Seoul Searching …

My Airline has not been sending me to the Far East very much of late. Ok – I have had more Manila flights than I could possibly ever care for (more on that later) but the Philippines are not the right kind of “asian”. By that I mean not the kind that I love. Like China or Viet Nam for example.

That’s why I was very excited when I found out I was about to go to Korea in December. Everybody was telling me that since I like China I’ll ADDORE Korea. And all of them were right. I totally did!

Seoul was a very special layover. In the same way that Shanghai has been back in March. Somehow I just know I will never forget about it. Thankfully it’s one of those longer and “social” layovers when crew feel the need to come down and mingle. Possibly also because there is nothing quite like going out in Asia. I’m telling you guys the nightlife is just INSANE! And addictive… You will try it once and will never want to give it up.

We started the night off typically Korean – gorging on some amazing BBQ. Never heard of it? No neither have I till I tried it. The BBQ restaurants are absolutely genius – conveniently placed on every corner in Seoul. All you need to do is walk in and wait to be seated. You get a “table” within minutes, sometimes you gotta wait a little before it gets prepared for its new occupants. What do I mean by “getting prepared”. See – the Korean BBQ is not a restaurant per se… You get to cook your own food yourself. There is a massive hot place placed in the middle of each “table” ( looking a little like the swiss raclette) which you get to use to your own liking. You get to pick your own meat and/or veggies to grill just as you like it. Plus you get an unlimited supply of sauces, rice and spices. As I said – genius! It’s quick, delicious and costs absolutely nothing…IMG_6768

Later that night -after a few drinks in the hotel lobby- some of us decided to head out and party. As we were leaving the hotel Korea gave me yet another reason to love it – it has started to snow! I don’t need to fill you on the details of our night out in the Gangnam District do I? Did you know Koreans love hip-hop? Did you know they were snapbacks AND suits? Did you know guys dance more than girls? All I need to say is that Asia and its club scene has not let me down once again! I had a great time and so so so much fun with my colleagues. We were quite the distraction being the only non-Koreans in the clubs and I can assure you that many pictures of us have been taken… But I guess it wouldn’t be the real Asia if that didn’t happen:). IMG_6759 IMG_6769

The next morning I beat my hangover to it and left to Seoul-search before it managed to fully start. I wanted to walk and see as much as I physically could and I did. I returned to the Gangnam district and explored it from left to right and bottom to top.It is a truly amazing place -not solely for its fantastic shops but I have to admit that the Underground Market is very impressive. I resisted to spend ALL of my money and only spent some – and that was mostly on gifts for others rather than for myself. Korea is famous for its skin product-well I fear I still wouldn’t know the difference between a hydrating and a firming face cream if my life depended on it- and gadgets. And you should already know how I feel about gadgets. IJUSTLOVETHEM! So I couldn’t leave empty-handed… However I believe my purchase was very justified since I have used it every single layover since ICN. I bought a polaroid camera. I sure still use my IPhone a lot but there is a certain charm to the instant photo you get to hold immediately and stick up on your wall as soon as you get back home…

the beauty of polaroid snaps

the beauty of polaroid snaps

the beauty of polaroid snaps

the beauty of polaroid snaps

IMG_7231 IMG_7218IMG_6958

South Korea has definitely lived up to my expectations. I would love to go back if only for that great BBQ 🙂

Love

x

G.

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The Journey of 2013

Wow ! Just simple “wow”. Thanks so much for your interest guys – this report has just made my day !

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 42,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 16 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Listen To Your…

…body. If not then at least listen to your best friend. They usually know what’s best for your body. How do I know that? Well that’s a funny story. If you wanna know more – then just sit back and read on.

So I flew to Kuala Lumpur again a couple of days back. You may remember that my first layover in KL wasn’t all that exciting. Well – the second one has definitely made up for it. That one singular trip has given me enough excitement for months of flying. The flight over has not gone as well as I would have wished but I guess after a year of successful flights I was bound to have a… ehhm how to best put it .. let’s say a “challenging” one. I landed and all I could think of was a nice cold drink and a good company. A good company has thankfully been already taken care of as one of my best friends was operating with me that day. And a cold drink was at hand as soon as we reached our hotel. Ok – I may have had a few more than just one. But in my defence… I really had one helluva day that day.

