Transitioning from one place to another is never easy, but the long journey from Houston to Karachi is particularly challenging since the trip involves a stopover in Dubai International Airport, a spot that I love to hate. I can do without the shopping mall inside an airport, sofas that look comfortable but aren’t, internet connections that come and go, sockets that don’t quite work, artificial plants, and shiny new cars that are displayed for raffle.
Every time we fly through, the airport seems to expand more and more, and Minal and I wonder how long it will take for movement between continents to be faster. I might not see many changes in my lifetime, but hopefully Minal will. One of the changes in Dubai airport—a marked improvement from just five years ago—is that flights to Pakistan now receive a chute as opposed to passengers having to take a bus and then having to climb up steep staircases to enter the airplane.
This year, as we are looking for things to do in the long layover, Minal sights a live pigeon flying between the circular glassed-in walls and she is ecstatic. She races over to one of the maintenance men (Pakistani, Indian or Bangladeshi) , and tells him that there’s a pigeon trying to break free from the glassed-in bubble.
He smiles. “Yes,” he says. “There are many pigeons here, but they cannot get out.”