Well, its been a HUGE week in Dubai. I've successfully graduated to business class after a week of testing and practicals that include over the top open hand gestures, wanky service phrases and acquiring far too much knowledge of hommous. We started as a group of 10, finished as a group of 8 and staggered into the cafeteria for some graduation cake which makes the whole week seem worth it.
My expectations of the upgrade included gorging on the cheese boards, picking at the fruit and sampling the delicious deserts that are accompanied by rasberry coulis. Not so. It was a week of late late nights, followed by early mornings full of homework, presentation preparation and memorising menus. Also way too much chatting on the phone and internet made for an exhausting week.
Typically, the college buses were on schedule - at least 20 minutes late every day, which sent us all into a spin. You'd think the punishment for being late to class was death with the amount of panicking in the foyer and frantic phone calls to transport that were happening. Being back at college for the week was like revisiting a rather unpleasant insitiution that you spent a great deal of time at as a child. It smells like a hospital and the food is more predictable than President Bush's stance on weaponry.
After mastering the duty free hand held computers that clearly are worth the 2000 US dollars our instructors claim, we scooted upstairs to be scrutinised for a grooming check and then were sent onwards to the auditorium.
Graduation was ........ graduation. I managed to get up on stage, accept my certificate, shake all the right hands, smile like a beauty queen on prozac and then get back to my seat - all without incident or embarrassing myself. I was rather proud of myself. Freya and Ash then presented me with the hugest, most gorgeous bunch of lillies i've ever seen and our lounge room smells beautiful.
Later that night we had the tunes pumping, had bellies full of pasta and were off to a house party before gracing Zinc (aptly nicknamed STINK) with an appearance. Like it is every night it was full of crew and seemed like a rather incestuous family reunion. Luckily there are some very dark corners to hide in when you see someone you don't feel like talking to.
We woke up feeling rather sorry for ourselves and decided that packets of twisties were our only hope. I jetted of for a short trip to Bahrain, a thrilling new destination for me.
I'm off to Kuala Lumpur for my last trip in economy and I think I'll be doing some reflecting over the next few days. It'll go along these lines: I can't wait to be rid of hundreds of call bells, hundreds of bags and hundreds of screaming children. I assume the desperation for water will be somewhat less up the front as well!