Dubai, UAE; Day 1

Not much of our day was actually spent in Dubai although it was foremost on our minds. That and bidding farewell to Kenya after three diverse and interesting weeks.

Our travel day featured a 3:30 pm flight so there was no need to rush this morning. We headed back down to the buffet for breakfast and managed to deplete almost all our Kenyan Shillings – always a focus the last couple days in a foreign destination.

Mom and Dad act as foreign exchange agents for the kids who receive their allowance in local currency. A day or two before we leave, that currency can be turned into the parents for virtual USD and held until we arrive at the next destination. There it’s converted from virtual USD to the new local currency.

That way, Mom and Dad can aggregate the cash to spend it all before we depart. We got pretty close. We’re down to 100 shillings which is about 88 cents. There’s nothing for sale at the airport for that low a price, so we’ll keep it with the 100 bhat (33 cents) we took from Thailand.

We’re leaving out of Nairobi, our 4th time passing through this airport. Two arrivals and now a second departure. This airport features additional security relative to what we’re used to.

Before you even get into the airport complex, everyone but the driver has to exit the vehicle and pass through a metal detector. Then back in your car and you continue on. Once you enter the terminal building but before you get to the departure area, you have to go through TSA type security – all the luggage goes through a scan, tablets/laptops come out, shoes off, the whole works.

Then after you check in and check bags, you go through a second TSA type security – laptops/tablets out, shoes off, body scanner etc. With five of us all carrying devices we are chaos personified. Bins flying, stuff everywhere. The kids are getting better as they do it more frequently but we still often hold up the line – a rub to the former ‘road warriors’ in the family.

The airport itself seems to have a fair number of flights, but not the luxury of other high traffic international airports, perhaps because it isn’t a big international transit destination like Doha, Bangkok or Dubai. No air conditioning, no high end shopping or restaurants to pass the time. Our 2 hours waiting at the gate passed slowly.

On the good side, Suaram and CreeperPuppy got to see the kids from the pool again. They are connecting through Dubai on the way to Bahrain and are on our flight. Exchange of emails may result in a new pen pal for Suaram.

Our flight arrived in Dubai pretty much on time. The immigration line was long as usual but getting through was easy and we found our transportation quickly. Since we left the airport at 11pm we were mostly concerned with getting to the hotel and getting the kids to bed.

We did get a peek of the Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world. Seeing it has been on CreeperPuppy’s wish list for two years so we’ll definitely do that while we’re here. But for now, a good night’s sleep at the end of a travel day.

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