Happy Geniuary !

I love January. It is an ingenious month! It’s simply Geniuary!

For most people January is that bitter month full of failed new year’s resolutions, deep pockets after Christmas splash outs and hard work catching up with delayed deadlines.

For me this is the best time of each year. Time to get together with family and friends almost every weekend to celebrate our numerous b-days! It’s pretty much like Christmas times four!

I was a bit afraid Geniuary could loose some of its charm here in Dubai since it’s just me and my measly little celebration but THANKFULLY I have made friends with the same birth month- HOW CONVENIENT IS THAT!!

So :

Dear Pavel& Janek 

Happy B-day big twins , sorry I totally forgot to send you a message on the day and then forgot again after I remembered but this post is kinda about you so I hope I’m making it up to you 🙂

My lovely Nela

I wish you the happiest birthday ever, love you so so so much and can’t wait to see you and celebrate lil sis ❤

Dearest Nate&Nick

You guys are growing up way too fast I can’t believe it’s been 14 years since I got pulled out of school one day to be told my tiny bros were born. Love you to bits& happy b-day

Ashleeeeeeeeeey

I love you gal! You are totally my gheto-friend 🙂 And I’m not saying anything because I know today is not The Day – you will just have to wait a wee bit longer !

 

and of course last but not least:

Meeeeeeeee

Happy Birthday to me !! I’m so blessed to have so many amazing friends and the best family ever!

Here is to many more happy years and many happy returns to all of us !!

 

Happy Birthday everyone !!

Happy Birthday everyone !!

 

x

G

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The King is Dead! Long Live the King!

With Boeing exams successfully passed and our flying licences slowly on their way no time was wasted by our trainers to get our batch started on the Airbus A380. We quite literally got a 20 minute break between the actual test and the start of a new chapter of our endless SEP training.

You may think that plane is a plane- it’s got two wings,  a cockpit and it flies. Who cares if it’s a Boeing or an Airbus. Well- you couldn’t be more wrong. From a safety point of view these two are completely different. One of them is a sassy American whereas the other is full of the old European charm. Where Boeing “flashes” Airbus “flickers”, what’s “electric” on Boeing it’s “automatic” on Airbus. There are countless “handles, levers and pulls” inside and outside of a Boeing and “push buttons and sliding icons” of an Airbus.

Boeing is always going to have a special place in my hearth since it was the first aircraft I have ever evacuated and extinguished fire in. However Airbus… well what can I say- it is simply too big to be ignored. I have fallen in love with this flagship aircraft about two years ago as a passenger and our little affair continued throughout my entire career with the Airline. I can’t wait to get to know it better and to see whether I will go on loving it as a crew or if the annoying little habits or this massive piece of a plane are gonna make me fall out of love…

 

Step by Step

Today marks my third week in Dubai. It also marks the longest week of my life. I have noticed that as I grow older time seemed to have taken on a different speed – a year used to feel so long when I was a little girl and now it quite literally flies by. However this past week I was back to being 5 years old and every day seemed to have had 50 odd hours. Or at least I wished for it to be so as I could have really done with some extra time to study, finish my homework or even god forbid- sleep! It was indeed a very challenging week full of exams, practicals and assessments and very little of anything else. When I woke up last Sunday (which really means a Monday in here) I found myself overwhelmed, anxious and stressed just thinking about all that was ahead of me. I don’t really enjoy being either of those three- who does,right? – so I had to come up with a way to stop it.

I took a deep breath and decided to take it step by step and day by day. I turned into a little mayfly. I only lived for one day and its cause. On Sunday I lived for Fire on Board. On Monday for Ditching (landing on water) and Crash Landing. Tuesday for General Safety. Wednesday for Emergency Equipment. Thursday I lived to Survive- quite literally. And here I am- on Friday living for bikini shopping. And some studying too since I have a massive Boeing exam coming up on Sunday but again- no need to worry about that today!

unanticipated emergencies

unanticipated emergencies

Today I’m gonna enjoy the luxury of being able to post from the comfort of my own bed (oh yeah I forgot to mention how amazing I am for getting our apartment broadband, right?!) then get up and make my lazy way to the Dubai Mall to which I finally found a pathway to- so no need to go thru all the drama of trying to get on the first Friday metro service (seriously that deserves a post on its own so watch this space for more on that). Once I get there I’m gonna treat myself to a pair or two of…

10 hours later:

Right so when I got to the word “of” my door bell rang and Dolly (my batchmate Holly, who is such a doll hence the nickname) was there to pick me up for our shopping trip. We set off armed with ice coffees and enjoyed a sunny and dusty walk to the Mall. The original plan was to go and get some cheap bikinis from H&M… however does your shopping ever go according to plan? Anyway to cut a long story short we ended up in Ted Baker each with two pairs of swimwear and massive grins on our faces!! We pretty much sprinted back home to enjoyed as much sun as we could at our rooftop pool!

