It is D-day today.No problem waking up on time at all. I never have such a problem while aiming to catch an early morning flight, because I am nearly always sleepless for the anxiety of missing my flight. The night concierge helped me down with my luggage and consequently broke my suitcase handle on the way out. He looked very distressed. Bad luck; he moaned. Not for me I told him. A taxi/truck pulled up in front of the hotel and takes me away to the airport at neck-breaking speed.My thoughts echo the concierge's concern all the way.... bad luck...bad luck...bad luck...
We arrived in one piece though. Checking in is a breeze. Emirates Airlines has a separate check in section for First Class and Business Class - not a mere counter like we had back home, but actually it is an entire secluded hall. And as a member of the latter privileged group I got a quick usher-in and I am done with check-in in less than 10 minutes ; no waiting on a long queue , no exact weighing of your luggage. A lift and electric train system brings me to the Business Class lounge where I enjoy an unneeded breakfast.
My Emirates Airlines flight took off on time at 7.30 am. Goodbye Dubai.
I feel relaxed all the way. The pretty hostess is amused that I have the headphones on all the way listening to Marvin Gaye ,Aretha Franklin, Motown Hits, Jimi Hendrix ...... Twice she had to stand in front of me before I could take notice of her to give my orders for breakfast and lunch. I wasn't hungry. I was excited to be returning home.
On my earlier trip, I had been worried that my plane had dangerously passed over terrorist-infested Maiduguri. This time I could see that the pilot had decided to be wiser in light of the terrorist attack on Abuja a couple of days ago. We safely approached Lagos through Cameroon , and over Edo State. Thumb up sir.
Home at last. The arrival hall looked like a disused warehouse compared to the place where I had come from. I feel quite sad again ; like I should take the next flight out. When shall we get it right ? When ?
(Excerpt from the book 'Salam!' )