May 10th, 1990
Flight from LHR – AUH
Hilton Hotel, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Back in the UAE and I’m not alone!
With a crew of mostly twenty-somethings, I sensed, during the briefing, that this might be a bit of a wild trip. I worked down the back with a girl called Suzi, who literally talked nonstop, not only for seven hours on the flight but also on the crew bus.
“It’s my first time here!” she shrieked, over and over again. “I can’t wait to see everything!”
Within an hour of touch down the majority of our youthful crew had taken over the dance floor at the hotel disco (The Safari.) All, except Suzi, who, surprisingly, doesn’t like to dance and stayed close to the bar. A few hours later, with my feet throbbing from not only the lengthy flight but ridiculous amounts of dancing, I made my way back to my room.
No sooner had I shut off the light when the phone rang. I was hesitant to pick up but after about twenty rings I thought I’d better answer it.
“Hello?” I said, to the sound of someone crying. “Who is this?”
More crying, followed by, “It’s.” Sniffle. “It’s Suzi.”
“You’re going to have to speak up Suzi, I can barely hear you.”
“Somebody was just pounding on my door for ages and ages.”
“Are they still there?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Did you see who it was?”
“No, I was in the bathroom and too afraid to come out.” More sniffles. “I’m really scared.”
“Ok, listen, I’m going to ring the front desk and ask them to send security to your room and check the area, ok?”
“Then I’ll ring you back and I’ll stay on the phone with you ‘til someone gets there but in the meantime, don’t open the door.”
I rang reception, followed by a call to our Cabin Service Director, who picked up on the first ring.
“Good evening,” he announced, giving credence to the rumours that he once worked for the Royal family. “Anthony speaking.”
“Anthony, it’s Karen, I’m sorry to bother you at such a late hour…”
“Whatever is the matter, dear?”
“Suzi just rang me, very upset. Apparently, someone was pounding on her door, so I rang the front desk and they’re sending security to her room. She’ll be hesitant to open the door to anyone so is there any way you can meet security?”
“Absolutely, absolutely.” In the back ground, I heard shuffling which I presumed to be the sound of Anthony getting out of bed.
“Please telephone Suzi and tell her I’m on my way.”
He hung up before I had the chance to say anything else and about ten minutes later, there was a knock on my door.
“It’s Anthony,” I heard, as I looked through the peephole just to make sure the plummy voice was indeed his.
I opened the door to two burly looking security guards, Anthony and Suzi, huddled in a blanket.
“Are you ok?” I asked, guiding Suzi towards the little couch.
She nodded yes. “Can I stay with you?”
“Eh yeah, of course you can.”
“These two fine chaps will be in close proximity,” Anthony said, from the doorway. “Telephone me in the morning and let me know how you girls fared.”
“Ok,” I said, walking towards him.
“Are you sure this arrangement is suitable?” He whispered. “The security guards will stay outside your door for the remainder of the evening, or should I say morning,” he said with the hint of a smile.
“That’s good to hear,” I sighed.
“Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need anything. Anything at all.”
I was tempted to ask for tea and crumpets but didn’t feel it was the appropriate time to be joking around.
“I will, thank you Anthony.”
“No, thank you, Miss McGarr.”