The September Issue II.

…After the obligatory quick suitcase repacking in Dubai I was off again – this time with my red hat and the red lipstick on. It was Sydney o’clock. Crazy crazy Sydney o’clock. I hope to never ever have a layover like this again. Let’s just leave it at that. When I landed back home three days later I promised myself and the rest of the crew that what happens in Sydney stays in Sydney. So I may have to try and never return to Sydney again. I stayed in Dubai for only as long as it took to attend a few spinning classes that I fell in love with recently and immediately after boarded a flight to Sri Lanka. Jana – my lovely friend I told you about who graduated a few months ago – was one of my fellow crew and since her parents were visiting her in Dubai she decided to bring them on the flight with us. I have known her parents for nearly as long as I know her so they are pretty much an extension of my own family. And so my Colombo layover became a bit of a mini family vacation. We did EVERYTHING there is to do in 24 hours in Sri Lanka- visited a tea factory where we sampled some of the best tea I have ever drank, went to an elephant orphanage where we watched, fed and rode a few of the them, took a tour around a botanical garden and spent a fortune on magical love potions and anti-ageing creams.IMG_3453 IMG_3355 IMG_3454 IMG_3451

As soon as I landed back from Sri Lanka I shook off my uniform and headed back to the airport – this time I was Prague bound. I had a few important appointments to attend.. The first one the the very same evening in a tattoo parlour :p) The next one the evening after… with Pharrel Williams- which was one of the best live concerts I have seen up to date. I met with cherished friends, ate my favourite food, drank my favourite beer. And before I knew it – it was once again time to pack my bag and leave the indian summer in Prague behind and go to Seattle.IMG_3492 IMG_3643 IMG_3634 IMG_3629 IMG_3584

A brand new destination to tick off my bucket list. I have been particularly excited about this since I’m a die-hard Frasier fan. And Seattle has not let me down. The city is quite frankly stunning. Surrounded by mountains and lakes, bathing in lovely late summer sunshine, full of greenery and friendly smiling people. I was in love instantly. I already know that whenever I fly so far out West the jet lag hits me hard and right in the face. So I learned to plan my layovers accordingly. I can only commit to anything that happens between 3am and 2 pm. Whatever is on offer for later than that – I’m quite literally out (in limbo). Thankfully jet lag is not something I have an exclusive claim on – we all know it, we all suffer the same way. And so it’s not very hard to convince my colleagues to start off our days out in the West bright an early. But not before I managed to stuff my face with as much bacon as I physically can. Simply because bacon makes me happy. As soon as I started to feel slightly guilty and mostly sick from all the crunchy goodness in my tummy me and my crew set off to explore the fantastic place that Seattle proved itself to be. We have managed it all – the bespoke Space Needle, the Public Market, the Chewing gum Wall even the First Stone – the first ever Starbucks shop. IMG_3674 IMG_3725 IMG_3765 IMG_3766 IMG_3769

And that still isn’t all. It is still not the end of my mad September travels. There was yet another trip I was feeling quite particular about. Moscow. I have heard my fair share of horror stories about the flight and I have heard my fair share of all kinds of stories about the destination. I felt torn flying to Russia – I was curious and excited yet didn’t want to admit it to myself either of those two. So ( decided to opt for a very casual and carefree approach. And it somehow seemed to work. I have to say – even tho the flight was packed both way- Moscow has been one of the most pleasant flying experiences of my work life. I was also assigned the duty free position and made an absolute bomb in commission! The Russians just love their duty free watches and perfumes!

Moscow was harshly beautiful. It was sunny and crispy cold and full of fur clad stunning Russians. It was vibrant and buzzing with life everywhere.  It smelled of pirogy and autumn. It was painfully close to my heart in many ways. I tried to resist its charm but I simply couldn’t. Moscow had me falling…IMG_3938 IMG_3943 IMG_3940 IMG_3939 IMG_3929

 

And that was it. That was the epic journey of September that has taken me over two months to describe. I’m really sorry my lovely readers. By now you must have given up on me… I don’t quite know how to apologise anymore. This autumn had been one of the busiest times of my life. I have had a lot to deal with on my plate and even tho I WANTED to blog badly I need quite got around to doing it. Maybe I have commitment issues. Because whenever I committed to writing sleep would have sounded like a much better option…

So long y’all

Love

x

G.

