Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Driving Miss Malcolm

Monday Night - en route to Abu Dhabi

Apart from the fact that I or should I say my lords and masters in New York have to pay vast sums of excess baggage, the final count on my kit for this trip was 140kg and eight cases, plus my bag, plus the camera, plus my hand baggage. Had paid over $900 excess baggage things have gone fairly well tonight.

The drive though out to the airport was however totally the opposite, imagine you are waiting outside your hotel and this pimped up mini van turns up, straight out of MTV Saudi Arabia’s Pimp My Van. Where the d├ęcor includes prayer beads and confederate scarf’s safety pinned to the roof. And the driver insists on proving his manhood by honking the horn every ten seconds for no reason than his hands cannot touch his private parts because I am sitting in the front seat rather than his friend.

It reached its climax, pardon the non-intentional pun here. When approaching a vehicle at 140 kmh the driver hit the horn to ward of the car that had just turned on in a legal manner onto the highway. “Enough” was all I said in fair but enforceable tone. I have no intention of dying in a mini van going to Amman Airport.

Needless to say both the driver and his ‘friend’ looked disappointed when there was no indication of a tip when we arrived at the airport.

Traveling in the Middle East involves many things from swapping and changing around the four passports I carry, each passport has various stamps that may cause trouble on arrival or departure, and sometimes I have given the wrong passport and then spent twenty minute explaining the other passports.

The there is always the “ethic cleansing of the travel cases” as I like to term it. Which is the term I apply when I have to go over each case and make sure that there is no sticker from Israel on the case when I am going to an Arabic country in case the customs or security upon seeing an Israeli sticker decide to impound my case and classify it as a Zionist enemy. One little sticker with Hebrew writing or letters is enough to send Mohammed into a fit. Just another joy of trying to solve the Middle East Peace process.

Perhaps one day all cases will be free to travel anywhere and airport carousels will live in peace.

Off to the Abu Dhabi Mall this morning, a lay day waiting for a flight back to Amman, more later

Abu Dhabi

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Seven Cases

Whilst the date of the crusade ending is to be determined by lords and masters in far off places, there is always time for another chance to jump on a flying machine and depart for the wilds of sand in far flung countries.

Now for those who do not know travelling in this business mainly involves packing and unpacking boxes, loading and unloading them and counting the missing ones on airport carousels or before some little nigel nicks them off the back of a truck.

For this trip more details to follow, from on the road in the following days.

Anyway back to cases, I like to think that I pack light when I travel for work and getting everything into seven cases was a pretty good deal, luckily we are not taking transmission eqpt as this automatically puts me at close to twenty boxes and 300 kg, so seven cases and under 100kg of excess baggage

Tales from the desert to follow next week