guess I do not really know the origin or the idea behind it, but it seems to me to be a small nod to the head scarf, perhaps signifying the type of role that UAE (United Arab Emirates) plays in the Middle East. Though don’t quote me on that. I sort of feel like I should have read a bit more on Islam before this trip. Although the island we are going to is mostly Christian, the speakers of Alor (that Matt would potentially be looking for) are generally Muslim, as is Indonesia as a whole and a majority of this flight. Even the flight dinner menu said that all the food is halal. This is something I’m sure a lot of airlines don’t even think about. I remember while at the U of M, sometimes it was a mess just trying to find one kosher meal at the last minute. I would guess that most people with a restricted diet (just like people with allergies) just do not eat on planes at all (I’m thinking of my dad’s peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in his briefcase).

Just as everyone had been telling us, Emirates was very nice. Where else can you get lamb curry, potato and pumpkin mash on the side, and an appetizer of smoked trout for your plane dinner? Yum. (Though, of course, the trout was not nearly as good as G & G’s in Colorado).

Another cool feature about Emirates is that you can watch the flight camera both forward and down. You can look forward into the clouds (like a dream!) or you can watch the ground below you (this made me feel a bit sick overall). 

Again, I don’t think I’ve ever been on a plane with so many kids. After five hours, they seem to be getting fairly antsy (as am I) but only 47 minutes to go! Our flight was supposed to take around 7 ½ hours, but due to perfect wind, w are going to be there in a little under six! Fabulous! That makes my total flight time today only 15 ½ hours. Not bad. I’m glad we are not going direct Amsterdam to Jakarta. Although technically easier, I am not sure if I am ready for 15 hours straight. 

And best of all, I even slept on this flight! (A personal victory due to the fact that I was 0 for 2 for my last long-haul flights.)

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