Frazzled

I was looking forward to coming back to Lagos.  I had missed my bed, the dog and of course, LagosDad.

But getting here and being here has left me broken.

Checking-in was a nightmare, as usual.  Our luggage was over our allowance by 7 kilos.  Considering our allowance was 120 kilos, you can imagine how much luggage we had!  It took ages to sort all that out (by sort out, I mean pay for).

I was frazzled before I even got on the flight.

Then Vinay was sick on the plane again.  Just like when we left Lagos for Dubai.  I think I must have been right – it has to be airsickness, even though the doctor said it wasn’t possible.

When we arrived in Lagos, the airport was in complete chaos.  They’re doing some renovations, so all passengers have to walk through departures to get to the arrivals hall.  Is it just me, or isn’t this a huge, HUGE security risk?  The immigration queue was ridiculous – people pushing, shoving and shouting.

Luckily LagosDad arranged for our luggage to be collected and brought home to us.  And thank God he did.  The flight landed at 6 pm and the man called at 9 to say he’d only just collected the last piece.

Of course once we got home I found out that the inverter wasn’t working and that there had barely been any power over the last three weeks.  The batteries on the inverter needed changing, but LagosDad hadn’t sorted it out.  And he still hasn’t.

The generator takes longer and longer to start each time it needs to be switched on, and it makes me so nervous.  If the generator doesn’t work, it’s not like we have the inverter for back up!  The guys are apparently coming to service it tomorrow.

So, basically – we have spend the last four days without power.  No Internet.  No TV.  No music.  Nothing.

The generator comes on at night (after many tries), so that’s ok.  I’m just hoping it lasts the night.

V has been off school from the 25th June.  And he doesn’t go back until 9th September.  Isn’t that a bloody long time?

I put him in summer camp for three weeks (three mornings a week), we spent three weeks in Dubai and now what do I do with him?  The camp he was in is over.  I went to see another playgroup and *hated* it.  The children (about twenty of them) were all in one classroom – ages ranged from eighteen months to four years, and when I went in – they were all doing the same thing!  I was absolutely horrified.

Vinay’s third birthday is in a couple of weeks and his party the week after – I’ve got a lot of organising to do – but haven’t done anything yet.

I’m feeling stressed and wish I’d never come back!

Emirates – Love/Hate

Regardless of whether I have a toddler with me or not, I find travelling a stressful experience. 

It might be because of the whole checking-in process in Lagos (you know, the opening of every suitcase, rummaging through them all and then being asked ‘what of me?’).  

I actually don’t think it matters where I fly to or from, until I’m on that airplane, I can’t relax.

Yesterday’s flight, however was a different story altogether.  Some things made me furious, but other things made it all better.  I don’t know how to feel about Emirates any more!

So – here’s what pissed me off.

My meal choices were a) Nigerian chicken stew (typical Nigerian chicken dish cooked in spicy tomato sauce, accompanied with plain local rice, sauteed local spinach with onions and fried plantain).  Or b) Fried croaker fish fillet (on a bed of tomato sauce, accompanied with jollof rice with sauteed green peas and plantain cubes, garnished with fried onions).

Now if either of those meals are to your taste – that’s just great.  For you.  If they aren’t to your taste, well…  There’s not much I can say.  Personally, they’re not for me. And I don’t eat fish anyway.  What’s so wrong with making one of the dishes a Nigerian dish and the other something else?  This is actually the second time this has happened flying Emirates.  I suppose I should have known better and booked a special meal for myself?  At least I wouldn’t have had to wait three hours until after take-off for something to eat or drink.  Or maybe I should just fly Business Class all the time (poor LagosDad!)?

Another thing which the airline definitely needs to look at is their children’s meals.  I have flown Qatar Airways in Business Class and in Economy and although Vinay has refused to eat the food (being so fussy and all), it’s actually looked and tasted appealing.  Mini burgers, French fries, etc.  Actual children’s food!  I could not believe it when I saw his meal yesterday.  It was a big hunk of deep fried fish.  With a couple of tasteless potato wedges and boiled carrots.  It looked awful.  I don’t know anyone who would eat that.

V was hungry and had a bite of everything – but wasn’t impressed and ate no more.  

About thirty minutes after they cleared the meals, V started throwing up.  All over the blankets, himself, everywhere.  

He couldn’t be changed into his spare clothes as one of his bottles leaked in his bag and wet all his clothes.  All I will say on that subject is that I didn’t pack that bag.

Cabin crew were aware of what had happened as I’d gone to the galley to get rid of all the blankets, etc.

After V had thrown up enough times for me to need more airsick bags, I pressed the call button.

It took forty minutes for someone to come and see what was going on.  FORTY MINUTES.  And I kept pressing the button so that it made the ‘ding’ sound.  But still.  Forty minutes.  I’m not impressed.

Once I eventually got more bags, he was a bit better.  He was thirsty though and everytime he had some water, he’d throw up again.

Meanwhile one of the crew had come to check on him, and took some details (how many times had he been sick, what had he eaten, medication, etc.).  They contacted a medical team on the ground and I was told we had to wait until everyone else disembarked before we could see someone.

When we FINALLY landed and everyone else had gone, we went to First Class where the medics were waiting.  They asked a whole bunch of questions, checked V’s temperature (normal) and told me I could go with them to the medical centre and see a doctor right away or see my own doctor.  

Vinay was fine.  He was chatting to the head of the flight crew and was excited about finally having landed.  And I decided we’d just go home and see how he did.  I really thought it was probably just air sickness.  

And then he threw up again.  All over the First Class seats.  Haha!

I changed my mind and we went to the medical centre.  The medics drove us on one of the golf buggy thingies and Vinay was so excited about the siren, the horn and the speed!

