3 days (and 4 nights) to go

It’s been six months since I posted this … isn’t it just amazing how relative the perception of time is ?
Yet some ideas are timeless and I’ve decided to once again share this with you on this wonderful sunny Sunday morning! Have a great day everyone all you need is to wish for it !
x
G.

Journey Of Mine

Monday 31st December 2012

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope that you all will attract AMAZING things into your lives in 2013! Don’t forget you always get exactly what you ask for so my wish to all of you out there is to know how to ask for the right things that will make you happy and content!

Loads of love x

G.

P.S. Instead of the usual NYE message I decided I’d share with you a message of a bigger importance. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did :

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July – the Month of the Holy Ramadan and Happy Reunions

happy - Google SearchWhoop whoop – the day of the new Roster has come early this month and once again has brought so much joy into my life!

This July 2013 is a very special July- it is the very first Ramadan I shall ever experience living in the Arabic world. Or not -since I will actually be spending very little time hiding away from the relentless heat high up in my green apartment . My Roster has decided to be very kind to me and ease me into this Muslim tradition, that can get very long and tedious to non-Muslims or at least that’s what I have heard.

For those of you not so familiar with Islam- the month of Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar and is widely known as the month of fasting. The Muslims that observe Ramadan are to refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and lots of other stuff between dawn and sunset. The way I understand it Ramadan is supposed to remind people of all the hardships of the less fortunate ones around us and reflect upon those hardships and be thankful for the blessings we have. Non-Muslims living in Dubai are not required to fast it is however expected of us to be culturally aware and respectful of the spiritual meaning of the whole thing. In other words -we shouldn’t be eating, drinking or smoking in any public areas either.

As for myself the Holy month of Ramadan is going to be a Happy month of Reunions. My heart skipped a beat or two when I saw Malta as one of the layover destinations I got. One of my bestest friends in the world lives there! Never in a million years would I have thought I was gonna see her so randomly and in less than 3 weeks! I’m also getting reunited with the intriguing Africa again – this time with the Far Far West – Ghana and the Ivory coast… and then! AND THEN! As soon as I land back from Accra I’m on my way to coolest place of them all. To the home of the best beer in the world and the only country that pickles everything there is to be pickled. To the … Oh what the heck I’m sure you already got the picture anyway- I’m going on holiday back to my roots -to Czech! For a whole of two weeks I will be (hopefully) pampered and spoiled (hint hint) by my family who have undoubtedly missed me beyond belief. I know I certainly did! 

So -my beloved Czech/currently living in Czech friends- this is your heads up! This time there will be no excuses such as “there is not enough time to see everyone” or “next time there will be more time”. No-no. This time I will make sure I see all of you and I CANNOT WAIT!

C’mon June- you have been a great month but now off with you and dear July hurry up !

x

G.

Sing-a-pour

Just before my flight to Singapore I found myself in a very unhinged state of mind and wishing I was anywhere else BUT in Dubai. I was literally itching to take off on that big jet plane and land as far as it can get me.

I desperately needed a change of scenery and oh my – what a change it was! Singapore is the more mature, more cultured and more beautiful older sister that Dubai is trying to imitate. Everything is so clean, organised and well thought thru. And also very expensive. It is a truly remarkable city.

The thing that strikes you as as the first and the most obvious one is how very cosmopolitan Singapore is. Not just the airport (naturally) but the streets and bars and restaurants are full of people from all around, the city is buzzing with different nationalities and languages. And to my great relief – everybody understands and speaks English. Even an old man tending to his little street cart selling water.