 

 

 

IMG_0305

 

Managed to get a couple of hours of pure chillax by the pool and then returned into my air-conditioned cave full of post-its and manuals. After a coupled of pages I remembered this abandoned post and here I am now ! Step by step, day by day I’m getting closer to finishing SEP (Safety and Emergency Procedures)and starting to fly !

Our little study group consisting of Ryan, Dolly and I wanted to get our teas delivered but we couldn’t decide whether it should be Thai, Lebanese, Indian or Italian so in the end we ventured outside and let our senses lead the way. They led us to Zaroob  which I absolutely LOVED ! I loved everything about it – the interior, the personnel, the FOOD, the drinks and mostly the chilled out atmosphere !

This post has taken me a whole day to finish – therefore I am not going to attempt anything longer 🙂

Love

x

G.

 

What Gabri Did (Next)

I don’t like to mix work and pleasure (although I kinda already do considering my job) so this post is purely on my rambles in Dubai. Again – due to being otherwise engaged so far I haven’t had the opportunity to see as much of Dubai as I’d have liked. But I did manage to see a wee bit. Here are some pictures , they are pretty much self-explanatory so just in bullet points:

  • The Mosque 

Beautiful, we got to learn a bit about the Islam religion, which was very interesting – it explained a lot and helped me understand some of the basic competencies I’m expected to have as a cabin crew of a middle eastern airline.

The Mosque

The Mosque

  • The Beach

Was breathtaking. As someone who grew up in a land lock county I will never get rid off that feeling of a complete amazement everytime I see the clear ocean/sea waters and wonderful long beaches. This one had a long dual lane running track with a special soft surface to protect your knees from getting damaged- ingenious ! Can’t wait to go back after the training try it outing get back in shape !

That's me on the left

That’s me on the left

  • The Dubai Mall 

Very dangerous for a gadget shopping addict with no idea of how much a “dirham” is in pounds.

Here is my shopping list : IPhone 4s, IPhone 5, IPad, mini IPad, those amazing Beats speakers, that thing to remotely controls my IPhone that looks like a necklace, Porsche Blackberry, new MacBook Pro, waterproof camera, LCD TV, Wii, humidifier, that things I saw in the first shop and had no idea what it was and was too shy to ask but it looked really cool nonetheless…

Here is what I got: new IPhone 4s (yeah well girl’s got to do what she’s got to do!)

Here is what I should have gotten:

Po(r)sch(e) Blackberry

Po(r)sch(e) Blackberry

  • Secret location cafe

I won’t tell you where it is or what it’s called unless you tell me your great secret location hang out in exchange but this one is just literally unreal! Friendly personnel (which never ceases to surprise me here in Dubai- everybody is so super friendly and smiley- must be the weather!), cosy interior, tasty shishas, AH-mazing coffee!

  • Wafi’s free open air cinema

We went to see a really stupid flick chick which I wouldn’t have normally suffered but this place was so super cool, chilled and comfy I found it hard to leave. You don’ have to pay any entrance fee but you are expected to purchase a drink or food (which will be delivered to your beanbag- yes I said bean bag) plus the surroundings are ah-so picturesque !

On a beanbag

On a beanbag

  • Long’s Bar

Last night was the time to let the books closed for a bit and have a lot of fun with the batch. Which is exactly what we did 🙂 I’m not on drugs btw thats just the red-eye fix:)

  • Friday brunch at the Millennium Hotel

Ooohhh… what an experience. Let the pictures do the talking :

Jump&Slide

I know I have been unusually quiet on the blogging front, which is definitely not due to a lack of things to write about or the will to do so, but I assumed I may just get away with it for a bit longer since I spend literally every waking minute of my days either at the Airline college or studying for the college. However when MY DAD (and seemingly my keenest reader, thank you Daddy) complained about not having seen any blog updates of late I have decided to dig myself out of my home assignment books and manuals and post this.

