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15 December, 2003

Down, out, Under, and away

Having fled Eid for southern climes it is now the plan to escape Christmas in similar fashion. As nothing can be less bearable than the prospect of Jumeirah salons bedecked with overpriced plastic trees from The Wahid the fifteen hour non-stop flight on Emirates' new plane will be braved.

It will hopefully be only slightly less uncomfortable and lengthy than the voyage of the poor scabby sheep, though there will almost certainly be less legroom thanks to the large grey "digital entertainment" boxes filling up all the space under half of the seats in cattle class.

It could be worse: first class passengers are now seated in low rise toilet-style cubicles, proudly displayed by Emirates at the recent Dubai Air Show. The tour left one thankful that lifelong poverty will prevent ever having to suffer these insta-claustrophobia capsules.

Nice to see that Saddam Hussein, originally a notable secularist before the last-gasp Islamic rhetoric, is embracing the spirit of Santa with a bushy white Yuletide beard. It will be fascinating to find out what is in in his sack. A dozen non-existent weapons of mass destruction and a few romantic novels?



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