So we landed, a heart-pounding landing! After the clapping and rejoicing that we’re still alive and luckily, no one puked inside the plane, passengers started getting their stuff from the compartments. Everyone’s in a hurry to go out. It’s like there’s a time limit and when you’re still inside the plane when the time expires, they won’t let you out. I just sat on my seat trying not to be dizzy.

It was horrendously windy outside with some very serious raining. There’s a storm in Hongkong. I thought since I have a 3-hour stop-over, the rain would probably stop and that in my flight toDubai, the take-off won’t be as “challenging” as the landing in Hongkong. So I searched for the gate number on my boarding pass where my connecting flight carrier will be. It was so crowded in the airport that moving and seeing where I’m exactly going was another challenge, given my height. LOL  🙂 As expected, I got lost and instead of going to the right end where the gate I’m looking for is, I went to the other end. I checked the screen showing all the flights going out of Hongkong to check the boarding time of my flight. My flight wasn’t there. And all those flights shown said it’s all delayed! OK, so I had no idea what to do. I eventually found the gate number I was looking for and found some familiar faces, Filipinos on my flight from Manila. They were all waiting, some people ranting that they need assistance and they want to fly soon! One of them was the woman with the kid (lady who looked like she was having seizures during the landing attempts of our plane!). I thought, woman, you’re scared to death with our first flight and now you want to fly again with this weather?? You gotta be kidding me!

Some hours passed, 1… 2… 3 hours… our flight still wasn’t on the screen. I started to get hungry. I felt so tired sitting there, thinking what if the rain won’t stop? How long am I gonna be here in Hongkong? Are the heavens not happy that I left The Philippines? Then all of a sudden, some Cathay Pacific staff went to the gate and announced that we won’t be flying anytime soon. They gave us call cards to call the people we need to call. I got 2 and searched for the phone booths. I found it but there were hundreds of people in line to make their calls. Ok, I waited again.

After an hour or so, another announcement was made by a Cathay Pacific Staff. They weren’t sure when the flights will resume, they have no clue when the rain would stop and due to all flights since that morning being delayed, it’s guaranteed that we’ll be there overnight. They asked us to fall in line and have our boarding pass out. They handed us $500 HKD each for food for the night. They also gave us some blankets and tiny pillows. They said that there was not enough space in the airport hotel to accommodate everyone stranded and only those in business class were accommodated there. I was so exhausted and tired and hungry that I didn’t have the energy to say anything; I just accepted the money and the blanket and tiny pillow. Again, the lady with the kid was the first one to rant. She said that we all deserve to be accommodated somewhere comfortable to sleep. Others followed with complaints. The CP Staff said that they’re not in control of the weather and that’s the most they can do, give us money and blankets.

So I got my blanket and pillow and money. I searched for a place to eat and I ate. After that, I went back to where the other Filipinos were and got myself a place to sleep. The tiny pillow was of no use so I used my hand-carry bag as pillow. I got the blanket out of the plastic but it was damp and it smelled like feet. I threw it away and got my hoodie and used it as some sort of blanket. I was starting to fall asleep when a baby started to cry; then another toddler, then a kid screamed, then the mother trying to make the baby stop crying started to talk baby talk that was annoyingly loud enough to be heard. I wasn’t able to sleep. I just lied there staring at the airport ceiling, hoping I was dreaming and that when I wake up, I’m in Dubai already. It was still raining outside, thought not as hard as it was that morning. I checked the time on my watch, it’s almost midnight. I managed to get a couple hours nap though it can’t be really called one as I tend to get up everytime I hear a baby’s cry or people ranting. I checked my watch again, almost 6am and the sun was about to rise. The rain got tired and it already stopped. I looked around and people, looking like zombies due to lack of proper rest, were starting to get up and gather their stuff. Some were already looking on the screen to check if there’s any progress on the flights.

I was feeling so queasy and dirty and muggy and I really needed to change my underwear and wash my face. I was tired and hungry and lost at what’s gonna happen or when we’re gonna fly. It was after lunch time that Cathay Pacific started to gather all of its passengers again and released new boarding passes. It indicated that we’re flying around 7pm and hopefully the weather stays calm. It was only 1:30pm that time. Another 5.5 hours to wait.

Eventually, time to fly again came. The take off was smooth and I slept almost throughout the whole flight. I was so tired. The flight attendant woke me up when it was time to eat and when we were about to land to Dubai. I looked out the window and saw some very bright lights. At that time, a big smile was formed on my face again. This is it! I am on the airspace of Dubai and we’re about to land.

We landed smoothly. The plane finally came to a stop and again, people got overly excited on going out of the plane and everyone hurriedly reached for their luggage in the compartments.

It was my turn to step out of the plane, I took a step and this very warm gush of wind welcomed me. (it felt like a hairdryer was directly in front of my face!) It was the warmest welcome from Dubai! 😉

So I walked towards the airport together with my now flying buddies and headed to the immigration counter where we got our passports stamped. Next was to get our checked-in luggage. Another announcement from Cathay Pacific, (they really loved us!), our luggages were accidentally placed in another plane and that plane is still in Hongkong! They asked us to leave a contact number and that they will contact us once it arrives.

It was almost 1 week since I arrived when they called our office and informed me that I can pick up my luggage from the airport. I had to buy some clothes when I arrived as I don’t have anything to wear to work. I was quite happy to see my luggage, sealed with packaging tape. My name on every space available wasn’t there anymore as water washed it all off. (apparently due to raining in Hongkong). My luggage was kind of dripping with water when I picked it up. I opened it at our flat and it wasn’t a very good sight to behold! All of my clothes were soaked in water. The food, specially the rice cake that I was supposed to give to a fellow Filipino was already spoiled and soaked in water too. Everything was just mixed inside my luggage. No one stole my bag or tried to put some lethal weapon or drugs inside, but the rain water found its way. 🙂 How lucky can someone be? Hahahaha

So there you go guys, my unforgettable journey to Dubai in 2006 that I don’t think I will ever forget. EVER! 😉

My next posts will be mostly about my work there and touristy things to do when in UAE! 😉

Hope you enjoyed reading! 😉