Dubai is now my favorite stopover when I travel.
Aside from the fact that its airport is huge, there are also so many Overseas Filipino Workers there!
I feel very much at home at the airport.
Before reaching Switzerland, I had a 9-hour layover in Dubai. 9 hours is a loooong time to get stuck in an airport. But because there were OFWs managing the stores, I managed to kill time by talking with them.
As soon I felt sleepy, I decided to go to the massage shop manned by mostly Filipinas. I paid for an hour’s worth of massage but because the Filipina masseuse found out about my long wait, she told me I could sleep for a couple more hours on the massage chair for FREE! Amazing how just because of that one thing that connects us, (in this case, our being both Filipinas) she became more accommodating and generous to me. The best feeling while travelling in a foreign land is that moment when you realize that somehow, you are not lost and that you actually belong.
Another feel good experience I had while at the Dubai airport happened when I was coming home from Zurich to Manila last December. I exchanged a few of my pesos to US dollars. At the Dubai Airport, they only accept USD and their local currency Dirhams. I was planning to buy a tube of lipstick and a box of perfume at the Duty Free. At the cashier, I realised that I was 2 USD short and I asked the cashier if it’s okay to wait for me as I exchange a few more pesos into USD. The guy behind the cashier suddenly spoke in Filipino and asked me: “Filipina ka ba? Kasi hindi ako sure kung Filipina ka or Latina.” (“Are you a Filipina? I’m not quite sure if you are Filipina or Latina.”) And so I beamed at him and declared that I am a full-blooded Filipina! Loud and proud! 🙂 And then he said, “Magaganda talaga ang mga kalahi! Okay na yung 2 USD mo. Merry Christmas sayo!” (“We are really a beautiful breed! No need to give me the 2 USD! Merry Christmas to you!”). I wanted to hug him!
I didn’t take a lot of pictures from my layover. I just took a picture of the book I finished while waiting for my next flight and the sunrise from our designated gate before I stepped in my Emirates plane. (Thanks to our family friend N.G. who works as a plane engineer in Emirates Dubai for the usual discounted tickets!)