Monday, 23 February 2009


Or more to the point are the bags there yet?

FEB 11th 2009
After a night of no sleep at all I was bright eyed and bushy tailed, the numerous pig parts were packed away in the bags and we were all ready to leave for the airport at 5.55am.

Manchester Airport was as tedious as ever with the only bit of excitement being provided at security. It started when my boarding pass, which we had printed at home, was rejected meaning I had to go all the way back to check in to get issued with a new one while the males of the party waited for me on "the other side".

Once through Pete and Kyle set of the bleep machine that you walk through so whilst Pete was stripping himself clean of anything metal and Kyle was being frisked, much to his disgust, I was attempting to persuade a nice man that we needed Pete's cough medicine to be allowed through even though it wasn't prescription.

We flew with Ethiad airlines and the plane was complete luxury compared to the Canada flights we have been on. We got complimentary flight socks each, padded headphones, drinks of our choice soft and alcholic and a menu to choose our inflight meal from. The next 7 hours were pretty boring really with the time spent watching films, in my case Wall E and City of Embers, and playing games on the entertainment system. I even managed to win £1m on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" just before we landed in Abu Dhabi.

The landing cameras were then all turned on and we all watched our descent down to the brightly lit runway. Just as we were bracing ourselves for touch down the thrusters roared back into life and we were suddenly hurtling skywards at a rate of knots. Now despite what Pete says I wasn't scared, I didn't nearly wet myself and I didn't clutch on to him for dear life and if I did happen to do one or two of the above it was only to make him feel better. 10 minutes later a new attempt was made on a different runway with no strong tail winds.

After a short wait the 2nd flight of the day turned out to be much more interesting than the first. We all filed onto the plane where everyone other than ourselves and one other family were Arabs. This is where we learnt pretty quickly that they must bathe in smellies as the stench of musky aftershave was overpowering. Everything was ready for take off apart from a missing passenger who arrived late and then the silly man decided that he didn't like the seat he had been assigned and refused to sit down and no-one was going to persuade him otherwise, well not for another 45 minutes anyway. During this time we were sat in an enclosed space where at least 3 Omanie men had the most horrendous hacking coughs, probably due to the perfumed atmosphere. At one point I did suggest that Pete should either a) stop breathing so that he didn't catch anything or b) give them all a slurp of his cough medicine that I had managed to hold on to. Eventually Mr Stroppy Arab man decided to stop tantruming as they had threatened to throw him off the plane, and sat down so we were finally on our way.

Upon arrival we had a small queue for our hand luggage to be x-rayed and to purchase our Visa so that we could enter the country. We then had to pick up the hold luggage and this is when my worst nightmare became a reality with the dreaded missing bag. I surprised myself by not panicking, not even slightly. We filled in the forms, met Robert and drove to his house about 30 minutes away which meant we arrived there 15 hours after we had locked our front door AND we had managed to avoid the pork sausage, pork pie, ham and bacon smugglers prison.

I know that I am slightly behind with these posts but they were written on the day that I have set them as in a little notebook. I just couldn't get them onto the Internet due to the crappy Internet connections available in Oman and it seemed a shame not to post them like I had originally planned.


Photographing Mom said...

Looking forward to reading the rest of the story!

Chris T said...

Me too!

Mima said...

15 hours is a loooonnng journey, but well done for keeping hold of Pete's cough syrup - not quite sure how you managed that!