Friday, July 20, 2007

Frankfurt to Karachi...

So this time around we flew from Ponta Delgada (Azores, Portugal) to Frankfurt, Germany, stayed a few days in Frankfurt and then flew on Emirates from Frankfurt to Karachia via Dubai. We arrived at the Frankfurt airport with over two and half hours til our flight, collected our baggage from the left luggage office and started making our way through the normal procedures. Security and everything else took so long that we made it to our departure gate just before boarding. The food and service on the flight were quite impressive, and we would definitely recommend Emirates Airlines. They even gave us a fancy menu card when we boarded so we could start thinking if we wanted the lamb or the chicken.

To make a long story short, we landed in Dubai just fine but then we had to ride in a tram all the way around the airport. I've never driven for more than five minutes in a tram, but we drove around for about half an hour on a crowded tram due to the massive construction taking place at the airport. When we finally got to security, as we had to go through it yet again, everything was chaos. The officers were barely checking the passengers as the crowds were just so big. There were people from everywhere in all kids of ethnic costumes. Africans in colorful dresses, Muslim women covered from head to toe in black burkas, Western women with skirts and men of all nationalities in suits. We ended up going through the "Employees Only" check in line because everyone else was going there again. Once again Duarte had to remove his belt and his shoes and run all the luggage through twice. After clearing security we speed walked to our deparature gate and again made it just before it was about to close its doors. Nobody was sure if we could bring our guitars on board or not, so we were the absolute last people to board the plan as we waited for somebody's manager or whoever to decide about our guitars. Finally we were onboard, guitars safely stored near the first class cabin.

All flights were running late from Dubai that day due to the backup in security. I was already starting to doubt it we would make our next flight from Karachi to Lahore or not. Then we heard a garbled announcement that sounded much too guttaral to be in English, we were right, it wasn't, it was in Arabic. A few minutes later we heard the English translation over the intercom. One of the checked in passengers for our flight was missing. In case he may have filled his bags with bombs, other explosives, contaminents for mad cow disease, chemical warfare or whatnot, we had to wait until they found his bag (he checked in early of course) and removed it from the plane. So we waited. As soon as his bag was successfully removed from the plane, the passenger managed to make his way to the our departure gate. So his bag was loaded BACK into the plane and finally, we were off.

To be continued...

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