When you quit your job, and are lucky enough to have a few days off before your new one starts, the most logical thing to do is obviously book a trip. Halfway around the world. Somewhere you've never been before. Where did that land me? In the land of opportunity, mystique, and SUN: where else, but Dubai!
First things first: whoever said that booking flights last-minute is a good idea was a LIAR. $1956 dollars later...I was on a plane. Connecting through Heathrow to Dubai (no directs available, in part because Emirates holds a monopoly on that route for the time being). Because of the recent ice storm, Emirates was completely booked. Unless I wanted to fly Business class for $7k. I have a job, but it ain't THAT well-paying! Ugh. Someday I will be able to afford a suite on an Emirates Airbus...and then never buy one because that's a waste of money! Think of all the travel you could buy yourself with ONE ticket!
So I get there and have to pass through the visa-on-arrival process. Which took forever, but seems even longer after traveling almost 24 hours and arriving in the middle of the night. Nevertheless, when I finally had my turn, they took my photo as is protocol, and the nice Emirati informed me he would send it to me so I could Instagram it. Am I THAT #obvious already here?
As some of you might know (if you know me in real life), I suffer from chronic migraines. They suck, almost nothing works, but Tylenol 1's seem to do the best job at making me functional when one happens. That being said, T1's are a combination of acetaminophen (Tylenol), caffeine, and codeine, so they're definitely stronger than aspirin. You can buy them over the counter in Canada though, no prescription necessary, no big deal, right? I *may* have had some in my bag for the trip, cannot confirm nor deny..
I passed through the final check, no questions asked. I only found out once in the country that I *may or may not have* just smuggled contraband into the country by accident, and if they had discovered my activities in the airport, it carries a mandatory 4 YEAR jail sentence. Terrifying!!! I was off to a rocky start. So folks, drugs are very bad here. Including ones that are fine in your home country. Be extremely careful!
I was so rattled I didn't take advantage of the duty free, which is a real shame, because the UAE is a Muslim country and you can only purchase alcohol at hotels or if you have a special license. Oh well! Lesson learned on two fronts.
Next up, my first full day in Dubai! Can't wait. Stay tuned...