Two weeks ago I was just a regular girl who thought clouds were just puffy pretty things in the sky and now I’m able to talk about them and their differences for more than 10 mins. Two weeks ago turbulences used to give me chills, now I have “demonstrated” that I’m “competent” to deal with any type of turbulence be it a mild one, moderate, severe, anticipated or out-of -a-blue one. Two weeks ago the place you relieve yourself at 30 000 ft used to be a toilet. Now it’s a lavatory. Two weeks ago I had no idea what “crosscheck” in the” prepare all doors and crosscheck” meant. And now I do. I also no longer think cabin crew JUST serve coffee and tea.

It’s unbelievable how unappreciated this job is. I know from my experience that people only tend to see the very glamorous, jet setting side of things. They have no idea how much time, energy and concentration is required at all times doing the simplest thing such as recognising the correct PA. I have to admit to hugely underestimating the whole training thing before starting it. I knew I had to go thru 7 weeks of being taught how to be the perfect air hostess but I can assure you – nothing can prepare you for what you are in store for. Don’t get me wrong – I’m most definitely not complaining. I’m loving every moment of every day. It’s just been a very long time (and thinking about it’s maybe the first time ever) since I had to fully dedicated my entire conscious mind to one cause only-  to perform well and get thru this. Because if I don’t I’ll have to go. And there are thousands of others out there waiting for my spot to be cleared and to take my place.

Let me explain the whole training a bit deeper so you can draw yourself a better picture.

Successfully passing each stage of the training depends on completing three tasks each having the same weight and importance- every single home base assignment (HBA), practical tests (practicals) and a written exam at the end of each topic. HBA get given to us every night (I’m in the evening batch meaning I start at 3.30 pm and finish around 11.30 pm) and need to be returned the next day to be checked. One of them usually covers what has been said in the class that day and the other is to prepare you for the next day (each session only get its allocated time and the trainers expect you to do any additional studies on your own in your own time and won’t go thru the same again just  for your sake). Practicals are completed on the amazing simulators in the college (they move,they shake, they produce fog and screams of frightened people at a mere press of a button-they are simply the best thing on earth!)- you have to demonstrate perfect knowledge of the procedures you have either been taught, shown or had to read upon. You get 4 attempts (including one after-class re-sit). If you do not demonstrate, start looking for a new career. Simultaneously you are being observed at all times. Your punctuality, grooming, posture, professional conduct, teamwork, communication skills among your colleagues. Everything gets noted and evaluated and fed back to you at the end of each day. I can’t stress enough how important punctuality is. It’s the ultimate pillar of the aviation religion. You must ALWAYS BE BEFORE TIME. Not on time. Before time.

Then there is the test of course but there isn’t much I can tell you about that one since I haven’t had one yet. All I know it’s that people usually don’t sleep the night before so I probably won’t either. Not that I get much sleep anyway. I usually study instead.

My new best friends

My new best friends

And even if I do manage to switch off and close my eyes for a couple of hours my dreams are full of evacuations and correct commands.

Yeeeeah we have "demonstrated" !

Yeeeeah we have “demonstrated” !

But I love it. The more I learn about this brand new world the more drawn into it I get. Plus it’s not just me. I have all my batchmates (and amazing friends at the same time ) on the same boat with me. We are all going thru this together, helping each other, supporting each other and having SO MUCH fun! Unfortunately we also had to say goodbye to a couple of them for various reasons. All I can say is :

“Best of luck anywhere you go and with anything you do! We will miss you and it was a great pleasure meeting you! Everything in life happens for a reason although it may not seem so at the time!”

Bend down and stay down everyone x

G.

Hobbits, Starbucks and Sleep deprivation

Salam Aleikum everyone !

If you are wondering what has taken me so long to write this post… well Dubai. Dubai has taken me. Over. Completely! Ever since I landed last week I got swallowed by this amazing world that’s nothing like I what expected it to be.

One of the main reasons I wasn’t able to post is that I have to wait for my residential visa to get a broadband. Which is in 4 weeks. Until then I have to use the free Starbucks wi-fi that’s located next to our reception. I have been there every night since my arrival to check my emails and Facebook- and everyone there is so friendly I already know all the staff by name 🙂 I’m hoping it’s gonna score me a few free lattes as I’m going to spend a small fortune here in the next few weeks:)

But let me take it from the top.

