The white knuckle drive

We went on holiday at half term, of which more anon, and flew via Dubai.  Well, as my brother lives in Abu Dhabi, it seemed a little rude not to stop by to say hello so that is just what we did on our way home.  We arrived on Thursday afternoon and so were able to spend Thursday evening (their Friday night equivalent) and all day Friday (their Sunday equivalent) with little brother and his wife.  There was lots of talk amongst the local ex-pats on Thursday evening of the impending Grand Prix and on Friday we found ourselves on Yas Island, home to the Grand Prix circuit, having brunch at a neighbouring hotel. We spent the afternoon lazing by the pool and saw the lights on the F1 hotel come on as the sun went down.  It was a very pleasant, certainly decadent, way to end our holiday.

But all good things do come to an inevitable end and at 4am on Saturday morning a taxi pulled up outside the flat to drive us the 1 1/2 hours back to Dubai.  This was the night/morning of the recent bombs at Dubai and East Midlands airports but flights were continuing uninterrupted.  Off we went.

As soon as we were in the car and on our way Sayed, our driver, announced that he’d been on the go since 7am the previous morning.  Too much information we thought, as we all calculated the hours he’d been awake!    But still, GP2 and I dozed in the back of the car while GPD chatted away in the front. We pulled in at a service station and Sayed hopped out saying his eyes were tired and he needed a coffee.  We all looked at each other and crossed our fingers. Off we went again with GPD valiantly making conversation in the front.  As we approached Dubai, the conversation became more urgent and more one-sided. “What lane should you be in, Sayed?”  “My eyes are tired. I need to sleep!”  As his speech became  slurred, I joined in from the back, with one eye on the speedometer readings which seemed to be shooting upwards. “How many children do you have? Where do you live? What are you doing tomorrow?”   It was a relief that the roads were so quiet, this early in the morning.

We made it to the airport unscathed but slightly hysterical.  We haven’t heard from Sayed but hope that he went and had a sleep somewhere before he drove home.   It was a rather more exciting end to our holiday than we were anticipating.