Well the day didn’t start as well as I would have liked. We had an agreement with one of my husband’s colleagues that we would drive into the Departures Drop Off zone at the airport, he would meet us and whisk the car away. Thus saving us the torturous process of unloading in the car park and dragging 3 children, 3 suitcases and far too much hand luggage down into the terminal building.
It was a well thought out plan. It has worked well on past occasions. However, yesterday there was a flaw with our cunning plan. The colleague tasked with whisking the car away, was nowhere to be seen.
My husband rang his mobile. He rang it again. And again. It soon became clear that we were on our own.
I meanwhile had dashed into the terminal in the hope of procuring one of the Emirates loan buggies. It is a dedicated Emirates terminal and there are racks and racks of them when you don’t need one. But of course at 6am on Friday morning when we needed two of them… there were none.
I bounded up to the ‘Information’ desk and was greeted with a snarl by a large lady in traditional Arabic dress. I chirpily asked where I might find a loan buggy and was met with that most gracious of responses…
And another snarl.
I explained the concept of the loan buggy. I pointed to one I could see in the distance.
Blank look. Another snarl. A shrug of the shoulders. I smiled and said, “Thank you so much”, though the sentiment I fear was lost on her.
I raced back out to the car where I learned that there were two options to our predicament. Either we abandoned our car in the drop off zone, never to be seen again. Or, I took the children and the luggage into the terminal whilst my husband disposed of the car in the car park.
The ‘abandoning the car route’ clearly seemed the most logical. I mean, it’s a company car after all. Would anyone even notice? And look on the bright side I said. It’s another registration when they have to give you a new car.
My husband didn’t really seem to be buying into my plan. “You’ll be fine”, he said. He loaded up the trolley with the luggage and handed me a twin. My son was just anxious to get onto the plane so was perfectly comfortable with the plan. I must have looked horrified. “I’ll take the brunette”, said the husband.
So, one trolley, 3 suitcases, 5 pieces of hand luggage, a 5-year-old, a 17 month old and 40 degrees. In case anyone is wondering, it’s not a great combination.
I had the twin that walks. Brilliant, thought I. She can walk alongside her brother, whilst I push the trolley. The trolley had a total weight close to that of the plane that would soon be carrying us. The twin doesn’t weigh an awful lot less. She’s ‘well-built’.
But did the blonde want to walk? Of course not.
I scooped her up and leant on the trolley in the hope that it would move. Nothing happened. It was one of those that have to have the handle pushed down in order for it to release the brakes. I came up with a strategy. My son leaned on the handle, I leaned on the trolley, the blonde leaned on me. It wasn’t elegant, but it did the job.
We shuffled into the Terminal to discover that the Bag Drop area was a further 2 kilometres from the entrance. We shuffled together. It was a true team effort.
By the time my husband and the brunette joined us, I must have looked like I’d run a marathon. I was drained, exhausted and frankly completely over the whole ‘travelling’ lark.
It was 6.35am, and we hadn’t even checked the bags in. I got the distinct impression, it was going to be a long day.