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 … ūüėõ

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.

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Busy busy busy….

Ok I admit to it… I have been such a crappy blogger these last couple of weeks! The thing is I’m a perfectionist and rather than posting something short and rushed I will risk losing your attention for a while and then surprise you with a long and accomplished post. And such posts require time. And time is something I haven’t had a lot of lately.

I’m currently in Prague, spending the last few days of my vacation with my sister. “Another vacation?” I hear you say? Well- rest assured this holiday has been all but relaxing. I have pretty much not stopped until this morning. It’s been mad ten days full of spinning around seeing old friends and even older family members and travelling up and down the Czech Rep like there was no stopping me. If you think that cabin crew would have enough of travelling from their everyday lives and would want to spend their free time on one spot- well then think again.

The holiday pretty much started the moment I landed back from Manila and signed off from my duty. I had about an hour before the check-in for the Manchester flight, which is where I was headed, was to open. I beat the speed of light by making it back home, repacking, taking a shower and getting to the airport just in time to pass out in front of my gate. I was looking forward to at least 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep since planes put me to sleep like nothing else does -but alas not this time! I spent the flight starting at the IFE in front of me without really seeing what was going on. As the Boeing reached the runway in Manchester I reached a new level of tiredness previously unknown to me. But since I only had less than 48 hours before I was due to leave for Prague I wasn’t gonna spend my “layover” sleeping was I now? I have enjoyed an awesome weekend in the Peak District- a place that has always been very close to my heart- hiking,shopping, lazying and enjoying plenty of tasty mulled cider ¬†at local Christmas Markets.¬†IMG_6247

Before I knew it – it was time to board yet another plane and head to Germany and then onwards to Czech. The next week or so was spent madly pending from one corner to another trying to ration “quality” time between all members of my massive family.

there always has to be some kind of competition in our family...

there always has to be some kind of competition in our family…

watching my brother's floorball tournament.. yes he is indeed playing a girl...

watching my brother’s floorball tournament.. yes he is indeed playing a girl…

visiting my gran always ends up like this

visiting my gran always ends up like this

I sighed in relief when I left all that “stress” behind and made my way back to Prague to focus on one person only – Holly, who was coming from Belfast to visit the Capitol of Beautiful for the first time. I have tried my best to show her as much as I possibly could in our limited time and I believe I succeeded¬†. I have managed to feed her as much Czech food as she could take. We have drank mulled wine and ate smoked ham. We (over)indulged eating Czech sweets in my favourite caffes around Prague. We walked miles and miles sightseeing. We fed our starving cultural selves in the National Theatre having attended the ultimate pre-Xmas show- The Nutcracker.

In The Theatre

In The Theatre

 

different type of culture

different type of culture

Ok – this is not the kind of elaborate post I was talking about at the start… But I promise I have a few up my sleeve. There is so much I have been up to that you guys haven’t heard of… yet. For example my numerous trips to Perth. Or flying to my precious Ghana again. And describing my Filippino experience. It’s all underway just stay put :)!

 

Bye for now

x

Love

G.

The Tale of Two Girls and One More City

At the end of the last month Dolly and I found ourselves having a few days off together. Rather than wasting it doing our usual sweet nothings in Dubai we decided- very spontaneously – to go on a girly shopping trip to Bangkok. Just like that. Yes – feel free to hate me all you want. This part of my job is so insanely cool ! We have booked our stand-by tickets online, packed a few bits and pieces and headed for the airport. All within a matter of one afternoon.

Our Airline flies to Bangkok pretty much every 5 hours and we were therefore lucky enough to get our pick on the most comfortable flight (most comfortable meaning the one with the least paying passengers on it meaning more space for us non-paying passengers to spread over 4 seats and sleep).

We landed in Bangkok late at night , checked into our hotel and went straight to bed (well that’s a lie actually I skipped the part when we ventured out to find the nearest 7/11 to get the compulsory bubble tea. You know what they say “When in Asia drink as much bubble tea as you can get your hands on”). We had a big day ahead of us. We got up nice and early and made our way to the spa we looked up before leaving Dubs and booked ourselves in for a day full of pampering. Sauna, body scrubs, massages and much much more… All super cheap and super professional. Samsara Wellness definitely got our seal of approval ! I even left with a bag full of goodies such as organic coconut oil, pineapple vinegar and some organic ointments.

And after the relaxing couple of hours in the spa it was time to get down to business. Aka The MBK. The massive shopping centre where -among others – people go to get all those not-so-real designer handbags, watches, shoes, clothes etc. We spent the entire afternoon fussing over purses and wallets and had to reminded to leave since the mall was about to close. It was decided then that we absolutely HAVE to come back the next day since our thirst for shopping has not been quenched yet.

