Tuesday, July 06, 2021

A Day of Business Class Travel to the Maldives Eventually

A primary reason that we chose the Maldives as our first pandemic destination was that they've kept their borders pretty open throughout the dark times. First and foremost we wanted to avoid any border closures, either the kind that would ruin our trip or trap us there afterward (looking at you, Kenya). We often like to squeeze multiple countries into one vacation but we avoided trying that maneuver this time for the same reason. We even went as far as examining the border closure history of the countries that our flight connections would be occurring in.

I think I sufficiently charmed our Uber driver to the airport. He was from Somalia. We haven’t been there yet but I think having gone to Kenya and Egypt made us cool enough to rap about Africa with him. Once I got him talking things moved fast: government in Somalia is better but still bad, tribalism, religion, Rep. Omar, not much Somalian food in St. Louis like in Minneapolis but it was similar to Ethiopian in some ways. They also have the anju bread but it’s a bit different. They also eat with their hands. He said they eat camel and proudly declared that they have the most camels in Africa. He must have had a good time because he was still talking about the camels even after we had arrived at the airport and were grabbing our bags. “Thanks for talking!”

On one of our US connectors the flight attendant asked us where we were going because she didn’t recognize the city codes. You know you're about to do some weird shit when not even professional fliers know where the heck you are headed.

“You guys have a long day”
“I hope you’re staying a long time”
Not frickin' long enough lady.

We had a good sized layover in Miami which was fun. I filled the time with exciting activities such as watching a hurricane approach.

You know I did some lounging too, as is my custom. Lydia's been having ticket issues all day, which you need to enter lounges. We fought our way into one but then were too scared to leave due to not having a good ticket to get into another lounge or even return to this one. This was especially unfortunate because the lounge was freezing.

We had plenty of time to fill out a bunch of health forms for the Maldivian government. This was my accompanying photo.

I think nutjobs getting all triggered about covid health passports is funny because I've been carrying this passport confirming my yellow fever vaccinations for years. 

I did a little job hunting with my free time as well.

Itsa me, endless form submissions!

I also did a bit of reading about the Qatar Airways business class which is purported to be the best in the world. Upon glancing at my plane ticket I realized that's the exact business class that my fancy ass was about to embark on. What a coincidence!

One amusing situation that was occurring during our stay at the airport was an international soccer match between Spain and Italy. I assume because the entire city of Miami is essentially of Spanish descent, I was the only one cheering when Italy won. Sorry losers.

Now the poor ticket desk employees not only have to check passports and visas and the like, but they are now the health police on top of that. Tears were squirted all over the ticket counter when one guy had a covid test but I think it was the rapid kind not PCR? Another lady had a test but it was taken too long ago. This situation is actually quite a risk to us, because our flights to Maldives will probably take a day, burning time from the instant we took the covid test to the time we'd like to enter the country. So if you need a test within in the last 3 days but you then travel for 3 days then you are pretty much screwed.

Loyal fans of the blog are probably thinking "John it's cool that you took a covid test but we wish we could watch you shoving the booger collector thing up your nose". I anticipated your cries for quality entertainment and it has been provided.

I had a pretty good time on the flight. I'm not sure that I would agree that it is the best ever but... covid has a way of making everything less fun so I'm not sure that it's really a fair comparison. These are the new Qsuites, and have little doors that close and everything.

The plane made sure that you knew the direction of Mecca in case you had any praying to do.

Long flights are a great opportunity to binge watch every movie ever made. Greenland had a plane crash scene in it that was edited out, which I find very amusing.

It's always a tough choice on fancy flights: do I sleep or do I stay awake for 24 hours stuffing my face? I believe this was the "smoked duck with grainy mustard, quinoa salad, roasted peppers and radish".

"Chicken machboos, fried onions, cashew nuts, and cucumber raita."

"Layered lemon cheese cake with raspberry".


"Afternoon tea: fresh finger sandwiches, warm scones, clotted cream and French pastries." Another reason to never stop eating and drinking is that it is my only respite from having this damn mask on my face. My nose is starting to hurt from being pushed down by a mask for days straight. The flight attendants wear these like paper kimono things over their uniforms. I'm sure they are having a fantastic time during the pandemic as well.

I'd already seen Inception but it's the sort of movie you need to watch about seven times to understand anyway. Qatar Airways spiced it up with this viewing, though, as there was some deleted plane violence scenes.

After a good 24 hours of travel we had made it... part of the way there to Doha, Qatar.

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