Monday, January 11, 2010

Stuck at Dubai international airport - Dubai, UAE

A nine-hour wait, what am I gonna do? I find a socket, I plug in my laptop, I switch on the wireless and capture a signal. After a few minutes another guy arrives. Backs against the wall, lotus position, computers balanced on thighs and shins. My mate is a blond Pole, with wrinkled face and clothes. "How long do you have to wait for?" "Oh man, nine hours..." I speak with the pride of a life-term convict. "Don't worry about it, the first twelve hours will fly..." "The first twelve hours! How long have you been here for?" "It's been three days, but I hope to leave soon" This Pole has arrived with a flight from Europe, planning to stop in Dubai for few days. He was told that a transit visa cost four hundred Euros. He gave up and started to contact the airlines, but the flights are full and he got stuck at the airport. He eats junk food, uses public toilets, sleeps on the benches, in no man's land. He walks in a circuit, like a squirrel in a cage, hiking with a backpack among transit desks and duty frees, in a whirl of perfumes, alarms and loudspeakers. The artificial light that damps down the colors. But this guy is tough and his mood is still good, he's developed his habits to kill the hours, he surfs the internet and meets passing travelers, to whom he smiles while he tells his story. I'm not really sure that I would take it that way.

Autumn 2007

Photo Dubai Airport, by Fabio Pulito

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