May 4, 2007, the *big* day... I slept very little, basically because I wasn't done packing, what else is new :)
Woke up at 6 and started finishing the last few things, we left for the airport at 10.30. We rode 2 cars, my mom with Mark and me with Cindy. But that was not all. What can I say... touched by so many people who came to see me off, or was it just to make sure I'd leave the country? ;) thank you, my mom, Isabelle, Sandra, Hassan, Cindy, Maarten, Donny, Lizzy, Kathy and Mark, for making it so special. I later learned that the whole group went for lunch at Maarten's place. Gosh, making me jealous already :)
I was a little (understatement) worried about my luggage. I had 'quite a lot' of stuff to bring, although I had tried to pack as much stuff in the container that was going to be shipped to me by sea. All in all I checked in 36 kg (I was allowed 30 kg) without a glitch. Glad they didn't weigh my handcarry. I had two, one was around 13 kg and my other (with all my camera equipment and laptop) was around the same.... hehe... I managed to get away with it, luckily.
After going through customs the next thing was duty free shopping. Going to a muslim country it is always tricky how much, if any, alcohol to bring. And since alcohol is difficult to get, and if you can get it: expensive! I decided to see what I could bring and stock up! 4 litres in total! You betcha I brought the full monty. Mark can be proud of me, I also got a nice single malt Macallan whiskey sample pack and a nice bottle of Jameson 18 yrs. I've tried 2 out of 4 so far, and yum! Mark: you know what to bring when you come over...
I flew the national airline, KLM and had a good seat with plenty of legroom. It was almost direct, it made a quick stopover at Bahrain, very close to UAE. After that to Abu Dhabi.