Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Big Lots

I stood in line at a cash register at Pic N'Save, oops Big!Lots today to pay for some essential items: Dill Pickle flavored potato chips, a plastic pot, 6 cans of chicken broth. Essential?? Just back from our 15 hour flight home from India, I had to move around in the afternoon or crash and prolong the jet lag. The idea of standing in line is kind of a shock after India where the sight of a bill, the rustle of money or a gesture toward purse or wallet unleashes a frenzy of sellers and offers. Stand in a line to pay?? Never. Vendors press to sell their goods, first with a smile and a dangle (necklace, bracelet, postcards), next with a sad story, finally with guilt ("but you looked at me and I thought you were going to buy.....).

I plan to disgorge my account of this travel in too much detail, but I'm writing this entirely for myself and my travel companions. To any others who elect to suffer through it, I make no apology.

Beginning at the beginning: We left LAX on Emirates, flying business class and using up some of our mucho accumulated miles. Emirates is splendid. The business class seats turn into a flat bed which the flight attendants make up with a mattress when you're ready to sleep. The entertainment system is amazingly varied - I watched a couple of great French films. The food was fine. With the aid of Ambien we conked out for 6 hours each - nothing like unconsciousness to make a flight tolerable.

The airport at Dubai is amazing. Huge, beautifully appointed, very efficient. Young men roam the place wearing T-shirts that say in large letters, "Can I help you?". Richard's suitcase was injured - two wheels mashed and smashed. We half dragged it over to the Emirates claim area and collected $35 in cash for immediate settlement. Fine with us as the suitcase was way past it's prime.

The airport cab line was well-organized and we only waited a couple of minutes before being whisked off in a new Mercedes by a white gloved and capped driver to the Crowne Plaza, only about a 25 minute drive away. The Crowne Plaza was just fine - a bit tired, but the rooms have been recently updated, the service is terrific and at $200 a night, a good value. In Dubai the hotel scene is nothing less than dazzling - fabulous properties and astronomical prices. After we settled in we called Zouzou and Debra who arrived from Germany a couple of hours before us. We arranged to meet the next morning for breakfast at nine.


  1. I read all your posts from last to first so my comments are all goofy. So I see you are home. Hooray! In my comment on later posts I kept wondering who Zuzu and Debra were and I still don't know. I suppose you'll tell me when we get together, which I hope will be soon. All so interesting. Can't wait to hear more. Looks like we'll need lots of lunches to catch up.

  2. So I asked Nancy (the one with the memory) and she reminded me that you told us about your traveling companions.