Since this was Dolly’s first time to Bangkok or to Thailand in general it has been agreed to we should also do some turist-ey stuff. I let her decide what she wanted to see and only prayed it wouldn’t involve any Buddhas. After having backpacked in Thailand couple of years ago and having been in and out of Asia in my first couple of months of flying I felt like I have seen enough Buddhas for at least two life times. Thankfully my gurl wanted to do a boat trip instead. I was pleasantly surprised since it was once again a side of Bangkok I haven’t seen before. This city just keeps on amazing me. What we didn’t expect was the tour to finish at The Grand Temple which coincidentally is the home to the biggest reclining Buddha in Thailand. Now I can safely say I have seen Buddha to do everything. Sit, stand, lie down, dance, smile, sleep and recline. Oh – and laugh.485521_10201575075871050_1009096869_n

The Grand Temple is called “grand” for a reason. One could easily spend a whole day walking around. But Dolly once again proved¬†why exactly is she one of my best friends by saing after mere 40 mins “Okay, enough culture, let’s go shopping!”. And off we were to the kind of temple that’s much closer to my spoiled consumer’s heart.

Shopping in Thailand is always easier when armed with a bubble tea or two. So we searched the of whole of MBK to find one stand at last. The lady serving us looked like the last thing she wanted in life was to get any business. After a very long international conversation she finally decided to understand what we were after (strangely enough bubble tea was THE ONLY thing she was selling so her confusion was quite… well confusing) ¬†and when we dared to ask for no ice she looked at us disgusted and said one thing that will forever score Number One on my Top chart of Misunderstandings:

“No ice? We don’t have!” Whilst adding some extra ice cubes to our drinks.

All that was left for us was to laugh. The rest of the day was delightful! I left with my brand new wallet much lighter and my shopping bags much fuller. You can rest assured that my winter wardrobe has been all taken care of here in Bangkok…

There was one more place I wanted Dolly to see before we left. The infamous Khao San Road. I remembered it be wild and shocking. But perhaps we were too early in the night. Or too late. Or maybe I have seen wilder and more shocking since. Because this time the KSR seemed calm and civilised. We considered watching a ping pong show but in end rather opted for yet another massage, a little more shopping and some Thai curry.1378077_10201575102271710_1529465280_n

All of our Thai cravings have been fully satisfied and we left Bangkok relaxed and totally shopped out. The nest city break we have panned is Pre-Xmas Prague in two weeks. Watch this space of more mis-adventure and tales of the two girls:)

x

Love

G.

Lost But Not Forgotten Vol II. -German F-Laying

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‚Ķ 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 !

Don’t Twerk- Work out !
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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…

A Day That Counts

We all have them. The days that seem so pointless it’s like they didn’t even need to happen. The days when the most productive thing you force yourself to do is moving from your bed to the sofa. I call them my “Recharge Days”. I solemnly feel guilty for having one of those every now and then. Because for every Recharge Day there is always a Counter Day. Aka the day that counts as two, as three sometimes even as a whole century of your normal days let along the Recharge Days. I have had many Counter Days in 2013 but I’d like to talk about this one in particular. This is the story of a Counter FriDay 13th September 2013. The day I operated my first ever flight to Prague.

The moment I found out about this duty I decided to make it a surprise and only tell a limited amount of people. One of the hardest decisions I have ever taken because as the date was approaching I found it harder and harder to conceal my excitement when talking to my family and ultimately had to stop talking to them in fear of accidentally dropping a hint.

The night before the flight I hardly slept a wink – I watched the clock slowly move towards my wake up time until I gave up and got ready long before I had to. The 5-hour flight felt like the longest in my life. When we touched down at last I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh- for somebody who has spent the last 7 years globetrotting and trying to move as far away from their homeland as possible feeling so emotional coming back “home” was indeed an experience. Our Captain has observed my pain watching the rest of the crew potter around and taking their sweet time collecting their luggage and what not and has kindly released me to check-in at the hotel well in advance before anybody else. If not for professional image and respect to my uniform I could have kissed him right there.

I was in and out of my hotel room in less than two minutes and rushed to meet one of the most precious people I have ever known- a friend I have met in high school and who has been a huge part of my life ever since, Rudi <3. We talked and talked and talked some more and drunk about 3 litres of coffee -until my jaw hurt from all the talking and heart beat fast from all the coffee. Time flies when you are having fun and especially when you have so much gossip to go thru and next time I looked at my watch I had to go and run¬† to the train station to pick up my lil step-brother, who had spent the same amount of time on the train to Prague it has taken me to fly over all the way from Dubai. When I spotted him disembarking the train among all the other travellers I realised my plan was coming together exactly as planned and my chest felt really tight and I was out of breath once again. I guess that’s what a complete happiness is all about.