 

 

 

 

 

Flying with Friends

Hullo my pets!

Guess what? You darling redhead blogger has been officially flying for a WHOLE frigging year! Are you finding it as hard to believe as I am? Some of you have been with me this entire time since the very start some of you joined just recently but still guys – what a year this one has been huh?! I have taken you with me everywhere I went. You guys tried all the delicious food I ate (wait – why is it just me who gained weight then ?! So not fair!:) and jogged using my poor little legs around Europe, Asia, Australia, USA and Africa . Together we have taken off and landed hundreds of times and went to sleep in so many different beds that if I wasn’t cabin crew I would have to be a… ehm… nevermind :). I feel like every each one of you is a very dear friend of mine and I hope those feelings are mutual.

My Dubai

My Dubai

I’m not in this for the fame or the big bugs (however if any of that comes I won’t refuse:) I blog because I love to talk and I love to share my self-proclaimed wisdom. But I never ever imagined that having a blog will bring so many new and amazing people into my life. Some of you I have had the pleasure of meeting randomly – one of the proudest moments of my life was when I was sat having a coffee with Ryan in the HQ and this girl comes to me and goes:

“OMG Gabby- it’s you ! I loOoOove your blog- I even commented on it a couple of times!”

Ryan’s jaw dropped and I felt so damn special ! That girl was Carmen, who joined a couple of month after me. I have met her a few times since then – at the pool, in a club .. the usual locations of the Dubai expat scene:) Then there is Kamila, a fellow Czech blogger  and my Shangri-la buddy. Her Instagram posts always tickle my taste buds… and my wallet 🙂 Kamila is not ONLY Czech she is also Moravian – which is far more important! I just love listening to her broad accent that takes me a decade back to the times when I still lived and studied in Moravia. She is as close to home as Dubai gets.

My Dubai

My Dubai

Some of you I have flown as passengers – like Noemi for example, whose blog I have been following long long looooong time before I got this job and moved to the Middle East. This time around it was my turn to feel starstruck ! I have read EVERY single post she ever wrote(it dates about 5 years back) and I still remember how very proud I felt when she started following “Journey” and even commented a few times! So  I was casually strolling thru the isle of my flight to Athens when I noticed her sitting in my area. I thought ” no- this can’t be !”. Then I did that very conspicuous turn that only flight attendants are capable of and walked past her again looking right at her quizzically. I have no idea how she hasn’t noticed because everybody else has done and they all must have thought she is in a big trouble. I wanted to make this meeting as special for her as it was for me so I went to business and asked my colleagues for some sweet treats and gathered all of my courage to approach her. It was so bizarre and yet so very amazing! 

My world

My world

 

And then there is a very particular few of you. The few ones that have a blog of their own, are also cabin crew and above all I have flown with. Greta for starters. Greta is an Aussie from Perth (which as you all know is my second home – at least according to my rosters:) and I have “known” her for quite a long time thru her blog and Instagram. Then one day I looked at my roster and there she was. Flying with me to Paris on Xmas day! You know about my trip to Paris already – I spent it all with my sis so I didn’t get much time to get to know Greta as I would have liked to but from the time we did spend together I can honestly tell you she is absolutely lovely – exactly as she comes across in her posts. She is also as obsessed otaku as her Instagram shows 🙂 (Btw Gretz- I went to see Frozen and I know you won’t agree but I prefer Anna to Elsa… and I also hope your back is getting better!)