I was told that Singapore is all about food. To me Singapore was all about cars. And by cars I mean supercars. I’m now quite used to seeing Bentleys and Ferraris on daily basis since I live in the part of the world where Porsche is the new Ford Focus… still in my beloved Sandpit supercars feel very… well.. superficial. Yet admiring a Rolls Royce driving past me in Singapore I felt like the car was made for Singapore. It was so perfectly in sync with its environment- it belonged there, the street complimented the car and the other way around. And as I continued walking I saw it also worked for Astons and BMW’s and Mercedes. Singapore is by far the most luxurious place I have seen. I walked in circles for miles and miles alongside the roads admiring those four-wheeled beauties and occasionally raising my eyes above the street level to snap pictures of the wonderful architecture and luscious greenery that surrounded everything.

The night we arrived I followed some of my crew colleagues to The Marina Bay Sands Hotel because as it turned out that night was a ladies night in Singapore and apparently ” one has to go out when in Singapore on a ladies night”. So I did.  The club I was led to was called Ku De Ta and it’s located right next to the famous infinity pool on the top of he hotel. We were partying in style that was far beyond either of our financial situations but at least we were provided with an absolutely stunning view of the entire city. That was- arguably- for free…IMG_2340 IMG_2333 I admit it with pride – I was the party pooper that night. I went I saw and I left. That’s pretty much my night out in Singapore all summed up. Well not quite – I did have a drink or two and little dance before I sneaked out to avoid having to explain my early departure.

The next day I woke up relatively early and set off in a quest to find the botanical gardens I saw from above the night before. That’s when I got side-tracked car spotting. Couple of hours and bubble teas later I remembered my mission and regained the general direction towards the gardens. It has proven to be a task far more difficult than it looked – the heat and especially the almost 100% humidity were taking their tool on me. When I finally reached the gardens I couldn’t be less bothered about it. I was drenched in my own sweat, tired and dehydrated. I was starting to turn into a very unhappy Gremlin. That’s when you – my dear readers- saved me from myself. I thought “this layover is so far not even worth posting about, c’mon suck it up !”, bought a bottle a water of the earlier-mentioned old man and took an hour long tour thru the gardens. It was beautiful and I’m very glad I did that but I was also very glad when I finally reached my hotel room and crashed out. I love Asia and I love what its humidity does to my hair volume – but man it also drains the heck out of me !

I came back home to Dubai refreshed but happy to feel the dry desert heat on my skin again… Sometimes you have to leave to fully appreciate what you are leaving behind.

Love

x

G.

I’m Back

Well hello everyone!

I have just gone thru a brief period of self-pitying and generally feeling sorry for myself which resulted in me not having much to say, respectively write, however as of this morning I have decided life is too beautiful to dwell on stupid little things and mistakes we make along the way. Certain people and situations are brought to our lives to teach a lesson and take us to the next level. Yet some lessons take a bit longer to process. Gladly I can now say that this class of life has been dismissed and lesson has been learned. My ultimate goal in life is to wake up happy every morning without an apparent reason and I’m now a step closer to that goal since I have one demon less to fight on those rare sleepless nights.

So to cut a long story short- your favourite redhead-blogger has bounced back and I’m here if not stronger then definitely happier than ever. I have had a couple of great layovers which have obviously helped a lot so let me slowly sip my home made ice blended coffee and put together a post about it.

Sending y’all lots of love and positive feelings

xxx

G.

I found this elephant statue in SIngapore... he had his trunk up. Y'all know what that means right?

I found this elephant statue in SIngapore… it had its trunk up. Y’all know what that means right?

Play it once, Sam…

Yes- this post is about my brief visit to Casablanca earlier this month. You guessed it right. Aren’t y’all clever?!

There was one thing on mind since the moment I knew I was going to Morocco- a visit to a hammam aka Moroccan bath. I was warned by everybody, who has ever been to brace myself and be ready for all(out) and nothing(hidden). But let’s face it- I’m Czech and nudity and exposure is in my nature. Or at least so I thought. But as it turns out even having grown up in a country that does “unisex” Fridays at every local sauna (and we do NOT believe in wearing bikinis and trunks in saunas in Czech) and has a huge culture of “naked” beaches cannot quite prepare you for the raw experience that a hammam visit is.

