This morning we arrived in Dubai at 2am local time, (10am NZ ), which means we've been travelling for twenty five hours, and the shower and bed in the hotel room were very welcome.
Well, at least I'm clean. Neither Cavan nor I can get to sleep, so I've given up trying and am writing instead.
I'm having a little rant about our experience yesterday and I'd be interested in any thoughts and experiences you all may have. We flew from Auckland on China Southern to Guangzhou, and on the same airline a second leg from Guangzhou to Dubai. The service, aircraft and food was all perfectly pleasant, BUT ...No sooner we were airborne, than the staff pulled all the blinds in the cabin down. At this point it was about 10am on a beautiful, blue sky day. The steward asked me to lower my blind but I refused, claiming the writing I was doing required natural light. Everyone else lowered theirs. For the next 12 hours of the flight the aircraft was in darkness. Remember, this was 10am in the morning - I didn't want to sleep then; nor did I want the thrill of watching a movie in the dark, and I'd have been hard pressed to read a book in that half light. I fear I embarrassed my spouse by muttering, sotto voce, for most of the day, about the idiocy of this practice. I'm perfectly certain if we condemned our prison population to being walled up in a tin can in perpetual twilight there would be protests the length and breadth of the country. So what is this all about?
Amusingly, on the second trip, which was at night and a certain logical familiarity might have suggested lowering blinds or pulling the curtains, not one blind was closed! Is this a purely Chinese phenomenon? I first encountered this practice five years ago when we flew from Singapore to Beijing. Again, I was the only person in the cabin who left my blind raised, but dammit, I wanted to see what Vietnam looked like from the air, just as flying over the Philippines and other islands in the China sea was fascinating yesterday.
A second flight from Shanghai to Singapore saw us sitting in the middle of the aircraft with no access to a window, so I had to put up with the hours of darkness. Never again! Do other nationalities shut out the light every time they get on an aircraft? I'm sure I've not noticed it anywhere else in the world.
At the Dubai museum