And Doyle. I have been not so secretly in love with Doyle’s I-gram and keep bragging on about it to everybody, who is willing to listen. I’m a huge fan of visuals. That’s why I love pictures. And Doyle’s pictures are truly something! Go check it out please! Plus he is very strong visual experience himself :p) Yes – there I said it Doyle :)) I have just flown with him- we did a long flight Down Under together. It’s a four day trip to Sydney and onwards to Auckland and back again. We have had plenty of time to chat in the first class galley ( hahahaha first time I made friends with the first class class crew at all actually they aren’t usually very approachable- ops did I say that out loud?:) I have to say – apart from being in love with him and his pictures I also love his outlook on life and how very loudly he thanks everybody for everything! So Doyle – THANK YOU it was lovely flying with you 🙂 .

I hope to meet many more of you in the future y’all seem to be such an interesting bunch

Till then just keep on reading

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.

The Pleasures of Perth and Novelties of New York

Hi to all of you my sweetest dearest readers!

You must be all very excited, mustn’t you? Not only have we entered the most anticipated (and stressful) month of the year but you are also about to read the most anticipated blog post you must have been all so eagerly waiting for … The one about NYC !!

Well I’d like to keep your suspense for a bit longer so let me first tell you about some layovers that I haven’t had the pleasure to write about just yet. Like Perth for example. Perth is one of the regulars on my roster. It seems to somehow find its way there every other month. I don’t mind at all. As a crew I have to admit it’s one of the easiest flights. Never full, relatively short, perfectly timed. It’s a duty from heaven. The only reason why it hasn’t become my favourite layover yet is that there isn’t awfully much to do once you are in Perth. Don’t get me wrong, the city is lovely and all … It’s just not very exciting I guess. But on the other hand sometimes it’s good to just get to the hotel, sit back and relax without the haunting thought of missing out on something that’s out there. I usually take Perth as my workout layover, bring me my running shoes and go for a jog down by the waterfront just 2 mins from the hotel and then change into my swimsuit and do a couple of lanes in the shortest pool in the history of pools (on the upside it’s the only time when I can casually say “yeah I’ve swam 100 lanes today, no biggie”).  It’s exactly what I did today. Now I’m happily typing away comfortably parked in a cafe surrounded by young professionals having their quick 30-min vegan organic lunch. Life is good. Knowing myself I will probably give in to the shopping addict inside of me and go and browse some shops down the high street later. I love clothes shopping in Oz. It is unfortunately a very expensive hobby of mine since the Aussies have obviously never heard of the concept of “a bargain”. The only sole reason why I haven’t moved Down Under is that I haven’t found my multi-millionaire husband to pay for all my clothes. That’s a joke of course…. About the “only sole reason”:)

working out in PER is fun

working out in PER is fun

Seasonal Greetings from 30 degree heat

Seasonal Greetings from 30 degree heat

The one time when I haven’t followed my usual Perth schedule was when Salma was here. You remember Salma? One of my batchmates and best friends in Dubai? She is from Perth but originally… oh crap let’s not get into that here- that’s a long and old story. It was a pure luck that I got assigned PER just as she was back home for her holiday. She picked me up from the hotel and took me to what she promised “were gonna be the best waffles I have ever tried”. She wasn’t lying. I don’t remember the name of the place but if you ever find yourself on the West Coast of Oz and craving waffles then go to Northbridge and just ask. Oh – but don’t go at night because apparently that’s when Northbridge gets rowdy. I wouldn’t know – luckily I left before sh*t got real … 🙂

Ok -enough about Perth. Let’s take a trip across the globe and travel a few time zones back all the way to the NYC!

Oh my – where shall I start? There is simply so much I have to say about New York. I was completely taken aback by that place. I was feeling very sceptical when landing into JFK. I have just served the longest and by that I mean  THE LONGEST (if you get my gist) duty of my entire career. Obama himself could have been welcoming me but all I cared for was a warm cosy bed, cup of hot chocolate and at least a thousand episodes of ANY sitcom to make me feel human again.  Well – as it turned out I didn’t need any of that. All it took was a glance at Manhattan and I was as chipper as a newborn. Our hotel is situated right on the Times Square so going to sleep after the flight was outta question. I splashed my face with ice-cold water put a woolly jumper on, my headphones in and stepped out in NYC for the first time ever.