You simply cannot NOT love this person

You simply cannot NOT love this person

And then it was time for the main event of the day – giving my step-sis the shock of her life. She was expecting to see our brother with his fictional Prague (girl)friend and as she has previously shared with me over an email she wasn’t too keen on that being her Friday night plan. What she wasn’t expecting tho was the (girl)friend was to be me. The expression of sheer amazement and disbelief on her face was worth it all- the entire HR process of getting my job, the long and tiring training to get my licence and the endless waiting to get a Prague flight assigned. I would gladly go thru all this a million times over just to see her precious blue eyes filled with tears once again. It was a surprise moment par excellence ! After the initial 10 minutes of talking over each other and laughing and crying we quickly decided what to do with the rest of my layover. And since this was an occasion and we are Czech- we did exactly what all Czechs do on an occasion – we started celebrating. Because “a little party never killed nobody”.

IMG_4192

And boy was that one heck of a celebration! We sang, we drunk, we danced and talked of all the important things people talk about when the bottles are empty the clock shows way past anybody’s bedtime. I think at one point we also slept but I can’t be too sure because the next thing I remember is rushing back to the hotel and pushing the limits of the speed of light putting my make-up and uniform on.¬† And then‚Ķ then it was time to check out, kiss everybody good-bye, wipe the tears and the not-so-water-proof mascara of my cheeks and head to the airport with my crew. I landed back in Dubai totally exhausted but happier than ever. My job is a blessing that brings me happiness and fills me with pleasure every time I fly. But I already knew that. What I didn’t know but learned that day was that it can also make people I love the most happy and content. And that my dear readers is a feeling you won’t get from no paycheque.

x

G.

P.S. This post is dedicated to my lil step-bro as a weird way to say “Happy B-day I love you very much”

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Lost but not Forgotten vol. I- Dhaka

Hey you there!

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.

Dhaka, Bangladesh

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.

Sunset a la Dhaka

Sunset a la Dhaka

x

G.

Naughty boys, naughty girls, silver linings and drinking cheap wine

To every bottle there is a bottom. To every holiday there is an end. And to every cloud there is a silver lining!

It really doesn’t seem so long ago I was posting about my first few holiday days and now here I am nearing the end of what I’d call the most awesome summer vacation I have had in years! And I promise you it’s got absolutely nothing (or at least very little) to do with the amount of alcohol that has been consumed throughout.

I watched amazing sunsets and wonderful moonrises. I watched my dad whip his non-existent hair back and front to ACDC and nearly take his shirt off to Joe Cocker. I’ve watched my baby brothers beat the sh*t outta guys twice their age with spears- online. I’ve rekindled old friendships and sparked some new ones. I’ve drunk wine on offer and beer on draft and more wine and more beer until it was time to stop. I then drank some more. I’ve rolled on the floor laughing until my tummy hurt. I skated. I rode a bike. I fell off a longboard and got back on it and fell off again. I nearly got a tattoo but then got a piercing instead. I ate cheese and chocolate and all kinds of carbs and it felt damn good! I went on a movie-date… ¬†and the guy I went with drove a BMW. And that guy was my younger brother but who cares anyway- we had fun and that’s what counts. I shopped way too much… even after I told myself it was enough and that bag that I promised myself to bring back empty is now bursting with summer dresses I just HAD to have. I went to bed every night with a grin on my face and woke up smiling again.

Ma sistah and I

Ma sistah and I

Bru-bru

Bru-bru

Cycling with Daddy

Cycling with Daddy

We only drink occasionally... however the occasions are frequent

We only drink occasionally… however the occasions are frequent

3G pic

3G pic

We pout - do you ?

We pout – do you ?

my summer lovin'

my summer lovin’

yet another occasion to drink arose

yet another occasion to drink arose

my Daddy is bringing sexy back

my Daddy is bringing sexy back

my hometown

my hometown

Globe trotting is fun and it sometimes makes you forget your roots and gives you that careless feeling that “home” is anywhere you get to charge your Iphone. Then-sometimes- it feels great to come back to a place that you can actually call “home” -but not because your driving licence says so… because your heart knows so.

I have fallen in love. With being on holiday. With summer. With being Czech. With beer. With having to reply countless times to ” So tell me what’s the bestEST place you have been to so far?!”. I will be going back to my “at-the-moment-home” Dubai with butterflies in my stomach caused by all the falling-in-love I have been doing in the last two weeks. I hope this love affair will survive long distance.