I woke up next morning feeling a little under the weather but nothing a little more sleep couldn’t fix. So yes – I spent yet another KL layover in bed but not entirely. I also pulled myself out to enjoy a beautiful lunch by the pool and even forced myself to do a very minor workout at the gym.

Then I went up to my room and got ready for a long journey back home- and it indeed was a VERY long way back to my apartment. The flight was a busy one. It was somewhere half way thru when I started feeling bad. At first I was blaming the lack of sleep and that one extra drink I probably shouldn’t have had the night before. However as the time and the pain in my lower abdomen progressed I was starting to think this was more than just an indigestion or a mild hangover. But it wasn’t until I nearly fainted that I knew something was amiss. By the time we were landing I was in so much pain I couldn’t sit or stand- both was equally uncomfortable. It took my all to remain smiling for the sake of the passengers. My friend saw my suffering and kept on asking if I needed medical help. That’s when my childhood and my mother’s Spartan upbringing kicked in. See – I was a bit of an attention seeker as a kid and I may have played the “sickness” card way too many times for my mum’s liking. She ended up never believing I was seriously ill until I either vomited or was on the verge of dying in front of her. Once she said she would also believe an open fracture but (thankfully?) I never had one. So when Edel suggested an emergency room I mentally reviewed my state (“Have I vomited?” “No.” “Open fracture?” “No.” “Verge of dying?” “Well…”) and I told him I wasn’t gonna make a big deal out of it.

Well my body decided otherwise. By the time we got to disembark the aircraft and collect our luggage I cared very little for smiling and could hardly walk without whimpering in pain.

“Ok- that’s it” Edel said “I’m taking you to the hospital and I don’t care what you think.”

“Thank God” is what I thought but I didn’t say it because the pain was growing by the second and I wasn’t gonna waste energy talking.

We got to the Emergency room around 6am still wearing our uniforms and carrying our crew bags, which strictly speaking is possibly not allowed but honestly at that point I didn’t care much. It didn’t take much for the nurse to understand my condition and I was hooked on the drips before I even knew it. Wow – I don’t know what it was they pumped into me but I wouldn’t mind having a top up of that stuff! Not only did it make the pain go away – it also gave my memories a nice shiny glow … 😛

I’m not gonna make this any more dramatic than I already have. As you may have guessed it was a suspected appendicitis but thankfully it wasn’t. It took the doctors about 9 hours and a whole list of tests to decide on that but in the end I wasn’t gonna have to go under the knife and they just let me off with some very strong painkillers and other goodies to keep my guts in control.

I'm only smiling coz I'm high

I’m only smiling coz I’m high

They have also put my on a very strict diet of no alcohol (drag!), no coffee (my life is over!!), no tea (uff) and no milk(oh well I’m lactose intolerant anyway). Hence the extensive blogging today. Thanks to the painkillers I spent a whole day sleeping and am now full of energy that needs venting!

The point of the story has however not been made yet. I have come to realise that I haven’t fully appreciate the treasure I have in my life – Edel ! The amazing person who got off a 7-hour flight, dragged me to a hospital and remained fully awake by my bedside the entire time. He wouldn’t leave even when I kept sending him home. It wasn’t until later when I realised how much his support meant for me. Spending a day in a hospital not knowing what’s wrong with you is not the kind of time you want to be alone. And I wasn’t…

Thank you so much boo … You are a true friend!

x

G.

Sistas In Paris

sistas in Paris

sistas in Paris

You can’t always get what you want. But sometimes -when you’ve been real real REAL good- you get so much more than what you could have ever asked for. Like myself this Christmas just passed for example.

My Airline has decided to sent to Paris. Paris of all places – one of the few European capitols I haven’t been to. Paris- so wonderfully romantic and oh-so-french. I was just chilling (and possibly drinking) at my sister’s place in Prague when I found out and the conversation went something like this : (oh please do excuse my “french” hahaha- see what I did there?)

Me: “Holy cow! They gave me Paris for Christmas. SOooo excited – I have never been!”

