It’s All Maya!

If Life is an illusion, then why do I keep banging my head against the wall?

Si la Vie est une illusion, pourquoi je n'arrête pas de me taper la tête sur les murs?

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Our Trip To Far East Asia

May 12th, 2015 · 6 Comments

First Stop:  Dubai:  (I know, I know, it’s the Middle East, not Far East Asia.)

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Airbus A380, a city in the sky.

Patrick and I started our trip on Emirates Airlines. When we saw the plane, the Airbus A380, we asked ourselves, how in the heck is this enormous plane ever going to get off the ground? It’s the world’s largest passenger aircraft and only certain airports have the facilities to accommodate it. There are two levels, the  upper level is first class and business class with a lounge area, a private bar, and private sleeping compartments. You can even take a shower at 40,000 ft. The lower level has six sections with ten seats across (3 on each side and 4 in the middle) going back nearly one hundred rows.

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Shower spa in the air.

The traveling city (that’s what it seemed like) was impressive, but what impressed Patrick and I the most was the service provided by the airline. It was like going back in time when flying use to be fun and service was great. (Remember those days?)

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Even economy is spacious with huge overhead bins.

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No more peanuts.

Most western airlines today have completely done away with any comfort for their passengers. Now a days you’re lucky to get 5 pretzels in a little bag that are handed out like nuggets of gold. Don’t think about asking for a second bag, they’ll bark at you and tell you one per customer. (All right, that’s not true, but you feel like that’s what’ll happen, so most people don’t ask.) At the rate airlines are going it won’t be long before the seats will be taken out and everyone will stand like a herd of cattle.

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Emirates crew from around the world.

But, let’s get back to the Emirates Airline. There were stewards and hostesses that spoke a total of 28 languages. And I don’t mean text learned by heart like on some airlines where you don’t understand half of what they’re saying. On the Emirates, each of their personnel was fluent in several languages. Menus were passed out so you could select the meals you wanted. Hot towels were given to you before each meal so you could freshen up. Free wine and spirits were available. You had each meal with real cutlery, no plastic crap here. If you were hungry in between meal times, you could nibble on something at the bar in Business and First Class. In Economy you could ask for a cup of noodle soup or ice cream.

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Time flew by!

Headphones were given free of charge and each passenger had a large individual screen. There were more than 500 films in a variety of languages and countries to choose from. Hollywood isn’t the only one producing films, you know. We spent seven hours flying from Paris to Dubai, but it seemed more like three or four the ride was so comfortable.

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Welcome sign as you get off the plane.

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Dubai at dusk.

Dubai was not what we expected. Then again, we really didn’t know what to expect. I think I had kept in mind all the Arab/Middle Eastern  countries I had been to. Places like Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, or Israel. The United Arab Emirates was ultra modern and as soon as you landed you knew this was a place of wealth. Luxuries and designer names were everywhere. The women wore the traditional long black abaya with a hijab, but you could tell just from looking at their clothes they were made from the best quality material money could buy. And why not, many women do buy their abayas from Chanel, Dior, and a number of other top designers. Gee, who knew?

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Women shopping in Dubai.

It was nothing like the djellabas, chadors and burkas of good quality, and poor, that I had seen in other Arab countries. For some reason the images that have stayed with me in those places were more of poverty than wealth. Sand storms, where it was always hot and dusty, also come to mind. Here, everything was air conditioned and even the men in their long white dishdasha and keffiyeh looked pristine despite the hot temperatures outside.

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A hologram greets you in the airport.

Maya Muses:  The people were friendly and spoke both French and English so we had no trouble communicating. Patrick and I didn’t stay long enough, but we told ourselves we would definitely like to go back again. Inshallah – God willing.

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Let’s shop!

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If you like nuts, you’ve come to the right place.

Photo Credits: Personal Photos and Airbus A380, Shower, Economy, Delta, Crew, Bar, Dubai, Shopping

Tags: Is Anyone Listening? · Travel

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jane // May 17, 2015 at 8:33 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more about the hassles of traveling today. At least that’s the way it is in the US. In a year or two we’ll be lucky to have a glass of water.

    I’ve never been to the middle east or far east so I’m looking forward to reading about the rest of your journey.

  • 2 Patrick // May 17, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    By far my best trip ever.

  • 3 Lynn // May 18, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Jane, the difference between eastern and western airlines is enormous. We’ve forgotten how air travel use to be. Thanks for writing.

  • 4 Lynn // May 18, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    It was a great trip! Now we’ve gotten the bug to go to the other places on our list. We’ve been around the world, there aren’t that many left.

  • 5 Harriet // May 23, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    What an impressive looking city, indeed! Waiting to hear more about your trip.

  • 6 Lynn // May 24, 2015 at 6:18 am

    I’ll put up the next leg soon, hope you, Richard and Chloe (Lol) had a good trip as well.

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