Despite the quick turnaround, I was pretty prepared and calm about my trip to Abu Dhabi. I am doing my whole trip from now on with Etihad airways… and a very smart airline it is! By far the largest plane I have ever seen, I was desperate to check out the look of business and first class… but the fact it has two floors didn’t work in my favour! The plane has cameras above so we can witness take off and landing on the screens. With it being less than 24 hours since I flew with Ryanair, it was pretty easy to be impressed!
I met my first friend of my trip on the flight, she sat next to me, and was flying to India to visit family for 5 weeks. She lives in Toronto, Canada and stopped off in London for a few days to see it.
Anyway, exiting the airport I was bombarded by taxi drivers “taxi…? taxi…?”. Being my usual sensible self, I was in shock at the confrontation and just picked one at random. Jumped into a black car, “don’t worry about seat belt”… I started to rethink my recent decision.
Turns out he works for a UAE taxi service, so all good. Sitting comfortably and realising he speaks good English… Of course I start questioning him!
His name is Ritvik and he is 29, he has wife who is 26 and they have a 2 year old boy. He is from India, yet he has worked in Abu Dhabi for the past 14 years. The deal is that he works for 12 months, and is then allowed to visit India for one month. So he has seen his little boy for two months of his life so far! He believes he will be working in India for the foreseeable future. And whilst he is sad to be apart from his family, he is happy with his job. As he is able to send money home every month, he earns 2500UAE each month, this is the equivalent of roughly £500. Most of which is sent home to India. Every day I travel I feel less and less like a country bumpkin and more and more like someone with interesting experiences!
Anyway, I am writing this from the hotel. Seeing as I was arriving at 3am, I did not see the point in booking a room in the hotel for that night. So, I am currently sat writing this from the hotel lounge, with the possibility of getting my room at 9am, so I now have five hours to wait…