Epilogue dated three years later on 25 November 2019 : I wrote and I published this post, sitting in the business class lounge, of the Dubai Airport, with a broken hip. You want amazing? Here you have it. Amazing!
Where to begin but at the beginning.
Friday, November 25th, 2016 .. Will this be my Day Of Infamy? Will this be the end of my world traveling? Only time will tell!
Early. I like to be early. My flight boards at 6:40pm and leaves at 7:10pm. I was here at DXB (Dubai International Airport) at 1:25pm.
In short order I checked in with Emirates Airlines and, with my boarding pass in hand, off I went to pass through Immigration and Security.
Bright eyed and bushy tailed. Smiling. I handed my passport to the UAE Immigration Officer. He looked it over. He again looked it over. Then he called for another Immigration Official to come to his work station. They chatted.
The second Immigration official beckoned me to follow him. I did as directed and was led into an office. We sat down. Me in a chair facing his desk. He behind his desk. He took out my passport and looking at it carefully he began:
“Sir. You entered the UAE October 1st. Is this correct.?”
“You left the UAE October 18th for Oman. Is this correct?”
“Yes Sir that is correct.”
“You returned to the UAE on October 28th. Is this correct?”
“Yes Sir it is correct.”
“Sir you agree with the dates that we have just discussed?”
“Sir you have violated the terms of your entry visa issued you on October 1st. Your fine is 1,800 AED!” .. “We only accept cash Sir.”
1,800 AED is US $514.29.
“I do not have that much cash Sir.”
“There is an ATM in the lobby. Please visit it and return here to my office. I will escort you out and explain the situation to my officers. They will let you return to my office when you have the cash.”
I remained very calm on the outside but I was (understandably) upset. I did as he asked. I visited an ATM and withdrew the 1,800 AED. I returned to his office. I paid the fine. I got a receipt.
I went through security. But I was upset. I was not myself. I failed to tie my shoelaces having had to remove my shoes at security.
I could hear myself scream at the top of my lungs as I went went down hard.
I was instantly surrounded by people wanting to help. The paramedics were there in a New York Minute. I was lifted into a wheel chair. I was taken to the Emirates Business Class Lounge. I was surrounded my three paramedics. I could not stand.
My left leg might as well be a piece of rope. I can put absolutely NO WEIGHT whatsoever on my left leg. Nothing. Zero. Zip.
They took my vitals. Blood Pressure was 154 / 90 which they said was OK for my age 80-years. They checked my blood sugar (it was 86). They doctored the wound on my left palm that was bleeding.
“Sir we are summoning a Doctor. We cannot let you leave the UAE if you are not healthy.”
“Look Guys. I am basically OK. The three of you are happy with my vitals. I have doctors in Hong Kong. I have a hospital in Hong Kong. Please let me get my flight and get to Hong Kong. You can see I am clear of mind.”
I called Patti.
“Talk to my wife Patti. Assure Patti that I am OK.”
The lead paramedic did so and he and Patti had a nice chit chat.
“Look Guys! Please let me get my flight and get to Hong Kong.”
“Yes BUT you see Sir .. We want to help you but there are legal isssues here Sir.”
“If we agree to your wishes, will you sign a legal release stating that you are OK and that you are refusing medical treatment?“
“Yes I certainly shall.”
I signed their legal agreement instantly. They took their leave. Really great gentlemen.
In the meantime, as the above DRAMA was unfolding, I had been visited by several Emirates Airline Officials. They said they would get me to my departure gate and help me board my flight with wheel chair assistance. They also said they would call Emirates Airlines in Hong Kong and have a wheel chair waiting for me at the arrival gate.
My view here in the Emirates Airlines Business Class Lounge at DXB is very VERY nice.
‘Zilla Oh ‘Zilla. IF you are reading along here, and if I have to return to the US, can I buy some Delta miles from you so I can fly back Business Class?
I feel great. My mood is great. I am smiling.
If only my left leg had not become a piece of rope, I would be A-OK!
Emirates staffers here are tending to me. Liquids and food and wheelchair assistance to the necessary room.
Ladies and Gentlemen. Officers and Men. Sports Fans following along here. No kidding. This is serious. This could be the end of my Globe Trotting. If it is, I sure have enjoyed one phenomenal ride.
This truly is .. Taa – Daa ..
I couldn’t feel better of mood. Can anyone understand what it does to one when their leg becomes a piece of ROPE. Great in tension. Horrible in compression.
And yet I feel so grateful. A fall, any fall, was coming. In March 2004 I fell on the ice in Anchorage and broke my left knee-cap in two places. And there have been many other falls.
So I am so grateful I am able to leave the United Arab Emirates and NOT be hospitalized. All of my belongings are packed and on-board. Hong Kong here we come!
Time to press Publish Captain.
- NOV 24, 16 .. HAPPY, JOYOUS, THANKFUL, THANKSGIVING DAY!
- NOV 26, 16 .. WHAT A SATURDAY I HAD TODAY .. NOV 26th 2016