It was still the dark before morning when I walked into one of the terminals of DXB. Dawn had yet to break and dusk will have faded into the darkness of the night by the time I land in Colombo.
Checking the monitors to find Qatar Airways flight number 190 with service from Dubai to Colombo. I think I’ll be in this terminal longer than I’ll be in the air for the first leg of the itinerary. However, I’m in for a long day, a long Christmas Day in a very non Christian area of the world. Christmas Day spent in the Doha International Airport.
The flight was quick. Too short to get comfortable on an otherwise quite accommodating and nice airline. As soon as I get my things out to pass the time, it’s time to put them away. I don’t speak Arabic but I’ve been on enough flights to understand the tone of a nice request. Touchdown and looking towards the east I see the rays of dawn and sunflare bend through the window of the plane just before I exit.
The light of the sun and the blue of a Middle Eastern sky will come and go over this section of the earth in the twelve hour connection that’s just beyond that door. The only Christmas sun and sky I’ll see today is through plastic and glass.
Though this is probably the thirtieth or so airport I’ve ever been in, they look the same after a while. Some are more impressive or artistic than others but for the most part they all tend to come off as sterile with only feint signs of character and personality speckled here and there.
After walking around a bit, I’ll admit this definitely seems to be one of the more interesting airports I’ve been in. There’s a boat, some sort of large transmutation of a bear and a desk lamp, and a Tyrannosaurus Rex that roars and scares children when they pass by. There are long, vast hallways. Things to shop for at the derivative “high end” shopping areas I care nothing about. Airport after airport of the same stores and products start to become a blur. I’m almost convinced that it’s even the same person working the counter no matter where I am in the world. This is the eighth airport I’ve been in over the course of the past two weeks and I’m only halfway around the world.
It’s always interesting to see the variety of humanity waiting to board certain flights. Seeing a line of short and brightly bundled Nepalese waiting to board a plane to Katmandu, the Saudis dressed in pristine white and vibrant red head wear lined up to fly to Riyhad, the happy and jubilant Thai line up for Bangkok. It’s a veritable microcosm of the planet in one massive structure.
I’ve been walking around for some time now meandering through endless and towering hallways. Hour after hour spent lapping the terminal and eventually the body tires then mind follows. It’s time to find a place to sleep. It’s about midday and I find a quiet area to rest my head. It’s Christmas Day and I can finally see sunshine on distant sands as my eyes fall into sleep.