I remember the ticket that I paid online for 130 dirhams (or roughly 35 USD which was actually 4 times cheaper than availing it on the spot) exactly 5 days earlier, which I claimed at the basement of Dubai Mall reads:
“Get Ready to Enter the Record Books.
Valid for ONE Admission, Adult.
Entry Date & Time : 18-May-2014, 10:30AM.”
I remember it took 3 months of stay in Dubai before I finally found a chance to set foot at the viewing deck of the tallest man-made structure on Earth as of present. The iconic, Burj Khalifa.
I remember the moment I pressed Enter on my laptop’s keyboard after I decided to reserve an admission ticket, I wondered how would it feel to be on top of the world literally; to set my gaze below and afar from the 124th floor of the tallest of the skyscrapers. I casually thought if the experience of ascending Burj Khalifa would matter to me 5 or 10 years from now. If the experience would be any different from those few times I placed myself at a great vantage points.
I remember when I went to 1-Altitude Bar in Singapore with a bunch of fellow Asian bloggers, where we grabbed our drinks while watching Marina Bay Sands bursts its fireworks and laser beams. Will it be the same feeling when I go up the Burj Khalifa?
I remember when I was escorted by the PR-Coordinator of Marina Bay Sands to its Observatory deck and famous infinity pool. Will it be the same feeling when I go up the Burj Khalifa?
I remember when my family and I went up the Sky Bridge at 41st level of Malaysia’s magnificence – the Petronas Twin Towers, and when excitement was brought even higher to its Observation deck at its 86th level. Will it be the same feeling when I go up the Burj Khalifa?
I remember when my family and I went up the rooftop restaurants in Patan, Nepal. The view from above was amazing! Will it be the same feeling when I go up the Burj Khalifa?
I remember when my family and I went up the Swayambhunath Stupa or Monkey Temple -one of Nepal’s most sacred Buddhist shrines where we savored the breathtaking view of Kathmandu valley. Will it be the same feeling when I go up the Burj Khalifa?
I remember when my family and I went up another rooftop restaurant across Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu. The serenity from that height was unforgettable. Will it be the same feeling when I go up the Burj Khalifa?
I remember when my family and I spent our last night in Nepal at Peaceful Cottage in Nagarkot, a simple yet incredibly fantastic accomodation perched above 7000 feet, overlooking the Himalayan range. Will it be the same feeling when I go up the Burj Khalifa?
I remember when I stood at Mount Nebo in Jordan, the holy mountain where Prophet Moses breathed his last; where a vast mountainous desert and bodies of water are seen dividing Jordan and Israel geographically. Will it be the same feeling when I go up the Burj Khalifa?
Fifteen minutes before the scheduled flight to the 124th floor of Burj Khalifa via its rapid but smooth lift, I was still thinking if the experience will be the same as the others. My stimulated thoughts of being At The Top were not interrupted by caffeine and a fruit tart.
Then at one corner, Kabayan-staff was repeatedly saying something like, “Stand in the circle, focus your gaze at the star inside the circle. That is where you’re going. You’re going to the 124th floor of Burj Khalifa.”
I remember going inside the lift, and a few seconds and a blink after, I went out with the other tourists. We stepped out of Observation deck at Burj Khalifa’s 124th.
I remember looking at Sheikh Zayed Road from above, the highway seemingly guarded by handsome skyscrapers, the majestic stretch where I and my colleagues pass by daily, to and from the office. The view was different At The Top.
I remember being At The Top of Burj Khalifa was almost the same experience of being at any elevated places somewhere else.
I remember how humbling it was to feel so small from all the higher grounds I’ve ever planted my foot on.