I’m currently sat in some kind of a hipster hang out cafe in Prague waiting for the last reunion of this fantastic holiday- I’m meeting my gorgeous unimate turned flatmate turned best friend Rena. Not even an hour ago I bid farewell to my lovely sister who is now headed back to our hometown to celebrate yet another birthday, which I will-sadly- have to give a miss. I resisted the notion of rebooking my ticket and jumping into the car with her… As tempting as the idea sounded in just two days there will a Boeing full of passengers bound for Frankfurt eagerly waiting for my best-in-fligt service.

So long my dear readers I’ll be back soon

Lots of love

x

G.

Catching on and catching up

Gosh – how many layovers has it been since I last posted about one? Far too many I fear… I’m so very sorry, my dear readers, I just got so distracted by pre-Ramadan partying, growing my hair longer, cutting my workouts shorter and generally lazying around.

The last trip I posted about- to Singapore- seemed to have closed my asian chapter for a while since from then on I have been in and out of Europe like there was no stopping me. I had very mixed feelings about my Dubai-European pending. I spent my whole life living and travelling around Europe- the very last reason why I moved to the Middle East was to go back there every other day.

It was however- as I had to admit to myself eventually- very nice. Landing on familiar grounds, breathing in the fresh continental air with near to no humidity, being able to speak the language and knowing exactly what it was I was eating.

There is not much I can write about my German trips- apart from being easy, short and relaxing there were also dull and not very blogger-friendly. I either ended up spending hours chilling around the hotel facilities making friends with the crews from all around the world or stocking up on delicious goodies such Ritter Chocolates, sausages, cheese and pretzels. I was totally at peace with the fact that my IPhone camera wasn’t getting used every 20 sec and the only thing eating up my battery was the non-stop listening to all the good music I have downloaded recently…

…and then I went to Zurich and absolutely l.o.v.e.d. it! I mean everything – I loved everything about Zurich. The little cobbled Strassen of the old town, the massive Zurichsee with swans in the middle of the city, the cool cafes, the rent-free bikes that were available everywhere. Zurich is the ultimate romantic-weekend-break destination. One day – when the man of my dreams finally finds me and climbs up The Great Wall of China without a single word of complain with me(I decided that’s the way I’m gonna know he is Mr. Right)- I will make sure to come to back to Zurich with Him.

Cycling around the Zurichsee

Cycling around the Zurichsee

So beautifully European

So beautifully European

Well Hello Tomorrow

Well Hello Tomorrow

quite literally the longest menu I have ever seen

quite literally the longest menu I have ever seen

Cool cafe at the Zurichsee

Cool cafe at the Zurichsee

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The Operahaus

The Operahaus

Old old old time bakery

Old old old time bakery

Zurich

Zurich

<3

‚̧

The other memorable layover of the month was Malta. I mean – one kinda already knows it’s gonna be a great stay when you open the door to your room and see this :IMG_2714

I was torn between jumping on the next bus and going to explore the capital of Malta¬†–¬†Valletta (which nobody else wanted to do) or just jumping into my bikinis and lounge by the pool (which everybody opted for). ¬†But since I spent the last day before my MLA flight in bed nursing a massive hangover which resulted in me being quite well rested I decided to be more adventurous than the usual sleep->buffet dinner->cocktails in the lobby scenario and ventured out of the hotel. And I’m so glad I did – Malta is such a wonderful place.

As soon as I got off the bus I was approached by a guy with a horse drawn carriage offering me a tour around the town and its surroundings. I negotiated a reasonable price and off we went. That way I managed to see much more than I probably would have walking around. Plus it made me feel like a princess which let’s face it was far more important…¬†IMG_2843

princess view

princess view

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After the tour I got dropped off in Valletta town centre. I walked around snapping pictures of the amazing architecture when I came across a street artist drawing caricatures. I had a browse thru his work and fell in love with it. When he offered to draw a caricature of me I couldn’t possibly refuse. It took him about 5 minutes to make one and when I got to see it… well.. see for yourself:IMG_2840

I made my way back to the hotel feeling content. As I was concentrating on people watching rather than watching out for my stop I managed to get as lost as it gets on a small island such as this one . What should have been a quick 20min drive turned into a 2 hour adventure by the end of which I believe I have seen the entire coast of Malta. It was bound to happen to me at one point in my life tho ¬†and I suppose a picturesque island in the Mediterranean is not the worst of places one can get lost …IMG_2735 IMG_2733 IMG_2794 IMG_2790 IMG_2812 IMG_2818

When I woke up the next morning I felt like there has been enough excitement for one layover and made the decision to stay within the safe and marked area of our hotel. I finally made it down to the pool I was admiring from my balcony and chilled there waiting for my dear friend to come and see me. When she eventually did we had exactly an hour before my pick up which we spent drinking coffee and catching up. One of the best things about best friends is that altho you don’t see each other often (in our case it has been nearly two years) it always feels like it has only been yesterday since you last spoke…

x

G.

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.