I was accompanied by only one brave female colleague of mine. The other girls have chickened out as soon as the “boobs out” rule was mentioned. Guys on the other hand were more than keen to join in but unfortunately  for them Morocco is still a muslim country that does not allow sexes to mingle in this way. We armed ourself with hand-made “savons” and rough mittens purchased on the street market and headed to the nearest public spa. Upon paying the entrance fee we were also shown the price list of services offered… I was too shy to ask what procedures such as “brushing” and “touching” involved and therefore only went for “scrubbing” as that one sounded the safest.

We climbed up a flight of stairs and opened the door to every guy’s wildest dream. I don’t quite know how to describe the spa without making it sound like… well you know what I mean right?

There was steam. Loads of it. Hot water flowing and cold water being splashed around. Lots of female laughter in the air. Blue and white mosaic on the walls, floors and long benches… Benches that were full of naked women of all ages,shapes and sizes. There were boobs and bums everywhere I looked. There was absolutely no escaping it unless I closed my eyes which I couldn’t very well do without coming across as rude. So I just got on with it, sat down with my mitten and soap and started what everybody else was doing. Having a bath. Unlike the rest of the women around me I was done in about 5 mins. I had no idea bathing can take up to 25mins if you do it properly. Seemed like I have never had a proper wash in my life. As I felt awkward just sitting there and trying NOT to watch the other girls I kept on washing myself over and over until I got called out. Called out where do I hear you ask? Well – to The Table. I thought in my wet 25mins on the bench I must have washed away everything there was to be washed. Boy was I wrong! The process hasn’t even started on the bench! I obediently handed my rough mitten over to a massive Moroccan lady and laid flat on The Table. She looked down at my pale body and my red hair and muttered something in Arabic. I presume it must have been “You are gonna look just like your hair in a second” because that’s exactly what happened after about a minute of her throughout scrubbing. She took no mercy on me however loud I growled. I think she was a sadist…

She was done with me in about 10mins. I had no skin left after that. She hosed all of it off the table. I was instructed to get up and go and wash AGAIN! I suppose it only made sense since the layer of skin I have washed before has gone down the drain…

I walked back to the hotel feeling like a newborn and also- strangely- a bit violated.I have been touched in places I didn’t think were accessible to a bare hand. I dreamed about boobs and long wet hair that night. It left me slightly confused on many levels…

The next morning I got up early, walked across the street and found a fresh food street market. Since I had all of my allowance left and an empty suitcase waiting in my hotel I gave in to the foodie in me and bought everything I stumbled upon. Freshly ground fragrant coffee, couscous, the best olives I have ever tasted, massive tomatoes, dark sweet cherries, plump peaches, delicious walnuts and a 2-kilo box of home made honey sweet. And dates of course. Dear Lord- those dates were possibly the most amazing thing that ever touched my lips. In Morocco apparently you don’t buy before you try so I was sorted for breakfast before I even knew it. The street seller were literally forcing their produce down my throat and wouldn’t let me leave before I swallowed and showed them my empty mouth. As I was leaving my bag wasn’t the only thing that was heavier. I would definitely recommend Morocco to anybody who is trying to bulk up. There’s food everywhere. And it’s beyond delicious. I tried to eat it all but failed. There is still plenty more left for everybody else.

Go and get fat peeps!

x

G.

Food everywhere

Food everywhere

more food

more food

Honey sweets.. I ate it all

Honey sweets.. I ate it all

I know it looks like a brain... That's because it is. And I ate it.

I know it looks like a brain… That’s because it is. And I ate it.

These are mutton balls. I also ate them.

These are mutton balls. I also ate them.

That's me eating some more. And also drinking.

That’s me eating some more. And also drinking.

Some more food which I ate

Some more food which I ate

IMG_2126

All Things White

When coming back from a flight the other day I overheard a conversation between some of my colleagues. It went a bit like this :

” Man – my back is killing me, I could really do with a massage!”