Nela(my sis): ” Sooo jealous! I have never been either…”

Me:” OMG! You should totally come!”

Nela:“Like seriously?”

It took us about three seconds to put the plan together and then it was real and happening. Nela was coming to Paris to meet me for Christmas. How very puurrrfect!

Our flights landed almost at the same time and I was just about to check in when she entered the hotel lobby. We did our usual greeting dance (as much of it as my image standards allowed me to do anyways) and proceeded to the room where we cracked open a bottle of the french finest (or as we choose to believe) and let the festivities begun.947286_10202165020278915_1692349299_n

Next morning was an early start – we had a lot to do and a very little time. We got to the Champs Elysees at the crack of a dawn and managed to walk swiftly over to the Eiffel Tower to watch the sunrise. After the compulsory photo shoot we found ourselves a cosy cafe and had a very french breakfast- or that’s at least what a croissant and a glass of white wine is in my eyes… 532140_10202008158737851_882802164_n1525126_10202165024759027_718432646_n

…and then we walked. For miles and hours. We saw a lot but we definitely haven’t seen enough.There is so much more we have to come back for. Like Montmartre we haven’t managed to get to, Or Notre Dame we only glimpsed at. Or Louvre we saw from the outside but had no time to explore inside. Or the French kiss we never got… Too early  it was time to get back and catch both of our flights back to Prague and Dubai before we even knew it. We left the rainy city with its Christmas markets and onions soups and Louvre and Seine and all the street sellers behind and went back to the hotel.1532061_10202008166258039_1447705318_n 1476043_10202008168698100_351115196_n IMG_6942947274_10202008167218063_1105599895_n

we love monuments

we love monuments

Just in time for Nela to finish the wine from the previous night which I watched with endless envy, bid me a teary good-bye, wish Merry Xmas and go. I don my uniform and red lipstick and got ready for a very full, very long and very bumpy flight.

I landed back home in Dubai feeling torn between very lonely and very happy. I was very happy because I got to give my sister the best present I could have ever come up with. And I was very lonely because those 24-hours were a poor taster of the family I wanted to be with so badly. But alas- I guess it’s better to have a family to miss than none at all. And I’m blessed with a very big one! And I have hopefully also started a tradition of spending my European layovers with my siblings and parents or whoever is willing to make the journey to meet me… Life is a bliss after all !

Love

x

G.

Time Flies When…

… you are having fun. Is that how the saying goes? It also flies when you have to work hard and sleep little. It flies when you are trying your hardest to find time for the important things in life and end up killing it with the very unimportant ones.

Time is such a funny thing seriously. No matter if rich or poor, wise or stupid we all get our fair share. No more no less. No matter how hard you try to fool ourselves we will never be able to earn some more. It’s only up to us to decide what to do with it to make every second count.

In the past year there were many second that created moments I will cherish forever. Regrettably I also have to admit to a few second I have been trying my best to forget. But as I love to say ” You loose some and then you win some”. So I focus on the good things that 2013 has brought me and do not dwell too much upon the ones it has taken away from me.

You may remember my last year’s resolution – I have promised to love myself like nobody else has loved me before. Well – I have given it my best shot and almost lasted the entire 12 months. But at one point I had a look at some of the choices I made in the past year and somehow loved myself a little less. Does that happen to everybody? Does everyone go back on their word?

I guess it matters little since the entire 2013 has been an amazing learning curve and I strongly believe that a mistake is only a real “mistake” if you do it twice, three times, four even and always without realising.

Is this all a bit too vague for you guys? I’m so very sorry – some things are just too personal to share but anyway the thing I’m getting at is my new year’s resolution for 2014.

I have to admit -it is not entirely mine. I have heard it in a song and felt inspired. I have quietly celebrated a year of living in Dubai a couple of days ago. And what a year it has been – The Year of Thousands of First Times I decided to call it. And as I was approaching that day- coming hand in hand with the last day of 2013- I also decided I didn’t want to stop there. I never want this constant flow of first times to dry up. I want them to keep on coming. And that’s why my new year’s resolution for 2014 is to lose the fear of trying. They say there is a first time for everything. And I wanna know what this “everything” is.

Belayed Happy New Year everyone

x

Love

G.