We saw a doctor who prescribed some medication to settle his stomach.  He said it couldn’t be air sickness as it would have started when he was younger and earlier on in the flight and was probably just a gastro issue.

We finally got home at about 4 am.  And Vinay is fine.  

Thank God.

So – Emirates definitely need to rethink their meal options.  Also, I know the crew are always busy on flights, but if you can repeatedly hear the call bell – go and see what the hell is going on!!

The Emirates staff were very efficient when it came to V needing medical attention.  In the air and on the ground.  I was impressed.

 

Curiousity Killed The Cat, And All That…

My husband travels for work quite a lot.  Rome, Barcelona, Lisbon, Johannesburg, Mumbai, Delhi, Paris…  You get the picture.

Before Vinay was born, I could never go with him as all the trips were during term time and I couldn’t miss school.  I was never keen on going on his India trips but I did, however, go to Malta with him one year as it was half-term.

Anyway, I know that he’s busy during the day – with meetings and seminars, etc.  And I also know that the nights can be quite heavy.  Gala dinners, pubs, bars, clubs, etc.  So now I know not to ask him to buy anything for me unless 1. I know he has a free day and is going into town and 2. We need something in an emergency, which I can’t find here (mostly things for Vinay).  Although, depending on where he is, he usually buys a couple of bottles of wine, ham and cheese 🙂 and always gets something for Vinay.  Clothes, Lego.  Something.

Last week he was in Dublin.  And because of flight timings, he got there a day early and had half a day free on the way back.  I asked him to buy my mascara (Mac).  Which he did, thank God!

He came back on Saturday morning with a Mickey Mouse, two cars from Cars and a remote control Lightening McQueen (wonder who that’s really for?) for Vinay.

I spotted a Miu Miu carrier bag.  I kept hinting at him to unpack his bag.  But he only took out his laundry to start with.  

This morning he unpacked properly (yesterday was a holiday so he was home from work, but still didn’t unpack).

And left the Miu Miu carrier bag on the landing floor but hasn’t handed it over yet!

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I took a peek inside after he left for work this afternoon, but his scarf is covering the contents.

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He’s just left it there.  In the middle of the landing.  And every time I go past it, it looks at me.  Taunting and teasing me.

WHY hasn’t he given it to me yet?  Is he keeping it for Valentine’s Day?  Or my birthday?  If so, couldn’t he put it AWAY somewhere?  Maybe it’s for his mum?!

So he’s at work…  Shall I open it and have a look and then feign surprise?  Or should I wait?

Dubai

Leaving Lagos is not easy at the best of times.  Leaving on Christmas Eve was no different.  At every turn in the airport (five checks between arriving and boarding), there was someone looking for something!

There is a security check before the actual check-in.  The ‘officers’ are meant to do a random bag search.  That is, they are meant to open two out of every four suitcases, or something like that.  After slyly asking Hub for ‘dash’ (and Hub refusing (as he always does)), they proceeded to open *every* single bag, paw through every piece of clothing and ask random, nonsensical questions about everything.  

Anyway, so we tired Vinay out before boarding.  We made him run around as much as possible; and he fell asleep as soon as we boarded.  This was great.  But it also meant he only slept for the first hour of a six and a half hour flight!

He wasn’t too much trouble though – he had to be walked around and wanted to be let loose, and I couldn’t expect him to stay still…  

Oh.  And he wailed at landing.

We reached Doha for our two hour stop-over; and let him loose in the airport.  He was thrilled to run around and got tired quickly.  So, he slept the whole way to Dubai (all of one hour); and there was no crying at landing 🙂

I spent yesterday napping, eating and unpacking.  And Vinay spent the day getting to know his grandparents and ‘maasi’ (mother’s sister) again.  

He was quite jet-lagged so the night was really difficult…

Things to do while we’re here include: 

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

Arabia’s Wildlife Centre in Sharjah

Desert Safari

Catch up with friends

Meet new friends

I don’t feel the need to rush and do these all right away since we’re here until mid-January 🙂

Anyone have any must-see or must-do recommendations?

Flying Solo

I did it.  I can’t believe I actually left V in Lagos and came to London for the week.

I was feeling absolutely fine about it, as I’d organised things for him to do every day.  BUT he started coughing a little on Friday afternoon.  And on Saturday he got a runny nose.  I thought it was just a teething issue, but wasn’t sure.  So we went to the doctor.  

The doctor said he would be alright, especially since he didn’t have a temperature, but to put him on antibiotics since his tonsils were a little inflamed.  I told Hub right then and there that I wasn’t going to leave the following morning.  I couldn’t.

Hub was very reassuring and said to just go and that everything would be ok (I think he was trying to get rid of me).  The doctor decided to put his two bits in and said to go and that there was nothing to worry about.  So I went.

On Sunday morning I woke up and spent a little time with V.  I got ready and said goodbye.  Hub said they’d come downstairs, but I insisted they stay upstairs and watch the Wheels on the Bus (again).

I didn’t cry – but I felt wobbly and anxious.  I was felt ok once we started boarding.

Row 64, don’t you know?  They should have just stuck me in the toilet!

This is the first flight I’ve taken since July last year (the sixth flight) where I’ve been child-free and able to eat a meal and watch a movie.

I started watching ‘The Help’, but had to turn it off when I saw the little girl at the beginning and the tears started.  

Two movies, one sitcom, one meal and a packet of wine gums later and it was time to land.  I couldn’t wait – I was desperate to pee (I NEVER use the bathroom on the Lagos-London sector)!

I called Hub as soon as we landed and was (again) reassured that everything was fine.  They’d played in the garden and V was feeling much better.

And now I feel much better too.  

I’m in London for a week and I’m planning to make the most of it.  

If I don’t freeze first!