There is no arguing that flying around the globe and getting paid for it is a pretty sweet gig. I have already spent way too much time on this blog listing reasons why I love what I do for living and I won’t bore you with that again. Let me -just for a while I promise- dwell on a topic I have so far not mentioned. My fellow crew members. Colleagues. The crazy people that make each flight and layover either go up or come down. Quite literally.
The moment a new roster comes out just after you check all the cool destinations you are being sent to the very next thing you do is evaluate your crew. You either get very excited about flying with somebody you know or start scrutinising the pictures of faces you have never seen before and deliberate whether or not you are gonna get on with any of them. And honestly – you can spend hours and days doing that but it won’t matter a bit. The moment you step into the pre-flight briefing room and have a look around you know you are bound to find at least one friend among those people. We are ultimately all the same. The same type of people I mean. We have gone thru the same stressful interview process, thru the same training, we have all moved far away from everything we have been used to and we all do the same job. The paths that have brought us all here to this one quiet pre-briefing room and the reasons that make us wake up at 1am every other day may be different but ultimately there is no fooling each other. Inside we were all crazy enough to turn our lives around and start this mad roller coaster of a lifestyle.
And now there we are – twenty or so people from twenty or so different countries speaking twice as many languages as there are hats on the table. Bound to work together as a team for the next XX hours and then spend a couple of days together on the other side of the planet. This feeling never fails to give me the chills. I love it!
A decade ago, when I was a not-so-rebelious teenager with a mouthful of braces spending every waking minute of my life babysitting my baby brothers I most definitely did not expect my life to turn so exciting. To end up hanging out with people from countries I have never heard of before on daily basis all around the world. To make international bonds that even the UN would be proud of. To get rid of the last piece of prejudice I had left in my body. And to find my long-lost Chinese twin sister. Yes- I couldn’t believe it either when on my recent Bangkok flight I walked into the briefing to find there a girl with the exact hair colour. Cecilia from Honk Kong. Quite naturally I sat right next to her. The rest of the crew found it so hilarious they nicknamed us ” The Twins”. And that name stuck with us for the rest of the 4-day-trip.
CC and I
The only reason I was looking forward to going Bangkok was to get my well-deserved full body massage. I have been to Bangkok before and wasn’t too impressed by the sex-tourism culture I have encountered there. As it turns out tho I just hung out in the wrong places the first time around. There is a whole Other Bangkok that I have been introduced to this time around. The Bangkok that belongs to the locals not to the tourists. I know – I should have known better especially after having lived in Prague for so long but there you go I was once again being overly judgemental too early.
As soon as we checked into the hotel and collected our generous allowance I made my way to the nearest massage/beauty salon. Seeing the massive discount crew was getting at that place I went completely overboard. Full body massage, mani, pedi, foot massage, nails. The Full Monty! After about four hours of being pampered by a tiny Thai girl I was so besotted I proposed to her.
“Marry me. You can move to Dubai with me and I’ll take care of everything. All you will ever have to do is give me a massage every day” I said.
She just laughed it off. As for me I have never been more serious about marriage as at that moment. For the first time in my life marriage made complete sense. But alas it wasn’t meant to be for this girl and I.
In case you had an indecent proposal in mind…
I went back to the hotel broken hearted, met up with some of my fellow crew and we set off in a quest of finding the best green Thai curry in town. Which to be honest with you is no quest at all. Food in Thailand could be my sole purpose of living if I ever needed one. We sat in the street eating , sweating and people watching surrounded by thousands of tuck-tucks and locals. No tourists in sight.
We decided to go with the flow of the night and instructed one of the tuck-tuck drivers to take us to a place where the locals hang out. And that’s how we ended up in Asiatique.
It was truly magical. Just a boat-ride away from the hectic centre of Bangkok lies this Haven full of quirky little butiques, jazz bars, ice cream parlours, amusement corners and- believe it or not- shisha caffes. We walked around, shopped,sat and smoked for hours until none of us could stay up for any longer.
The next day I went back to the salon to try my luck with my little Thai masseuse but again she wasn’t having any of it. So I just had another massage instead. Then it was time for our quick Hong Kong turn-around (as you do:) which included delicious dinner at the business lounge in HKG airport and a two-hour sleep in a business seat on the A380. When we got back to Bangkok around midnight I decided not to give in to the devil in me and go out but stay in the hotel and be reasonable for once. Which paid off because unlike some of my colleagues I was actually able to venture out and explore a bit more of Bangkok the day after.
I’m hoping to get this pairing again soon – for the amount of work I’m required to do we do get quite a lot of rest plus both of the destinations are in my top 10! Well – fingers crossed 🙂 Anyway – I better start getting ready, it’s almost time to take the bus to the HQ to start yet another adventure – this time to Mauritius – and I haven’t even started packing yet!