Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Doha – Pensacola – Doha

I was always a KLM frequent flyer, when my destination was Seattle, the Amsterdam – Seattle direct flight was the least hassle from Kuwait. From Doha, however, there is an annoying stop in Dammam. a ghostly airport in Saudi Arabia, where all the men who have been working on the oil rigs and in isolated locations get on. Some families also board, but most of the passengers are men who like to drink and talk talk talk in loud voices when the rest of us just want to sleep en route to Amsterdam.

Now that we are flying to Pensacola, we could still go KLM, but one time when KLM cancelled my flight and didn’t tell me, they put me on an Emirates flight out of Kuwait around six at night that got me to Dubai in about an hour, and then put me on a Delta flight that landed early the next morning, not in Amsterdam, but in Atlanta. In another couple hours I was in Pensacola.

Hmmm. Let’s see – 23 hours of flying plus seemingly endless layovers in airport lounges and an additional annoyance factor of the landing in Dammam, OR a short flight + a very long walk in the new Dubai airport to the next terminal + checking in again because the airlines are not partners (bags are checked all the way through, though, so it is only a ticketing issue) and then a very very long flight that gets you there the next morning . . . I’ll opt for the long flight. Now that Delta and KLM are partners, all my miles still count.

Downside. It is a very long flight. There are also a lot of women and children on board, and the first time, I sat next to a little boy who threw up. I felt really sorry for the little boy and his Mom, and I was nice about it, but the smell of throw up makes me feel very much like throwing up. Memorable flight.

This time, because we needed to accomplish a lot in a hurry and needed to be at our best from the moment we arrived, we went business class. Wooo HOOO. I love the Business Class on this flight. All the things that matter to me – Privacy . . . Comfortable Sleeping . . . Quiet cabin . . . relatively clean restrooms . . .

This is what the sleeping pod looks like:

En route back to Doha from Pensacola, when I got to the departure terminal, there was an extra delight – a live pianist in the food mall. I don’t know if this is a paid pianist or a volunteer but she was GOOD! She was also enthusiastic and lively, and played a bunch of old Beatle’s songs. It brightened up what might have been a dull time.

After all that Grandmama-ing and house buying, I was exhausted, and I really slept a lot all the way home. I am paying for it now. I have never had jet lag so extreme or so long. Almost a week later, I am still unable to sleep through the night, falling asleep at weird times, like 8 p.m. and waking up around 2 in the morning. Aarrgh.

Other than that, my life is very dull right now. Packing boxes. Toting things I won’t need – 220v appliances, for example – to people that might need them. Packing more boxes, clearing out cupboards, trying to figure out what I need to keep and what I can freely freely give. Didn’t I just do this? Like yesterday? Leaving Kuwait for Doha?

Some nights I cook, some nights we go out to old favorite restaurants we want to hit one more time – The Majlis. The Little Sailor. The Beirut. Beijing. Royal Tandoor. Places we know we will miss when we are living in Pensacola. Trying to figure out what to take with me in suitcases, what to ship in our limited air cargo, and what I can live without for three months (!)

Of course, the carrot on the end of this long stick is living near our son and his bride and our little grandson. 🙂 Makes it all worthwhile.

Some ‘adventures’ are more irksome than others. This moving stuff is getting old. For those of you who are asking in the background, yes, the Qatteri cat goes with us. He is a member of our family!

March 8, 2010 - Posted by | Adventure, Aging, Customer Service, Doha, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Florida, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Moving, Qatteri Cat, Travel


  1. I would never expect you to leave the Qatteri cat behind!

    The sleeping pod looks divine!

    Comment by Aafke | March 8, 2010 | Reply

  2. It was that, Aafke! Problem is, I think I slept 8 hours – really slept. Now I still have the worst jet lag I’ve ever had . . . But it is a very comfortable way to pass 15 hours in flight. 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 8, 2010 | Reply

  3. Just keep thinking–“It’s the last time!” and you’ll sail thru it. I’m trying not to relive it thru you-LOL!

    Comment by momcat | March 8, 2010 | Reply

  4. I have to admit, Momcat, it is going well. There have been some amazing blessings, including the fact that I just did the same move months ago and got rid of a lot of stuff, so I have less to get rid of on this move, and have had a good idea all along where it would go. Tonight, we passed along eleven sets of bookcases in varying sizes. Thanks be to God!

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 8, 2010 | Reply

  5. Oh, no, you are leaving Qatar! I am going through the transaction, but the other way around – exhausted. And we are selling our residential house, as we think we’ll live in Kuwait for over 10 years. I think we are taking the relay stick from your hand, are we? How interesting things are happening. Best wishes to your packing and move. We love Florida and its Disney World and beaches, and I enjoy all the rides there like a little child. We almost bought a vacation home there in 2006, but quit the idea of owning two homes at the same time and worried about the health care over there. 😉 (I guess you are moving there, right?) Many blessings to you!

    Comment by Polar Panda | March 9, 2010 | Reply

  6. LOL, Panda, yes, I am passing the baton to you. 🙂 Ten years in Kuwait . . . you are in for a wild ride. Kuwait is enormously interesting. At first, it will be a challenge, but once you meet people and get involved, you will have a great time. We loved our time there. Yes, we are moving to Pensacola, but it is not the Disney Florida, it is a more Southern kind of Florida. 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 9, 2010 | Reply

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