Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Dark Side at Dubai Mall

As mentioned in the previous post, Dubai Mall was presenting The Imperial Army, Star Wars™ Exhibit in December 2018 as part of their festive holiday season.

Now, what Star Wars have to do with Christmas still eludes me, but hey, no need to overthink such small details. That's unimportant.

What's important is that on December 30th, the last day of the exhibit, I had just enough time to zoom over from the airport to the mall to visit Lord Vader and his faithful stormtroopers.

My flight was changed a couple of times, and when I got my final itinerary, it turned out that I was eligible for Dubai Connect. That means that thanks to the generosity of Emirates Airlines, I was put up in a stinky dump known as Copthorne Hotel. The place must be one of the grossest accommodation armpits in all of Dubai, and even though Dubai Connect is free, usually I prefer to pay for my own hotel than stay there.

But... this trip was already going to be over the budget, and hey, budget trouble is my middle name. So, I swallowed my pride and let myself be driven to the Copthorne. It was as hideous as I remembered it from a few years back.

But... the bathroom was vaguely clean, there were towels and body soap and I was grateful for the chance to take a shower. Then I took a short nap, made myself look human, grabbed my stuff, checked out and hopped on the marvelous Dubai metro.

Gold car, naturally. I like to sit in peace, even more so if I'm lugging around a 7 kilos carry-on.

The walk from the Burj Khalifa station to the mall was pure torture. I almost wished I had taken a taxi. But hey... Over budget and stuff like that. When the long schlep was finally over, I realized just how out of shape I had gotten. Sitting on your bum all day and just working online (and this is what I do) is definitely not healthy.

But, but... Soon, my patience, effort and dedication were rewarded with this view.

Hello brothers, I'm home!!!

Hi boss!

I asked random security guys to snap a few pictures of me. They enjoyed it a bit too much.

One asked if he could wear my bucket, too. Hey, if a uniformed member of the security crew asks, it's best not to argue. He, of course, immediately took a selfie and instagrammed it.

I love Dubai, but on this trip I didn't have enough time to enjoy the city. I didn't have enough time to stroll through the mall, go to Starbucks, or buy postcards, or even go to the toilet. With my sole purpose fulfilled, it was time to get back to the airport.

I briefly debated taking a taxi, but then decided against it. If I managed to metro it one way, I felt confident I could metro it back. 7 kilos and all.

I arrived at the airport right on time to a lovely surprise waiting for me at the gate. Got upgraded to business class!

And that's how I flew to Kolkata in style.