And 9-moths later…

… I gave birth to the first post of 2015.

So… this has taken a long time. Me coming back to blogging I mean. There isn’t really just ONE singular reason to WHY I so suddenly stopped. And thinking about it, it wasn’t even so sudden. See in my head I would always think “Oh yeah I should blog about that.” “Should” being the key word here as oppose to “Am going to“. But I just never actually did. Quite frankly there just wasn’t enough time these past.. uh… nine months.

I haven’t banned my beloved social media. Those of you who follow my Instagram (Gabs @gabbypra) page may have noticed I sometimes go a couple of days without posting but that mostly because I don’t wanna be repetitive rather than trying to be private. And I’m still big on sharing my ups and downs, my rants and my lengthy life lessons on Facebook. Nothing has changed there. I just don’t it that often. I guess because now I also have an actual life. I mean an offline one. I know! It was quite the shock when I realised myself!

It all started last mid-October. Things have taken an unexpected turn and all at once my life was sort of upside down. I moved houses. I upgraded to the business class cabin. I was done with mankind- as in I was totally done with the “man” part of the mankind. I was still ok with the womankind. But I also met a man who made me reconsider my decision to be done with the mankind and I was still like “Yeah but I just made up my mind.” but then I was also like “Yes but he is like really REALLY really hot and also cool and I REALLY like hanging out with him.” and so I had to go ahead and reconsider my being done with the mankind but I can be very stubborn with myself at times and so yes… It was all very confusing. Then my brother came to visit me in Dubai, then Xmas came, then I sorta moved to Abu Dhabi, then February rolled over and my Dad, Holly (remember Holly my best friend?) and I climbed Kilimanjaro and then I was super busy pending between Dubai and AD and the rest of the world in March then the man and I went to Japan in April and then April felt like a super long month coz I also went to Czech to see my other best friend Rudi (remember Rudi I went skiing with last year) who got married again in the meantime and was expecting his first child (that was born a week ago but more on that one later) and was also flying like crazy and then it was suddenly May and I was like “Shit I haven’t blogged for so long and there is so much I should blog about” but I just decided to finally get a car because I’m now basically living in AD and taking taxis and buses and other means of transport is becoming really time-consuming but as it turns out it is not that easy to convert an existing driving licence OR get a car so that was May done. And now it’s June and I ALMOST have a car and I have ALMOST published this post. Talking about feeling accomplished ey?

So yeah… if you guys could tell me which one of those would you like to hear about first I’d be ever so grateful. Otherwise I may just start blogging chronologically. Or maybe randomly. Or maybe I’d try to lucky-dip it.

Let’s see.

It feels really good to be back guys I hope you are still here to read it. I really missed this feeling of an almost finished blog post 🙂 It makes me giddy ❤

Lots of love

G.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

Comebacks and Second Chances

Would you like to know what is The Number One Question I get asked all the time? It is not “What’s this- water ?” (ok this was a crew joke and unless you’ve ever done a round of drinks you are not likely to understand it.) And strangely it is not “Where are you from?” (oh – how much has my life changed in just two years!). The one thing people always seem to want to know is how long am I “in it for and what’s next?”. How long am I gonna stay in Dubai and have I considered what I wanna do next? As if it is quite impossible to believe that I would want to stay in Dubai forever and fly until I can’t lift my cabin bag no more. 

