Saturday, June 18, 2016

Etihad Champagne Practice

We were thoroughly tired so we spent our last day in India keeping it real at the hotel. We ventured out one last time at night to hit another mall. Most of Asia is tiny little short and skinny people, but India has some fatties like me so we were optimistic that we may actually be able to buy some cool clothes.

There was airport style security to enter which is always a blast. I feel like maybe they gave everyone a pat down regardless of whether you made the metal detector buzz or not. Also there were separate men and women lines through security as has been pretty typical in India.

We of course had to make our customary stop at a local McDonald's. They too had a menu full of brightly colored Angry Birds foods.

I went for a soft serve with a tangy raw mango cone. It wasn't tangy but it sure was green.

They don't do beef in Indian McDonald's but there were lots of chicken and vegetarian options.

Lydia's Maharaja Mac was so tall it had to wear a little belt to keep all the deliciousness inside.

We did some shopping and I found some stuff I liked but the sizes were just a little bit too small. Oh well.

We had a beer at one of the restaurants and watched Iceland play Hungary in week 2 of Euro 2016.

Our flight from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi was at a pretty unfortunate 4am or something. But the first class Etihad magic that I had conjured was starting to take hold. While back in the US I booked us a complimentary chauffeur to drive us to the airport.

We flew into Mumbai on a domestic flight and had a sweaty frustrating time trying to escape the not that great terminal. Now that we were flying internationally though things got fancy.

Lydia thought she saw this baldy guy carrying a US diplomatic passport. We kept seeing him again at the different stages of customs and the lounge and so forth. I kept laughing that the poor bastard was in business class.

Even our backpacks were entitled.

We made it past customs and all of that airport store junk to the lounge. Then the opulence began. When the desk person saw our first class ticket we were given a personal escort to the first class dining area.

One of the champagnes available was Moët so we pounded those throughout dinner. The staff was very attentive and it really took effort to get to the bottom of the glass before it was refilled. Moët is fun because it's mentioned in the lyrics of a song I like. 

"Gimme that Moet, Gimme that Cristal". They say it in this funny way like "give me that Mo Mo et". I may have said that a few times at the dinner table. "G6" is slang for the Gulfstream G650, a twin-engine jet airplane manufactured by Gulfstream Aerospace, for your information.

While I sipped my rapper champagne I took a look at the menu. This place isn't even an Etihad branded lounge. Oh, no. Tomorrow, in Etihad's world hub, things are going to get crazy.

To the right there was a velvet rope. One of the business class passengers tried to come back with us while we were being escorted and she got verbally checked so hard I was embarrassed. I was glad that we had this flowery cage to keep the poor in their place. While we were experiencing full service they were choking down peasant food at a buffet. Get rich bro!

At this point it's around 3am so we weren't super hungry plus I knew there'd be more food to try on the plane. I just ordered a little pita and hummus situation.

The most interesting dish of the meal was this. "Pabana. Blend of tropical fruits: passion fruit, banana and lemon encased within an airy coconut-vanilla mousse with mango compote and toasted coconut, almond praline." This thing had like all the ingredients and yet didn't appear that complicated.

The airport was theme parkish in places.

As I laid out in more detail in my flying baller for free manifesto, this flight was just to Abu Dhabi with a 22 hour layover before continuing to St. Louis. That way it still counted as one long, long, first class flight.

Plenty of time to do things like enjoy my welcome dates and read my hand-signed welcome letter.

We started ordering before takeoff.

The Etihad amenity kits come in these cool bags. Lydia's was more girly with a tassel. I think she's been using it as her makeup bag.

Mo' money mo' problems. Had to keep Lydia off my ottoman.

Each seat had its own little door that one could close if they wanted to snooze. That would limit my champagne time though so it stayed open.


We had a little bit of decadence but it was also 5am so I tried to get some sleep.

We were given cards that got us through the short line at immigration.

We grabbed a little breakfast at the Etihad lounge in Abu Dhabi.

We were no longer in the land of 2 dollar cab rides unfortunately.

Despite the fact that we weren't actually staying overnight in Abu Dhabi we booked a room at the Hawthorn Suites By Wyndham Abu Dhabi City Center to take a little nap at. We considered trying to just sleep at the airport but that could have been a bummer. Plus I wanted to keep my homeless man vibe down to a minimum now that I was soon to be in the lap of luxury.

I assume these are the United Arab Emirate royals.

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