Friday, September 14, 2012

Doha Part Deux - Boy Are My Arms Tired

So, I am back in Doha again.

I opted for 1) the shortest total travel time and 2) no transfers in a foreign country.  That had me flying out from Dallas on American Airlines to Houston, then on to Doha.  The flights were somewhat close, which meant a short overall travel time, as long as nothing delayed me...

A few minutes before the American Airlines flight boards, I find out we are delayed 12 minutes.  No problem, I have 90 minutes to spare.  I get on the plane, sit down...wait...wait...the middle seat is empty, w00t!  Still waiting.  Hmm, what are those guys in overalls doing in the cockpit?

At about the half hour delay mark, we are told there was a minor maintenance issue that was resolved and once the paperwork is done, we will be on our way.  Cool, now I am down to 60 minutes of breathing room, or less, *and* I get to take off in an airplane that was suffering a mechanical problem.  Well, it's certainly less boring than I expected.

We finally get to Houston and I blaze to the Qatar Airways terminal as fast as I possibly can, hearing my name called over the public address system repeatedly throughout my trip between terminals.   show up and there are quite excitable about me almost missing the flight.  they remind me that boarding stops 20 minutes prior to departure; lesson re-learned.  However, I look at the clock and see I still had 40 minutes until departure.  Nonetheless, they hurriedly hustle me through the gate as if the plane is starting to roll down the stand in a line of well over a hundred people walking down the jetway at a speed that is akin to George Romero's zombies.

Hurry up and wait.

The police dog seemed nice.  Too bad you can't pet them.

The 15-hour flight was made a bit easier by once again having no one in the middle seat.  Dare I say, "w00t!" again?

The weird thing is how different it is to return to Doha.  The first time I was here, it was a mysterious new place.  Now, it's just a dusty, hot workplace that is prohibitively far from home and my stuff, where I have to go to great lengths to create opportunities to execute my workouts.  Here's hoping the assignment passes/ends quickly.