2 Passports And Too Many Names
by on April 15, 2014 in Travel Diaries

I’m writing this diary on my soon to be deceased Macbook. The ‘Catherine Wheel Of Death’ has long been a regular cause of frustration and slouch inducing despair for me, but now, the added tense expectation of electrical shocks from the casing means that my posture is far better while typing and my fingers dance around the keyboard like a 7 year old concert pianist’s.

It’s been a while since I wrote a tour diary. Mainly because it’s been a while since I’ve been on tour. The last was rudely cut short and is part of the reason I no longer drink alcohol (I’m saving that one for the book). So, clear headed after last night’s gig in Dubai and having spent the day exploring my hotel room, here I sit in my plastic shower cap, dressing gown and slippers, and now that my flip-flops are polished, my finger nails are bleeding from over ‘manicuration’? and my ear canals are Q-Tipped raw, it’s time for me to spar with this sick, unpredictable sadist in front of me and let you know what’s been going on.There are a few things I’ve always wanted to do on a plane. Without the necessary willing (or at least heavily anaesthetised) partner that’s required for 99% of these, I decided to try out number 247 on my list – the Ice-Breaker. As the captain introduced himself and told us we were at cruising altitude with a flight time of 6 hours to Dubai, I span my head towards the shy looking Indian fellow next to me, grabbed his arm and whispered urgently ‘Dubai????!!!!!’ before gradually cracking a smile.6 hours of silence between us passed surprisingly quickly and on arrival at 9pm local time, and after being relieved of my credit card in Duty Free (‘Stolen’ I was informed as it was cut up before my eyes), I trundled out into the human forest of the arrivals hall to begin the usual fruitless task of spotting my name on a card.

Now, a few years ago, the UK’s lovely passport agency agreed to issue me with a 2nd passport, due to the fact that I need one to travel if my passport is in an embassy being processed for a visa. So, my 2nd passport was currently in the Chinese embassy and would be couriered to me in Dubai. All good. The travel agent, however, spelt my name wrong on all the airline tickets and this needed to be changed before I could leave Valencia. All good. Accept it wasn’t, and now 4 different airlines have 4 different spellings of my name, and that one person (me) has 2 passports. I really should capitalise on this situation and buy 10 kilos of cocaine to transport to Bali next week.

Hamid stood proudly amongst the throng holding a board emblazoned with the name ‘MR FATC’, so I followed him to the cool splendor of a waiting Mercedes Limousine and was whisked to The Fairmont Hotel. Dubai is hot, like 48 degrees hot, and I had a couple of hours before set time. This was just enough to christen the shower, perm my ears, check my email for last minute promos and head down to the basement to Cirque Du Soir, my venue for the night.

I’ll spare you the next few hours of the usual club-based shenanigans but if I told you they included an 8 foot tall doorman, dancing Ewoks, caged women in rabbit costumes toying with carrots, a chap in lederhosen pushing barbeque skewers through his face and bottles and bottles of Dom Perignon being poured onto a drummers snare (as he played), you’ll get the gyst.

So, after many failed attempts to check in online under various pseudonyms for my flight to China tomorrow, I’m going to try again. This time, however, I think it’s going to be quicker to write my name on paper, cut it into the component letters, have a shuffle and……..BINGO! I’m in. MR HASICRIRI now has his boarding pass….he just has someone else’s passport.

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