I reached KLIA around 9:30pm. Fara already arrived from Kuantan. Pjot was still on her way, she told us to have our dinner as she already had hers. During dinner I told Fara about my trip to Seoul with Pjot and how we ended up on different flights to get there. This Dubai trip would be Fara's first overseas trip, so you can imagine the kind horror I put her into just by hearing the story ;-)
Soon Pjot arrived and Fara started scolding both of us for not telling her about the Seoul trip incident earlier. We told her to chill, even if I couldn't get onboard, Pjot would surely be there with her. Then we went to the counter to check-in.
The counter staff's first remark upon seeing my ZED ticket was "You are on subload? That's so risky! What if you can't get onboard?". I didn't know why he had to state the obvious (which only served to throw Fara back into panic mode). If I was willing to take the ticket, of course I would have known the risks. I told him if that was the case, let Fara and Pjot go first, I would take Emirates flight at 7am the next morning.
The counter staff did some checks and told us that the flight was full. Not again! I told him to put my name on standby, he said I would be the 7th among 4 paying passangers and 3 staffs on the list. I said okay. Pjot said she would check-in my bag with hers. Their MAS flight would arrive in Dubai at 2:30am, so they had to wait at the airport anyway until sunrise before going to the city. Therefore, they only had to wait a little longer till my Emirates flight arrive at 9:30am and we could go to the city together.
Pjot took out her camera to snap a photo of my bag so it would be easy for her to identify it later. Suddenly the counter staff said, "Wait, you don't have to do that!" Guess what, the guy was actually pulling our legs, duh! He had already released a seat for me, double duh! I bet he was surprised by how well we handled the what-if-you-can't-get-onboard situation (thanks to the Seoul trip incident), other people might have cried and rolled on the floor upon hearing the word "standby" ;-)
So all three of us got our boarding passes, thanked the guy and went to the gate. Pjot and Fara sat together, while I had to sit with an Arab lady a few rows away.
The lady introduced herself as Mona and she was on her way home from a holiday with her husband and 3 year old son. And she's a Dubai native! I told her this would be my first time in Dubai and I would appreciate suggestions of things to do. She told me to go to several places and wrote them down on my notepad. She also gave me her number. Her villa (yes, she said "villa" not "house") is in a suburb called Al-Ain, about 45 minutes drive from Dubai city centre. "If you come to Al-Ain, call me. My husband and I will bring you and your friends around." How's that for an offer?
We landed in Dubai in the wee hours of morning but the heat felt like a typical Malaysian afternoon! There wasn't much that we could do except to wait as the metro would only start operating at 6:30am.
Waiting for our bags.
Breakfast at 4am.
Counting down 4 hours to Dubai sunshine!