Breath taking

Breath taking

How was it? It was big – massive actually. It was chaotic. It was breath taking. Stunning. Exactly like in all the film and videos. I ate a chilli dog in Times Square and bought my obligatory snapback (yes I know what I said about the shopping earlier but c’mon we are talking snapbacks and New York here!). Then I strolled down the 5th Avenue, stopped at the Rockefeller Sq. and went up the Top of Rock. OMG! Probably the best decision I made that day! As if it has been ordered the sun has decided to make an appearance (or maybe I was just high enough above the smog cloud) and I got the most amazing view of the City. I stayed for about an hour, rooming around the deck and snapping pics and then really REALLY wanted to make it to the Central park that looked so nice and green from above. But -alas- that’s when my body finally gave up and recognised the fact that I have been up for more than 24 hours and most of it running around a massive cabin serving cranberry juice and ice to 400 passengers. I literally couldn’t walk any longer and had to return to the hotel for a power nap. One that lasted 7 hours. I woke up refreshed and ready for more sight-seeing. At 3a.m. It was 4 hours before my wake-up call and I wasn’t gonna spend all that precious time in my hotel room in one of the most amazing cities I have ever been to. They say New York never sleeps and I was about to see for myself. Well – it’s bullshit. It does. I cut a very lonely figure retracting my steps from earlier that day. I really wanted to do that one thing that every girls secretly wants to do- have breakfast at Tiffany’s. Hmmm… I found Tiffany’s. But couldn’t find anywhere to get breakfast. Not even the omnipresent Starbucks was open. I assure you that on this one particular lovely freezing morning at 4.30a.m in NYC the only one who wasn’t sleeping was myself. I returned to the hotel with the first rays of the rising sun just in time to watch the city slowly wake up. It was magical. Even more so when a lovely cosy cafe opened in front of my eyes and I gulped down a very much needed hot soya cappuccino and gorging on a blueberry muffin the size of my fist (yes I may have relaxed my diet a little in the States:). Life couldn’t get much better at the very moment.

I only have one word for this - YUM

I only have one word for this – YUM

<3

The Empire State of Mind

The Empire State of Mind

The 5th Avenue

The 5th Avenue

Times Square at 3 a.m.

Times Square at 3 a.m.

I’m due back in three weeks and I’m already getting excited. NYC has definitely made it to my top five layover destinations.

x

Love

G.

The Most Amazing Roster YET !

This is gonna be a short and sweet one… I just have to share with you some of the joy that has been filling my days since the new roster came out.

I was hoping and also bidding for some European flights to soak up the Crimbo atmosphere a little and maybe get a chance to catch up with my friends scattered around the continent. Still-given my previous “success” with bidding I wasn’t expecting much. But I have to say Christmas came early this year and I got the most amazing present from my Airline – the best Roster yet! 

I will be starting off the last month of this fantastic year in possibly the best place one would want to be at this time – NYC !! And that’s not all – since what goes up must come down I will be finishing December in the very same city. Yes- that’s right. NYE in NYC – I just looooooove saying it over and over !!!

There will be no turning around anywhere for Gabby in December – instead I will celebrate Xmas under the Eiffel Tower in Paris with my beautiful sister, who is flying out there just for the night to keep me company- how sweet is that?!

I would be over the moon just for these three flight – but The Airline has decided to be super generous and send me to Manchester just in time to hit John Lewis for some last-minute Xmas purchases and. Then a quick trip Down Under and to the land of Gangam Style and that’s it. Life just couldn’t better if you ask me ❤

Lots of love and hugs

x

G.

Lots of love and kisses

Lots of love and kisses

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”.

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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… 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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Sydney. Sleep. Selling. And one helluva Slumber Party.

