Also at the fully stocked bar, full of nuts (including us) and fruit and tarts and Veuve, was Mani. Mani was also a pilot, and Mani commanded the room. His personality was big, he welcomed new friends continually to our social hour, even the poor blokes just trying to get to the loo. He made a target of Andres the bartender. He wore some serious bling. Mani regaled us with his incredible piloting stories too, and plenty of hilarious turbulence puking tales – like the big spenders who hired his private jet service. They rolled in with their attitudes, only to be reduced to trembling, green-faced crying baby-men when the ride got bumpy. Mani told us about the high rollers who left the plane carrying out full bags of vomit in each hand. There were many spew stories being traded back and forth between pilots, but they didn’t get old.
The best was Gary’s tale about him noticing a man puking in the air on his small plane, which was turned sideways due to bad weather. In an instant, Gary was able to nudge the plane so gravity would halt the mass of vomit in mid-air, only to shift the plane in a nano-second to disperse the lump on the man’s own shirt. “Only three drops hit the floor,” he said. Now that’s a pilot. It’s stories like these that kept us at the bar for hours.
Nofel was an inventor. He sold his invention for big bucks. He is on to more, devising a machine for outer space. I saw his prototype. The blueprints. This is real. What’s also real is he is a Bollywood singer with a movie coming out.
It’s amazing the people you meet mid-air.
TIP: The journey to Dubai was that much more special because of the people I met. Pause your movie and socialize. Everyone is en route to somewhere, and that in itself is a good story. I'm not sure if you should ask just anyone to try on their bling, however.
Published journalist, world traveller, big thinker, fun haver