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Day out of Days


Hyderabad, August 11, 2001

The plane is packed. Fly from London to Dubai along the neutral zone of Iraq. In the dark sky below the torches of the oil-rigs in the Arabic sea cast their ominous fires. Madmen down below, and there are still so many. Not just there.

Arrive in Dubai at 0400 a.m. of the local morning without my luggage. Luggage is going straight through to India - they tell me - where Hyderabad will be my destination... I complain helplessly. Temperature 100°+ Fahrenheit. I collapse on the 12th floor of a beautiful and $$ hotel. Oceanview at dawn, or Gulfview rather... Linen sheets.

Sleep six hours. I try hard to get some idea from India's Tourist Site Online, but it has closed. I have no idea what to expect. Get a massage in an exquisite spa. Airco gives me a cold. But thanks god.

Just in case my luggage won't show up, I buy another shirt, pants and a pair of socks. Have some dinner on the 27th floor as dusk sets in.

It's quiet at 37000ft.

1130 p.m. Same day.

The cabin holds one passenger. Two and a half hours more to go to Hyderabad. I will arrive at 0300 a.m. I don't have any phone number, don't know where to go. Hope someone will be there. For some reason I know my luggage won't be. Wait & See. After my request I get permission to watch from the cockpit how the airbus splits the silky clouds for landing. A moment's marvel.

Rutger

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