Well – this has become a bit awkward…

So at first I thought China was by far my favourite destination and that it had a very special spot in my heart that cannot be replaced. Then I started flying to Africa and fell head over heels for that fantastic place and its people. And now … Now I have discovered Oz at last. And I suddenly find myself in the middle of this strange love triangle (or shall I rather say a love square?). And there is seemingly no way I could ever decide which one I like the best! People say that when you get to know The One you just know it – otherwise it’s not The One. Well I beg to differ. I do believe that sometimes people can be in love with several The Ones at the same time (we are still talking about places I fly to, right?!).

My trip to Sydney was bound to be a great one since the moment I learned about it. Not only was I super excited about flying the A380 again but I was also assigned a position I have been dying for – the Duty free operator. On my last couple of flights I have been observing my colleagues and picking their brains for some good selling techniques. See – if yo do manage to sell quite a bit of merchandise you can score a decent commission on the top of your normal salary – and that for me as an aspiring millionaire is an opportunity that’s too perfect to decline 🙂 No that’s obviously just a joke. I do enjoy the extra money one can make doing this but most of all I love bragging on about watches and perfumes to everybody. Crew don’t usually like taking the Duty free on because it requires quite a bit of paper work and extra effort on the top of our usual duties so I ended up keeping the position all to myself for both the outbound and the return sector. And even tho I was completely useless to start with and it took me ages to find my way around the little helpful machine I managed to double the amount of money I’d have earned for that trip. Beginner’s luck I guess. Nonetheless I’m gonna give it another go next time I fly to Australia because I have had a blast !

Another thing I tried for the first time (last week was full first times for sure!) was the CRC- which is a little cabin on board dedicated to the crew to get their legal rest. You didn’t really think we are super humans that can work a 14-hour flight without a break now, did you? I’m usually a very light sleeper and get woken up by the slightest noise and therefore assumed I was gonna spend my rest break watching films and listening to some music. But it seems that a tiny bunk 36 thousand feet high up and rocking with the turbulence of the Indian Ocean is just the place to get the best sleep of my life. Honestly – I don’t think I have ever slept better and deeper. I woke up all fresh and shiny and ready for pretty much anything.

14-hour on board may seem like a long time – however with a plane full of dehydrated and bored passengers it goes by in a flash. We were landing in Australia before I even managed to look outside of the window to check out the view.

I’m so in love with this country -honestly ! Such a great, chilled out and welcoming place! At times I had to remind myself I’m indeed at work and this is just a layover and not a holiday… that’s how much at ease it made me feel. I decided to spend my layover with some of the crew I felt the closest to throughout the flight (trust me – such a long flight either makes it or breaks it) . To my dismay they wanted to explore the Sydney Taronga Zoo. See – you may not know this about me… but I don’t DO Zoos. When I was a kid every single of my zoo visits would end in tears. Until I made the decision never to go again and spare myself the heartache. However my newly made friends were so excited about seeing koala bears and kangaroos I got a wee bit curious myself. And it turned out to be a great day with no tears at all. Zoos must have changed a lot since I’ve last been. There was nothing or at least a very little sad about it.IMG_3601 IMG_3594 IMG_3589 IMG_3626 IMG_3625 IMG_3596IMG_3624

On the way to Taronga and back took a ferry across the Sydney harbour snapping about a million pictures of the Sydney Opera house and its surrounding and laughing our heads off at the hilarious tour guide comments (if you ever decide to do the same take the Cook Cruiser-honestly you’ll die -she is hysterical!). We disembarked at The Quays in the early hours of a Saturday night and the atmosphere there was just fantastic! Street musician on every corner, artists selling their paintings and pictures, dancers … I was swept away by the carefree feeling in the air! I simply cannot wait to go back again and again and again and… well you get the idea!

Winter? What winter?!

Winter? What winter?!

IMG_3603

IMG_3498The flight back was pretty uneventful apart from – hang on!- a little impromptu Slumber party I threw in our galley for some of the passengers. The cabin wasn’t even half full and vast majority of the customers consisted of students of some British sports school coming back from their Australasian trip. I don’t know how much you know about teenage guys that play sports rather than video games- but the most important thing is that they are hungry. Like all the time. We have served them dinner and supper before I went on my break and hoped they would also go to sleep just like the rest of the people. But when I came back from yet another amazing sleepy time and took over the charge of the galley I have noticed the cabin was getting noisy. I went to check it out and encountered about 10 hunky guys with puppy eyes.

