So it’s official. I must be on the top of my Airline’s list of German speakers. At least one would think so by looking at my summer flying diary. Frankfurt. Zurich. Dusseldorf. Hamburg. And Frankfurt again… I know all of my German announcements backwards by now. As reserved and unimpressed as I was by frequent visits to Pretzel& Beerland to start with I have learned to really like them. I have started seeing them as my monthly grocery shopping trips. Honestly – living in the middle of a desert really teaches you to appreciate the beauty and taste of fresh produce and quality meat. Not to mention anything organic.
I don’t believe I have mentioned my first visit to Frankfurt yet – probably because there wasn’t much to talk about. The highlight of my layover there was (beside a 20-odd-hour sleep) making a friend behind the lobby bar in our crew hotel. I impressed him with my language skills and he impressed me with his knowledge of a good beer. And also with his cutting of my final bills to a ridiculous 10 %. We bid our farewells after an evening well spent chatting about life and love and I promised to look him up next time I was visiting. Little did I know that would happen in less than a month.
My second time around in FRA was much more exciting. Flight-wise, crew-wise, layover-wise. I was assigned a much better-timed flight which brought me to Germany fresh and ready to have some FUN. Yes- with a capital F and U and N. I happened to have flown with a few of the people in my crew before and knew them to NOT be the ones to skip on a party and even the rest has turned out to be just the right kind of people you wanna have around when you feel like a couple of bruskies. To my surprise my friend behind the lobby bar was working that night too! What a great reunion ! I decided on the spot to leave my sensible self locked in the heavy duty suitcase and let my party self loose. To cut a long story short – I ended up closing the bar that night. And boy what a night that was ! It wouldn’t be far from the truth saying that the only people flying to Dubai without a hangover the next day were the passengers.
Couple of weeks later I found myself Germany-bound once again. This time to Hamburg. I was just in the middle of my no-drinking no-junk-food-eating working-out-a-lot phase and Hamburg has turned out to be just the place! The hotel was situated right next to a beautiful lake surrounded by a park that just invites you for a run. And I never turn down an invitation this tempting. It was a brisk late summer morning and I and half of the Hamburg population decided to go jogging. Honestly I must have met about 200 people running my usual 5k. But I didn’t mind. The lake park (as I like to call it) was obviously designed with sport enthusiasts in mind. Or by one. Or both. It even had little workout stops where one could stretch and do work on the rock-hard (hahaha) abs:
Don’t Twerk- Work out !
Hamburg in general strikes me as a very health-concious place. They have massive stores with organic products, organic cafes on every corner and plenty of fair trade shops. I have enjoyed my time there so much that upon leaving I couldn’t remember for the hell of it – WHY exactly did I NOT want to come ? I’m definitely gonna try and go back – this time to have a proper browse in all the cool little boutiques I have only managed to see from the outside so far…
It’s ok put that phone down – no need to call the police I have not gone missing! Since coming back from my epic holiday I have been so busy pretending to be busy that there was hardly any time to check in on Facebook let alone to blog. But I have missed you guys so much ! My fingers were itching to type away whilst trying to keep up with the mayhem in my head.
There is so much I’d love to share with you but can’t for whatever reason – or at least not just yet. So let’s just stick to the safe topics. Like my flying stuff.
You may not have realised it but there have been a couple of flights and layovers I have not posted about. The stories got somehow lost … but they were nonetheless never forgotten. I have decided to make up for it and create a limited edition of extra special posts.
I’m not going to lie about this. DAC is not one of the flights that crew get particularly excited about. As a turnaround – Dhaka is a damn long flying duty and as a layover – well it’s not one of the most glamorous destinations. Altho I have been flying for just over six months (or maybe because of that) I have already been to Bangladesh twice. And I can’t say I minded terribly.
The flights are usually quite busy, however they are short (mere 4.5 hours) and there is a 24-hour rest at the end of it. What is unlucky about them is the timing – the departure is an early morning one and unless you somehow manage to sleep the afternoon before (which I rarely do as my mind works somehow like this “4-hour flight at 2am? I don’t need to rest for that that’s a piece of cake”) by the time you reach the hotel all you are ready for is B&B (bed&breakfast… or in this case breakfast&bed).
Hence my first time over in Dhaka has turned out to be a Layinner. When I woke up after a 10-hour coma and stumbled outta bed it was time to head down to meet my colleagues for dinner. I admit to having eaten so much that I was ready to sleep again in about two hours. So – that’s what I did. Next morning on the bus heading back to the airport I felt super guilty and made a mental note to myself that if ever back I’d venture out and explore. And as if somebody who has a say in these things was listening I got scheduled for Dhaka again the next month.
Since I knew what to expect this time around I prepared better. I made sure to get some rest ahead of the flight so when we landed I wasn’t feeling like a complete zombie. Maybe just like a half of one. I went to the breakfast buffet for one sole reason – the mangoes ! I made so much fuss about this yellow pieces of heaven on earth last time that the waiter has given not one but two whole mangoes to take with me back to Dubai. I must have made helluva impression on him because when he saw me again he greeted me with a smile and a “Hello Mango Lover Girl”. Now that’s what I call “Beyond Expectations”! Needless to say I filled out a very hefty compliment form for his benefit… As they say – you scratch my back… And I did really enjoy the mangoes a lot!
I allowed myself just a very short and essential rest, went to the gym for a quick run to perk up and stepped out of the hotel. Immediately I got tailed by a little boy who said he wanted to “bodyguard me” by which I believe he meant to take me from one shop to another until I spent all the millions that I -in his eyes- must have owned. At first I tried to be polite and explain I wasn’t after any shopping but after an hour of his relentless self I gave up and headed back to the hotel. There was no getting rid of him and he obviously knew the neighbourhood better than I did. At last I understood why none of the crew I asked wanted to join me in my adventure. It’s not for everyone. It definitely wasn’t for me. Not on my own anyway – not even with my “bodyguard”.
Somehow disappointed and a little annoyed by how little I managed to see of the city I took my book and went up to the hotel pool where I watched the pinkiest sunset ever. From high above Dhaka seems exactly the same as from the streets – chaotic and impenetrable. When leaving I made no more promises about trying to explore the next time should there be one. Maybe it’s just not meant to be. But who knows… maybe I just need to grow a bigger pair of b**ls.