When the day of my departure finally arrived I felt weirdly numb. I expected tears and doubts but instead I felt nothing. Until I sat in front of the gate and started a mild anxiety attack. I was extremely tired because I got hardly any any sleep my last few nights in England (and I came to regret that  but I will get to that later on) and whilst watching people around me I realised I was the only one travelling alone. Everyone else had a family or friends or some kind of company or so it seemed to me in my emotional state of mind. I managed to hold the tears back I forced myself to board the plane. I swear this was the quickest flight of my life. I still don’t understand where did those seven and a half hours go. I remember trying to watch The Dark Knight Rises and then watching it again because I couldn’t concentrate. Yet- if you asked me I’m not sure whether or not that film was any good. I don’t even know who was in it besides Christian Bale. When the captain announced, that we were on approach I was convinced he was joking! I haven’t even managed to open the bag with my blanket !

Feeling the terra firma under my feet got me my stability back and I started to enjoy myself at last. I have to say I was very impressed by the immaculate organisation of my arrival formalities. A lady with a plate with my name on it pulled my out of the crowd of arriving people (she even knew what I looked like!) and took me thru the immigration with the speed of light. My bags were already collected and waiting for me with my personal driver who took me to my accommodation. The receptionist knew exactly who I was, handed me the keys and I was done. The whole process from initial disembarking to me jumping onto my new bed took less than 50 minutes.

Now to everyone joining sooner or later – I would highly recommend trying to find out if there is a Facebook group or a forum portal of people joining around the same date. Thanks to that I haven’t spent my first day in Dubai alone but among new friends. Of course we went to the Mall because that seems to attract everyone on their first day. Be it a sim card, sunglasses, coffee or simply having people around you are looking for you will definitely find it there. I did anyway. Plus I got to see the water fountain shows which was the best “welcome to Dubai” I could have ever wished for.

The next day was my first induction day to the Airline. I can’t stress enough how important it s to get enough sleep. I didn’t. Somehow whenever stressed, excited or sad my brain refused to switch off and go to sleep. I was all of those for the last week so I haven’t slept well for ages. When I had to get up at 5.30 on Sunday I contemplated quitting this whole idea of becoming an air hostess at once. Having no hot water for my morning shower has not helped either ( another tip for all the new starters : when turning off the air-con at night make sure it’s not the hot water switch!). However I have made it to the Headquarters and was once again blown away by the immaculate organisation of the whole thing. I won’t bore you with the details (I’m not allowed to disclose any of the information anyway) but the next couple of days were filled with loads of sitting around, plenty of form signing, more sitting around, corporate induction, health and safety, talking, meeting your batch mates, drinking buckets of coffee (which has been delicious everywhere I tried so far!), even more sitting around and no sleep whatsoever . One whole day was spent on completing the final medicals. Heads up for the new starters : DO NOT bother with any X-rays (dental or chest). It’s not needed and you are gonna waste your precious money that can be spent elsewhere (like in the Dubai Mall:). Only do them if you have a serious doubts there could be something wrong with you. Otherwise just leave it like I did… What you should definitely do is get all your vaccinations done before you come out here. It will be noted if you haven’t got all of them, you will be asked to have them done here and although you won’t have to pay for them in cash money will be deducted from your salary.

Today is Friday which is really a Saturday in the arabic world – meaning it’s my FIRST DAY OFF! I have managed to to finally get some sleep to talk of so I’m feeling energized and ready to explore! I’m meeting couple of friends in a bit and we will see where our fancy takes us. I will make sure to update you on that sooner rather than later 🙂

Our batch went out last night – to the Barasti beach which I believe is where everyone goes on their first night out in Dubai. We had a great time – it was quite nice to see everyone out of their uniform t-shirts with loose hair and no red lippy 🙂 I have not recognised half of them without it!

Anyway here are a few pictures as a little taster before I put together a proper post about this whole experience.

Love you all and keep reading x

x

G.

