Dubai Episodes

by Titilola Edu 

I. The Depature

Traveling to Dubai for the Holidays was not the original plan.

We had settled for South Africa but then we had to change plans because the certainty of getting a visa was not 100% guaranteed. Anyways last last Dubai was our final option. I had visited the City once on a business trip and did not have the opportunity to go on Tour or to explore. This was going to be different. I was going to enjoy the life of my head.

I was giddy with excitement days preceding our trip. “Our” refers to me and my friends, Ghanny and Omololu. I couldn’t wait to leave Nigeria and take a break from work. Aaaargggghhh!

The Trip was for late December, I had started packing my bags from November. It was that serious. Hehe. The days flew past, I really have no idea what the first few weeks of December felt like, I was just waiting for flight day.

The Day finally arrived, the trip to the Airport was short, our flight was slated for 2pm so we left early. We checked in —with no issues this time, contrary to my first experience(Maybe because I was speaking Fonéh throughout) —and had to wait till about 3pm to board for a 2pm flight. The Airline we used was late for all their flights…to Naija, to Dubai, Mscheewww. Lesson, it’s not peculiar to local airlines. The way Nigerians complain and compare ehn! you would think other Countries don’t suffer same fate… minimally.

My friends practically slept off the moment we were strapped in. Imagine!!! They only opened their eyes when it was time to eat. This flight was gonna be long meehnnnnn, I thought. I tossed and turned the entire flight.

“Direct flight lo sure ju next time”, I told myself. Lips sealed. But trust me to hop on the next affordable, albeit inconvenient, flight just to save small change. Sigh.

After about 10 to 14 hours of flight and stopovers, we finally arrived at our Destination. The beautiful City of Dubai.

The plan was to buy a SimCard but on discovering I would be spending about 10k on a Sim inclusive of data, the Nigerian in me rejected it. Sim is N100 at home.

“Ani ti ogun esu”.

Momsi, the only person I wanted to keep in touch with will be okay.

I later found I could receive calls free of charge for the first 300 min or so. All Apps offering free calls including WhatsApp are not allowed in Dubai for “security reasons” apparently.

Anyways we called a cab and found our way to our Airbnb hotel. From my previous encounter with cab drivers in Dubai, I found they like to pass longer routes so you can pay more, as per Taxi meters. (It’s a fair system sha, so you’ll know when to get down and walk the rest of the way)
So we had googled our destination, it was only five minutes from the airport. We made sure to inform the cab guy, in case he was entertaining any smart ideas.

Oga Ade! Our waka is not plenty, please borrow yourself brain.

Ghanny was siting in front and kept checking her google maps even though she was offline. She made sure he saw it too. I think there’s actually a way to save your destination on google maps even when you are offline. I’m yet to ascertain that.

It wasn’t my first time in the City but I was still spellbound by how beautiful and different it was from my Country, everything seemed organized, planned, and “intensely beautiful”. Ah! God! When will you give our leaders sense? Abi when will they use the one you bestowed on them?

We arrived at the hotel couple of minutes later, I’m not sure how much the cab was but it wasn’t neck breaking.

I was exhausted! I really just wanted to sleep, it had been a long day and yeah, it was Christmas Day too😂😂.

We checked into our hotel that came with a kitchenette—unpacked our luggage, found our indomie onions, with dry fish from Lagos, cooked it and slept because we cannot come and die.

Titilola is a Legal practitioner, storyteller and creative writer. She describes herself as an introverted extrovert and a rice and stew enthusiast. She is positive minded, growth oriented and a passionate lover of God. Her IG handle is @ttlawla

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