Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Eid Mubarak

BetterArf assures me that Ramadan has ended and we are now into Eid Al Fitr.

Last night was 'interesting'. Daddy-in-law was due to arrive at the airport at one minute to midnight. He's 77 and has had three hip replacements (one of them didn't work too well) so walking long distances isn't one of the things he can easily do. We'd arranged for him to be met by DNATA's 'Marhaba' service*, which means that they'd make sure he got onto a golf buggy for the long trip through the tunnel, and be put into a wheelchair and whizzed through the formalities.

The flight landed ten minutes late, and twenty minutes after that there was no sign of him. BetterArf went to the Marhaba desk and was assured that he had been met. And at one a.m. he finally appeared, all on his ownsome. Marhaba had failed miserably. He had approached lots of the yellow-jacketed meeters, none of whom had been sent to meet him. And none of them showed any interest in finding out where his meeter was.

So that was a truly crap way to welcome a fresh visitor to our wonderful metropolis. But it got better - a quick pint at the Irish Village, followed by a quick hurtle down the Sheikh Zayed Road.

Grrr. On the bright side, when he leaves I expect there'll be a stretch limo, red carpet right up to the plane, a free upgrade and they'll probably let him fly it if he wants to.

*You would expect that you could book Marhaba online, and indeed their website gives this impression right up until the point where they've forced you to register and then tell you that you have to call a special number. When you call this number you find that it no longer works. So you end up having to call DNATA and navigate through their voice response system and when you finally get to where you need to be the whole process is done by fax! Ridiculous.