Thursday, April 09, 2009

Well, That Wasn't Quite As Bad... it could have been or as I thought it was going to be. I have a lot of miles on Qatar Airways. A lot. DH has almost as many - but I take one extra trip to the States every year that he doesn't. Either way, I knew I wanted to try to use our miles to get our tickets to Athens and for our return from Istanbul.

I tried to do it on-line when we went to Singapore last month and I couldn't. I'm not sure it is possible. So I got a driver and went to the Qatar office in Dhahran to see about using miles for those tickets. Impossible. When I finally got to my turn [there is the little machine that spits out deli number slips] to speak with one of the Qatar agents, I told the man what I wanted to do and what dates I wanted to travel and which cabin I wanted to sit in. He responded, "Citisoad." "Pardon me?" "Citisoad." "I'm sorry. What did you say?" "Cit-is-soad!" Oh. The seat is sold. Gotcha. What seat? My seat, or the one I want for DH? "No sits." Okay. Well, how about if we travel this date then? And he and I went around and around and around. I knew the dates I wanted to use and he could not accommodate me. Told him I wanted to fly out of Bahrain to Doha to Singapore and that I wanted either business or first class seats. One of us could have flown one day and the other one of us the next - and then coming home - one of us could sit in business class, but one of us would have had to sit in "achenemy." ["What?" "Achenemy." "Ach-enemy... Economy!"] Never mind. I'll just buy tickets. He gave me the price to pay for the tickets. He and I had a little go 'round about that, too. Why would I pay almost $1,000 more for our tickets dealing with a Qatar agent when I could do it for so much less on-line. That makes no sense to me, but then... Thanks. As I was leaving the Qatar office, a nice western man who was at the agent next to where I was said, "I've done tickets with our miles several times and as long as you do it six to eight weeks before you're going to travel, you shouldn't have a problem." Good to know.

So, today I headed downtown to the Qatar office to get our tickets to go to Greece. We are flying to Athens and spending a couple of days there and then will board a cruise which is destined for Istanbul, so that is where we need to return from. Oh my gosh. What do you think the chances are that I would have to deal with the SAME agent that I dealt with a month or so ago? Yep. Him. I meant to make a note of the spelling of his name. It started with an M, but I have no idea what the rest of it was and I can tell you that I know I cannot pronounce it. We'll call him "Agent M" for simplicity.

I left the house at 8:45 this morning. Wanted to be the first customer at the Qatar office so that I could get in and get out. [Right...] I was the first customer - but it was not an "in and out" ordeal. I was there for over an hour. I had my dates and knew exactly what I wanted to do - and had actually checked the flights on-line [but of course have no way of knowing what is available until the actual "click to purchase" screen]. I walked into the office, appropriately attired in bike shorts and a tank top covered with the requisite black bag.

I sat down at the chair in front of Agent M's desk and pleasantly and politely explained to him that I would like to travel to Athens on this date with my husband using our accumulated miles and that we would like to return Istan-- before I could even finish explaining to him what I wanted to do he was clicking away at his computer and said, "Na sits." Oh. Okay. No seats. Well, how about we travel on this date and do-- "Yes. Leave Bahrenn to Athens and return Istinbul-Dahmem." Agent M, do you have half a brain? Did I not clearly explain to you that I do NOT want to travel in or out of Dammam, that we want to go out of and come back into Bahrain, and if you put us on that flight, our truck is going to be in Bahrain and... "You tek taxi." You're kidding, right? You want us to take a taxi to get our truck at a different airport when we return? He and I did NOT do well together. Never mind that there was a ginormous communication problem given the fact that even though Agent M speaks English, his accent is so strong that it can barely qualify as English [and I am not complaining - I don't know where he is from, but I don't speak whatever it is he speaks, so I have to give him credit for speaking English, but...], the problem was that I truly do not think he quite understood that I didn't want to fly out of one airport and into another. Who does that?!?

By the time the two of us were through - neither one of us was being particularly patient. I'm sure to any bystander it had to be commical. I've got our tickets and I cannot for the life of me come up with any good reason other than wanting to use the mileage we've accumulated to benefit somehow from all of our trips on this one airline that I am putting myself through what we are going to go through to do this trip. The ONE airport that I CANNOT STAND flying in and out of is exactly where we will be departing and arriving. Dammam. I would rather drive the extra hour to Bahrain than the half-hour to Dammam. I don't want to have to wear my black covering - I see absolutely NO point of sitting in an airport lounge where you can't have Bailey's and coffee - and I dread having my suitcases searched and pawed through upon our return. No. I won't have a single thing in my bags that we are not supposed to have. It is just the point. It is so violating. Put them through the x-ray machine. If you see something, fine. But don't open them up and start whipping everything out for the whole world to see our "dirty laundry." Look at our passports for goodness sake. We've been here six years. If we were traveling in and out of this country and bringing contraband items back and forth, do you think we'd still be here? [Never mind. We'd still be here, but we wouldn't be traveling or at the airport. We'd be in jail.]

We leave out of Dammam, fly to Doha, and then to Athens. Nice connections. Not the exact date I wanted, but in order to use our points I had to be flexible since Agent M could not get us on a flight together in the same cabin or get us in and out of the same airport or whatever. Returning connections are not going to be nearly as nice, but there could be worse things in life that could happen rather than sitting in the first class lounge in Doha eating lobster and drinking wine - for SEVEN hours!

Whooo hooo! Our dream vacation is about to become a reality. Well, most of it, anyway. I know I promised photos of Singapore and then made a big mistake using the "new" camera. Live and learn. I will use the same camera, the "old" one, that has served me so well, here, for the last several years. Promise. Not a photo to be misplaced in some ridiculous "PMB" [Picture Motion Browser?!?] file. Not with the "old" Sony. No sireee. And, as of right now - making a pact with myself: If it tastes good, it is NOT allowed to cross my lips. Will be living on carrots dipped in mustard. Anyone have any advice for losing twenty pounds in two months short of liposuction? I'm listening...


  1. i hear the "Cross Fit" training is very fast-working with short daily sessions. i happened upon a few blogs of military wives who were involved.

  2. I will check it out ShyAsrai. And I am going to quit eating, as well. [I wish! That'll NEVER happen.]

  3. Hi Sabra,
    Your carrot diet is unfortunately doomed to failure I'm afraid.

    But if you want something that truly will work,read "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.

    Here's a link to his site.

    Essentially, you get your protein and calories from vegetables and legumes and completely give up meat and most carbs. You can, within reason, eat as much as you want of certain foods. Not only do you lose weight, but you detox.

    I did it for six weeks and lost 38 lbs.

    Try it. It works.

    Best of luck.

  4. Six weeks and 38 pounds? What could I do in ten weeks, I wonder? I'd be down to my pre-happiness weight! I'll check and see if the library has the book. Thanks for the link, FF!


Site Meter