“When is your next Bangkok flight then?”

It left me completely unfazed. See – unlike normal people, who would go for a Thai massage when suffering from a back pain, crew go to Thailand for a massage. They also go to Rio instead of the mall to buy a pair of Havies and to the States for a new Macbook rather than the nearest Apple store. Travelling for living spoils the hell out of us.

It also rinses our wallets and there is no denying it. Crew that say they don’t shop are liars. Of course they shop. That’s what our allowances are for. To buy the freshest mint from a tiny street shop in Casablanca in the morning and drink a cup of a delicious moroccan tea in Dubai in the evening. To make one’s stomach hurt by buying dozens of the best German sausages and eating them on the spot. To get you nails and hair done in Malasia. And then of course the Duty Free shopping… Ohhh don’t get me started on the Duty Free shopping…

I always had this kinda sneaky feeling that I was a shopaholic in making and having started flying has only confirmed my suspicions. Luckily for me (and my back account) most of the destinations I have been to so far have been completely new to me and I have therefore resisted the notion to shop until I dropped and instead opted for sightseeing. Goodness knows what’s going to happen to me in a couple of years. I just hope my Airline is going to keep on expanding its network and in order to stop my balance from shrinking…

Still… somehow when sorting out my wardrobe and drawers the other day I have noticed I already have a very nice little ensemble of pieces I have picked all round. I guess whilst other people collect fridge magnets and postcards I tend to collect random stuff that take my fancy. I decided to call my medley “All Things White” since that seems to be the only trait they all have in common.

And here it is :

white box full of goodies from Morocco, white espresso cups from Germany, poster from Italy, pumps from England and a couple of white tees from I-dont-even-know-but-have-afeeling-it-was-somehwere-in-Asia

white box full of goodies from Morocco, white espresso cups from Germany, poster from Italy, pumps from England and a couple of white tees from I-dont-even-know-but-have-afeeling-it-was-somehwere-in-Asia

 

and there is more ... white bikinis from BKK, dressing gaunt from MRU, a T-shirt  from my layover in AD and a mysterious white Burberry box from SIN...

and there is more … white bikinis from BKK, dressing gaunt from MRU, a T-shirt from my layover in AD and a mysterious white Burberry box from SIN…

What is it that you guys collect or tend to bring back from your travels? Amaze me!!

Love, hugs and kisses

x

G.

Dear China – You Are The Best !

I love my long and quiet Chinese flights. I also love all the polite and humble Chinese passengers that never seem to want anything than a little cup of hot water. But most of all- most of all I love China. I love landing in this vast,  far away and isolated country that is so different from anything I have seen anywhere else in the world. It’s like falling asleep into one of those strange amazing dreams that you still think about long after waking up. That’s exactly what going to China feels like to me. Like a dream coming true.

I first went to China almost two years ago on holiday to Hong Kong. The city has instantly charmed me with it’s grand buildings and never ceasing street life… and that was before I even discovered the bubble tea (which in my opinion is the best thing since sliced bread!)… Then couple of months ago as a fresh cabin crew I got to go to Shanghai and absolutely loved it. But it wasn’t till my Beijing trip that I realised that the way I feel about China isn’t just casual. There is just something about this place that tantalises me every time I come. Something that makes me want more and more.

I stood outside of the hotel waiting for the taxi to take me to a place I have been wanting to see since I was a little redheaded four-eyed girl – The Great Wall of China. I was shivering in the early morning breeze that reminded me a lot of November days in Europe and clutched my cup of Oolong tea a bit tighter. My breath changed into little white puffs every time it left the lungs. I watched Chinese businessmen rush buy to catch their buses and deadlines (I presume). I listened to the thousands and thousand of cars beep their horns in a pointless attempt to speed up the crazy traffic ahead of them. And once again I felt extremely happy. I was right where I was supposed to be at that moment.