“Miss- we are all so hungry. Any chance of getting something to eat?” said one of them.

I figured bringing food out to their seat would only wake up everybody else around them so I asked them to give me five minutes and follow me to the galley. I quickly scanned the leftovers from the previous service and set up a massive feast of croissants, jams, fruit, chocolates, sandwiches and pies. All was gone within minutes and they all still looked famished. So I took my chances and called business class for some more food. The guys were literally kissing my hands, they swore never to fly a different airline and tried to persuade my to continue on their onward journey to London. Talking about happy customers:) That’s why I love my job – even such little things can totally make somebody’s day!

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.

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

To the Equator and Beyond (part II)

Seeing Tanzania on my roster was a moment of sheer happiness. I have always wanted to go to Africa. I just never thought I would for various reasons. I mean I have been to Africa- if you count a week long beach holiday in a Tunisian hotel resort and a turnaround to Cairo as “being in Africa”. Which I don’t. As far as I’m concerned I have never been to Africa before.

In the week coming up to my Dar Es Salaam flight I could hardly keep myself from talking about anything else. It felt like Christmas! No- it actually felt better than Christmas since there was no pre-Christmas shopping stress involved. By the time I was boarding the plane everybody who knew me for longer than 10 mins also already knew that this was my first ever time to go to Africa-Africa (as we called it) and that I was very excited. The crew found me very cute since I was once again the most junior member and most of them have flown to DAR or Africa-Africa before. They thought it was funny how I kept running up and down to the cockpit, checking up on our current location and taking pictures of the African coastline. The flight wasn’t a busy one, customers were lovely and chatty and everybody was having a great time on-board. I wish I could say every single flight goes like this.

Africa-Africa

Africa-Africa

As we sat down on our jumpseats for the approach I could no longer contain my excitement and kept looking outside of the observation window on my door. I even shrieked a little as we landed. The passenger sat facing me looked at me and said:

“Let me guess- first time to Africa?”

“Yes”- was my reply.

“Well- you better be careful” he said.

What could he possibly mean by that I wondered. It wasn’t until later I realised he was warning me not to fall in love with this place and wanting to stay. Because that’s exactly what has happened. Everything I saw in Tanzania was amazing. It is such a raw, friendly and absolutely gorgeous place. The people are chilled and never failed to welcome you with their musical “Mambo, Karibu!” and massive smiles on their faces. I was sold on Tanzania the moment I passed the immigration desk.

First picture of my first Africa-Africa

First picture of my first Africa-Africa

My amazing crew

My amazing crew

IMG_1804 IMG_1808

so much beauty in one place

so much beauty in one place

local street artist

local street artist

taking pictures of people taking pictures of people

taking pictures of people taking pictures of people

A group of us keen to see as much as we can fit into 24 hours booked a tour around the city for the next early morning (6a.m wake up is called a dedication!) and spent the rest of the evening chilling by the hotel pool, chatting to the friendly personnel and stuffing our faces (ok to be honest the stuffing was mostly done on my part but I couldn’t help it -the food was to die for!) at the dinner buffet. I went to sleep that night wishing it was morning already.

It came quicker than expected and before I knew it I was being squeezed into a mini-van and driven around the great Dar es Salaam. Thanks to our experienced tour guide we managed to see everything there was to be seen in our limited time- the churches, the botanical gardens with monkeys running freely around, the presidential house, the beaches, cliffs and shores, the local markets and the omni present crazy traffic.

I came back to Dubai refreshed as if coming back from holiday and not a 5-hour flight. And my list of favourite places on Earth has once again grown a little…

So long my dear readers -I’m off to Morocco in the early hours of tomorrow and should rest a little !

x

G.