P.S. Did you know the hobbits in “The Lord of the Rings” are cute hobbits whereas the “Hobbit” hobbits are not cute hobbits? That’s one of the reasons you shouldn’t go and see that film apparently…

Ready for take off

Every time I pictured today aka the day before take off  in my head I saw panic, tears and mayhem. So far so good as none of that has occurred. I’m completely calm and composed. My bags are packed and locked, documents copied, printed and stored, addresses changed – it’s safe to say and  I’m ready for take off.

With a little more than 24 hours before my flight I’m just going over all of my checklists making sure I have not forgotten anything essential. I have to say the Packing List from my dear virtual friend Bakess has helped a lot. I’m also glad to have joined the Facebook group of January starters. Nobody will ever understand your bragging about accommodation, flights, fears and joys better than the people going thru the same! I can’t wait to meet some of them in person in just -oh my gosh- less than 2 days !

See you in the desert peeps x

See you in the desert peeps x

 

I’m just getting ready for my last English jog- and looking outside it is once again going to be a wet one. Being my obsessive self of course I have already researched running groups and routes in the sandpit. I found this : Walking, running and cycling routes in Dubai. One of them seems to be very close to where I’m about to live so I can’t wait to try it out and tell you all about it. I was also glad to find out people do cycle in the UAE. I’m leaving my bike in Huggie’s shed but I guess I can always get or rent one if I manage to use it under the blazing sun.

I have also come across Dubai Desert Boot Camp , Military Boot camp and Fitness02 and I got super excited about it! I have tried boot camps in Prague and here in England and absolutely loved it. If I ever get the time I will definitely try out one of them too !

Since this post is going quite the random direction I’m just gonna go with it… I don’t just work out- I actually spend most of my time sitting around drinking nice coffee or browsing the web. Or doing both at the same time. Here are a few places I could surely be found at in the upcoming months : Dubai Internet Cafes. Or maybe at one these: Infinity pools Dubai ?

Anyway… the next post will be probably from Dubai as I have plenty of goodbyes in store before I go and there will hardly be any time left for blogging.

 

Lots of love

x

G.

The One (day to go) and The Last One (in the office)

Wednesday 2nd January 2013 …

… is the day I returned my headset, emptied my drawers and had my last cup of awful powder cappuccino. Today is the day I bid farewell to the receptionist for the last time and logged off my workspace for- hopefully- ever. Today was my last day at the office.

It was in early 2010 when I got pulled into the vibrant world of an airline and the years has quite literally flown by. I have seen natural disasters, political unrests, rich times and not so rich times. It wasn’t all good but it was far from bad. It is in this place I have found love and friendship and have grown up into a person I truly want to be.

I’d like to thank all of my colleagues and friends for filling the past three years of my work life with laughter and joy! I will miss you dearly and I promise I will make sure every customer calling back after their trip will be a satisfied one !

Thank you for reading and is there anything else I can help you with?

x

G.

2 days to go (and many more to come)

Tuesday 1st January 2013

How was everybody’s NYE? Did you guys have fun? I had such a good time in a great company ! An amazing ending to an amazing year and an exciting beginning of a new one.

Today is traditionally the day when most of us set their new year’s resolution isn’t it? I usually don’t bother but this time I came up with something special and decided to share it with you.

As of today I’m starting to love myself. Unconditionally. I know it might sound very self-centred but I figured if I ever want to change the world to be a better place for the generations to come I have to start small. In my own heart. In the recent years I have noticed I spend way to much energy on looking at my flaws and faults instead of concentrating on things that really matter. I realised there are so many people in my life that I love dearly and who are far from perfect- why shouldn’t I be one of them? It really doesn’t make sense anymore to beat myself over every imperfection and downfall. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone has their little hang-ups. That’s what makes us so adorable and individual. I’m hoping that loving me will make me trust my judgement better and believe in myself more. That will then project onto other people and my relationships with them. And ultimately I will live in a world with very little or no negativity and hatred.

I’m still going pursue the road to self improvement of course but on a more spiritual level. I want to see if there really is more to life and the human mind than what we know and are being taught in our materialistically-orientated society.

I’m quite exited about this resolution of mine!

What is yours?

Think positive !

x

G.

I don't really see how this picture relates to the post however I find it very funny and wanted to share it with you :)I guess it could represent my close relationship with natural things around me??

I don’t really see how this picture relates to the post however I find it very funny and wanted to share it with you 🙂
I guess it could represent my close relationship with natural things around me??