Ron took this photo in an alley in Outremont
In the Air France lounge now, to spend 2 days in no-man’s land (Update: stuck in Dubai for a few days, saw a kid getting beat up, etc). The flight boards soon and I should make a few phone calls. Last night went to Kilo with Ron and Miya. Had leek soup and scotch and talked about feeling restless at this age. Everyone, at least me, is chasing some spectre of success. I really don’t know that I see it in the West anymore. Montreal is still a marvelous place to live, but there is precious little insanity and change here. Nobody gets thrown in jail and nobody dies and I don’t think anyone my age can make as much of a difference. Anyways, my plane is boarding. I miss my friends terribly, but it’s good to be going home.
OK, now in Dubai, which kinda sucks, though I am so happy to get out of the Airport. At some cheap hotel with an inexplicable kitchen. I was an ass and didn’t reconfirm my flight, which means I’m stuck here till the 22nd (at latest, and most likely). Was unable to find anything on reconfirmation on the Qatar Airways site and gave up, which was stupid. Actually feel fine though, it’s marvelous to have a door and a bed.
I was dozing in the airport and I saw some guy (full Arab white dress, wife in Burqa) fully closed-fist his 9 year old to the ground. When the kid was down the dad kicked him in the stomach, and when the kid stood up his dad bitch-slapped him really hard. Like, really really loud. I was sitting there trying to read Anna Karenina (longest book I could find). The kid was wailing like mad, and then his younger brother got a slap when he started crying too. Then they put a napkin in his mouth, I know not why. The mom looked completely nonplussed and this ridiculous family parked themselves at the top of the escalator, blocking everyone. Fucking weird.
Third worlders get treated like shit here, as far as I can tell. A lot of the cleaning staff is Sri Lankan, and the flights are packed with day laborers. I have to spend 2 days here cause they’re so full. White people seem to usually get served first and there are some Banglas and Indian who seem to be living there. I guess it makes a difference being able to negotiate in English, but Dubai Airport is really fucking useless. They have a lot of support staff for Emirates, but if you’re on any other airline there’s like one guy to handle 400 problems. Mr. Mendes. That is a crap job and I hope he’s getting paid well, but I also think that Dubai could do better than one guy, a 1998 Compaq and a filing cabinet.
Some Banglas and Africans seem to be pretty much living in the terminal now. One Indian carries around his ticket stub like a dead baby until Mr. Mendes yells at him to get out. I guess they have to stay in the airport till flights open up, lacking USD. I’m paying 72 USD a night for a room at the musty Nihal here, which I was planning to save. Guess I can say I was in the Middle East now. It’s fucking hot.