I wake with 2 hours left before we land at Dubai, the brightest natural light that I have ever encountered forces its way under some of the blinds. It's 4:26 UK time, my eyes are a little sore.
I get up from my upright bed go to freshen up as much as I can in the confined space afforded. I swear brushing my teeth has never felt so damn refreshing and the warm water on my eyes somehow wakes and soothes at the same time. No room to stretch though.
Breakfast is a light affair. Coffee with a warm carrot, apple and oat muffin. Breakfast is almost a very light affair as my early morning brain is almost defeated by the box in which the muffin is housed. I will not fail. The box is destroyed in my neanderthal like show of virility, am I the muffin man?
The rubbish is cleared, belts are fastened and we start our descent. It's mostly smooth but one particular drop causes a collective groan to reverberate around the cabin. I grip the arm rests tightly as I watch the runway come into view through the swathes of sand that lie before. The landing is the best I've ever encountered. The whole descent from beginning to end is almost exactly 1 sugar free mint humbug. My grip finally loosens.
After we disembark I am greeted in Dubai and ushered towards gate B30 where my connecting flight is getting ready to board. The airport is vast and has an abundance of glass, metal and highly polished floors but I don't have time to admire it fully. I'm straight onto the airport subway and checking into my next flight in a matter of minutes. Quick toilet break then I'm boarding. Seasoned pro now.
The second flight isn't as smooth as the first, at times feeling more like a juddering railway carriage than one that's carving through the air at 34,996ft. If this had been the first flight I would have come off it a blubbering mess, however this all seems completely normal now. Amazing how we can, as a species just adapt like that. Extraordinary can become ordinary in no time at all, but I'm yet undecided as to whether this is a good or a bad thing. I can see both sides. From an evolutionary point of view, adapt and survive, it has to be a good thing right? But is the negative that we tire too easily of things or people that we should hold dear, that once made us happy, or inspired us to drive things forward in our own personal ways, those things or people that for however short it was before we tired of them, were the most awe inspiring or wonderful things in our lives.
I may have gone a little long without sleep, think someone just mentioned Mucho Grande. At least I didn't have the chicken.
I've been sat next to a kindly fellow from Durban, South Africa for the cokey part of this trip. He's asleep most the time but now and then he wakes up, mutters something mostly in-cohesive with a smile then falls back asleep again. He's going off to see his son who lives just outside Bangkok and he's taking him 2 pieces of in flight cheese, one of which I donated.
Our estimated time of arrival is around 6.58 this evening local time, 11:58 UK time meaning that I will then have been on the go for about 29 hours barring a couple of hours snatched over Eastern Europe last night. After I clear the airport I will then have a 45 minute journey by coach to the area where my hostel is located. I just hope that when I finally get stopped for the evening i can switch off enough to get some proper sleep. Much to do tomorrow so need to be fully functional to get the most out of what is bound to be a tough and exciting experience.