Crash Landing!

Trip Start Mar 18, 2008
Trip End Mar 31, 2008

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Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Friday, March 21, 2008

In the past 24 hours, the following bad things have happened to me:

1.  Got off airplane.  Could not find friend who works with horses and could put me in touch with Sheikh Mohammed.

2.  Got off bus too early and had to spend an hour and a half hiking through construction zones, locating City Center to find a Carrefour to buy basic supplies and a SIM card.

3.  Got held up in Carrefour for half an hour buying SIM card.

4.  Spent two hours finding taxi to take me to Sharjah.  It was too late at this point to catch a bus, and last I heard taxis really aren't supposed to cross Emirate boundaries. 

5.  Came to youth hostel at 1 am.  It was closed.  I banged on the door, rang the bell, and finally admitted defeat.

6.  Hiked around Sharjah for another hour, looking for a hotel.  After the third or fourth attempt I found a hotel that had one room left for $100--more than I wanted to spend.  Way out of my budget.

7.  Stayed up all night pondering the situation.  I couldn't call anyone, because my SIM card wasn't working.  In the morning, I searched for a telephone card for the better part of an hour.  Most places weren't open at 6 am.  I also looked for a new SIM card, but they were the year-long subscriptions, not the temporary ones.  Finally, I got ahold of a phonecard, but when I took it back to the hotel, it wouldn't work.  I borrowed the guy at the front desk's mobile and called; the hotel cannot be reached.

8.  Went to a payphone and went crying home to Mom.

9.  Went to the mall to exchange my SIM card.  The Etisalat people told me that they sold me an old-fashioned one at Carrefour and that I had to return it to them.  Problem is, that's a three hour trip back to Dubai, which would cost 40-50 dirhams either way.  When they cost 90 apiece, it isn't worth it.  So I bought a new one.  Then I discovered that I had dropped 80 dirhams in a taxi.  My LAST 80 dirhams. 

10. Fought my way through Sharjah City Center's Carrefour to buy a new pair of shoes (my others being decrepit).  In doing so, I lost my Algerian friends who had come along for the ride.  I fought arrogant people for a taxi, then came back to the hostel. 

This is what they call a crash landing!  I was literally sweating blood at several points.  Literally.  No more of this monkey business now, or I will just go home early.  I mean it.

More to come, hopefully far happier and funnier than all this.
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