The taxi , unlike my fellow crew, arrived on time. I made myself comfortable for the long ride that took us thru Beijing and its outskirts to The Wall. As our journey progressed it became clear that the day wasn’t going to be a sunny one. Neither was it to be a dry one. The rain got heavier and thicker by the minute. By the time we arrived at the bottom of The Wall the place resembled more of a swimming pool than a car park. I tried to convince my colleagues that the rain was easing off and the skies were becoming clearer. But I wasn’t fooling anyone. In the end I decided to shut my mouth up and ears off. If they enjoyed b*tching about something that was beyond anybody’s power to change well then I decided not to let that spoil the day I was waiting for so eagerly.

And as if someone up there wanted to push my patience and positive thinking to its limit by the time we purchased our tickets a proper thunder storm was upon us. With all its might and glory and heavy rain drops and flashy lightning. The slides and gondolas going up have been stopped for safety reasons. One couldn’t see the end of their own arm. It looked as if the hell has opened. I looked up the skies and screamed :

“C’mon now! I made it all this way and it’s taken me years to come here. Are u seriously not gonna let me go up and see this Wall or what?!”

I want to say that the moment I spoke those words the storm has stopped… but… Oh you know what!? This is my blog and my story so what the heck!! So – the moment I spoke those words (or maybe some 30-40 minutes later) the storm has stopped and the gondolas started running again. And I finally made it up and stood on The Great Wall of China. And not only that. Since the rain has never really ceased lots of people have given up before even reaching the top which resulted in me and my fellow group of serial complainers having the entire Wall to ourselves. There was quite literally nobody else in sight.

The fog was blowing over the ancient stones occasionally revealing one of most amazing views I had in my life. It felt as if I went back in time and I half expected Chinese warriors to appear from the mist and fight us intruders. It was quite literally magical…

I feel like photos only will not do my Great Wall of China story justice… so I did this …hope you enjoy it guys :

The Great Wall

What to expect when you’re expecting…

Life is full of surprises. Like for example when you’re expecting to be turning around Islamabad and instead find yourself sat and waiting in the airport stand-by lounge. Or when you see one of your best friends entering the very same lounge and get excited about spending the next 4 hours catching up with her but she gets pulled out for a flight the moment she signs in… Well such is life.

Standing-by is fun. It all starts with the packing part. I got allocated one of the busiest reserve slots there is. The early morning hours at the HQ resemble peak time traffic in any major city. Flights are departing and arriving to and from all the corners of the world. Meaning I could be headed anywhere in the next 5 mins. So when packing up I had to think big. My suitcase that’s usually neatly prepared in advance and carefully thought thru looks like a psychedelic 60′ themed party. The OCD me had to look away and pretend it wasn’t there…

This Islamabad turnaround was supposed to be my first flight of the month followed by a layover in Beijing- which I was super happy about. Going back to China and especially being given the opportunity to fulfil one of my childhood dreams and see the Great Wall was more than I could have wished for in June. However with my unexpected roster change I could as well be going nowhere near the Far East in the next couple of weeks. See – if I do get pulled out of this comfortable haven for a duty longer than 12 hours I will not have enough time to “legally” rest before my Beijing flight and will be taken of it. Which doesn’t make me all that unhappy either since that would be mean I could possibly spend the entire weekend in Dubai, which has not happened for quite a while. I could go for a brunch for example. Or to a gig I really wanted to see. Or just generally chill out. I told you – standing by is fun when you look at this way!

Talking about rosters I realise I haven’t updated you on my flying schedule for the upcoming days. Well – unless there will be more changes such as the one that has happened to me tonight I should be practising my German skills quite a bit in June since I have two weeks full of German and Swiss destinations. I will also be exploring the chewing gum free streets of Singapore and visiting my beloved Sri-Lanka again.

The lady managing tonight’s crew on reserve just received a call and looked my way. Wish me luck! Exciting times !!

Talk to you later from wherever my life takes me !

Lots of love

x

G.