domingo, maio 23

Dubai - am I in ou out?

I got to Bahrain airport quite early, to avoid delays and because I am pretty excited to see friends I have not met in 5 years!

There were no queues. It was my lucky day. I only took a small suitcase, one of those cabin pieces, but I had lots of dangerous goods in it, so it had to be dispatched. After a couple of minutes standing in front of the check in operator, I asked:

- Is there a problem?

- Are you getting your visa on arrival?

- Yes, here is an e mail from Immigration pre approving it. and handed him the paperwork

- hummm... where is your husband?

- working. but in this paper I just gave you, you will see copies of all his documents. His visa, his residency permit, his passport, everything.

he made a call. another call. he stared at the computer and I felt my luck slipping through my fingers.

- wait a moment - he said. and went to a cubicle where the supervisor was.

I managed to wait for a little while, but then followed him.

- Is there a problem?

- You are not boarding. You don't have a visa, and you are not travelling with your husband.

- But if you check this paper in his hand, you will see I got a pre approval from immigration in Dubai.

- They are not going to let you in. Travelling alone, without a visa and with your residence coming up in less than 6 months. Just not going to happen.

I called S. that friend of mine who organized my trip, and sent me that e mail I was trying to show them, but her phone was out of area, then I panicked, and broke into tears. I cried, and cried and cried.

The check in operator took my luggage out of the carrousel and handed it back to me. Along with the letter he refused to read.

I felt humiliated. I cursed and I called Rose, who is also S's friend.. I have no clue how she managed to understand me, because I was unable to articulate any decent word,but she did and she assured me she was going to 'find S for me.

I could not stop sobbing. I called FAbio cried a lot, I almost drove him crazy.

A minute latter S called me, asked to speak with the supervisor (same I had dealt with) who immediately pointed me to a new check in booth - assuring me everything was sorted.

I am not sure what was sorted, but I knew my puffy eyes would take a long while to be back to normal.

S called me back and said it would be possible that I experienced more problems in Dubai, but she gave me a couple of numbers to use, if things were not smooth enough. The airport ground operations manager was one of them.

My stomach jumped and turned all flight. I was a wreck.

I got to Dubai, and before I reached the immigration booths, I was approached by a lady:

- Are you Inaie?

- Yep.

- We called your name in the aircraft and you did not identify yourself. We also called you on the airport's PA system - you also did not come to us.

I could only think. Oh, crap...what the hell now?

- Come with me, I will help you through immigration.


She filled my paperwork, went somewhere, got a signature and in a second I was ready to go through immigration. The guy looked at my paperwork and asked:

- Where is your husband?

Oh dear, here we go!
The lady replied on my behalf:

Look at the paperwork, she has a signature from general X... (whoever this guy is)

The man checked the signature, stamped my passport and all I could hear was:

- Welcome to Dubai!!

In less than 10 minutes I was out the airport... S is was my guardian angel!

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