Dubai is so conveniently located which is one of the reasons why the Airline I work for became so successful. It connects the East and the West, it makes travelling to and from Down Under so much more bearable and brings Asia to everybody’s doorstep. You can now take a flight that’s shorter than 6 hours from pretty much anywhere in Europe, spend a layover in the glorified Sandpit and travel on refreshed a couple of days later. Which is what everyone seems to be doing. The popular opinion is that none in Dubai is here for the long run. All of us expats have come for a more or less a layover that can sometimes last years – to have our fun, earn some tax-free cash, travel as much as we can whilst we have the rest of the world within our reach… and then eventually return back and start living the responsible life. Nobody moves to Dubai to establish themselves. Or do they? Having read back my latest post it occurred to me I could have left you feeling like I don’t particularly like living over here. Which would have been a very wrong impression. I love Dubai and my life here. I don’t love it all day every day. But I love it enough every day to consider it my home and staying here for as long as they would have me.  Not to mention the fact that -unlike many others- I don’t really have anywhere to go back to. See – I don’t do comebacks. When I left Czech all those years ago I always knew that was it. I was never to come back and live there. I do adore my country and I would proudly ramble on about its wonders to everyone who is or isn’t willing to listen. But it’s just not for me. Ever since I could remember I never saw myself actually spending my life in Czech – it was never even an option to consider. So I lived there for as long as I could take it or for as long as it was necessary to come up with a plan and then took off. I never looked back. I never doubted the decision to leave a respectable job in a respectable company where I was earning twice as much as anyone else my age that I knew (I was 22 then). My heart just wasn’t in it. My heart was in the hands of a guy I thought I loved then. So much I would have followed him anywhere in the world. Oh wait – I actually did that! Many years later this romantic affair has ended in a disaster but despite that or maybe just because of that I decided not to run back “home” and heal my wounds but to stay right where I was and make this new life work for me. And so somehow I found myself living in the UK and liking it. But me and the English don’t seem to agree with one another. My relationship with the country has followed the same pattern as the relationship with the guy – after being initially smitten with each other we started to see each other’s flaws in the everyday life’s light and slowly but surely we have come to a point where none of us could take it anymore. I was allergic to pretty much anything the country has laid my way and in return it seemed to have rejected me. I was ready to move on. The only issue was – I was much older than when I so carelessly thrown a great job opportunity away and followed my heart. I was worried. My life wasn’t going the direction I had wanted it to but I felt I was too scared to change it completely. And so I waited. And waited. And waited, For what I did not know. I think I was waiting for the brave 22 yo old girl to wake up in me and take charge of our live again. And as the time passed me by I started to realise that wasn’t going to happen. I was going to have to (wo)man up. And so I did and moved to the Middle East. When I told my family I didn’t get a single “Oh but..” not a single eyebrow was raised not even a little bit. They all knew just like myself that that’s the kinda person I am. The kinda person that takes “moving on” literally. And then up a notch. How was I feeling leaving the UK for Dubai? Relieved most of all. I have come to the end of the road and for all I knew I could never see myself coming back to live there. Because as I told you – I do not do comebacks. Ever. To anywhere. Or anyone.

And that’s where my job comes in. After more than 18 months of flying – it turns out not only do I do comebacks. I also give second chances. Who knew? I most certainly did not. August 2014 saw me give a lot of second chances. It had me coming back to many places I have visited and left behind before too. August 2014 has been one big learning curve, one big journey into the depth of my own self and mind you – it is still not over yet..

 

Exploring new places and flying to new destinations can be exciting… as much as it is tiring. Sometimes all I want from my roster is for it to be easy, short and familiar. And as Asian as possible. And my late summer roster has turned me into the Queen of Asia. Singapore, Bangkok, Shanghai, Hong Kong on top of Rome and Frankfurt. I could not have been happier or more familiar with any of them having visited all of these places at least 3 times before. Sometimes it is just so nice to know what to pack, where to go, what to eat and how to behave. It’s also nice to give another chance to a place I wasn’t too sure about. Like Singapore. It’s a great place no doubts about that. It’s just not the kinda place I thought I would ever want to visit again once I’ve seen it. Singapore is quite spectacular with its clean green and luscious streets, friendly people, big expensive cars and delicious food. It’s also a little too high maintenance for my liking. I feel like I should try hard and harder… like I can’t really let go and be myself in a place that has literally made it to the top of world’s capitols. I always feel a little lost when in Singapore. And as I was wondering and wandering in the SinCity I suddenly found the one spot I needed to calm my slightly agitated senses. I little beach bar on the Sentosa Island. A piece of heaven. A sanctuary. The Bikini Bar. Where they played good music, served mean frozen Margaritas and I could read my book undisturbed. And just like that Singapore and I became friends for life. Because as it turns out I don’t need that much to be friendly. Just a little time and space to be myself…

 

The Bikini Bar

                       The Bikini Bar

 

As for the other comebacks I have mentioned – well not much new has gone down in Bangkok and even less so in Shanghai. And I’m not about to bore you to death talking about my massages . I guess one very successful return I should tell you about was to the Friday Brunch at the Atlantis hotel – the crime scene of my mad birthday bash back in January which I have still not been able to blog about… Some stories should remain untold. There was no particular occasion to celebrate this time apart from Salma coming back to Dubai and with the pressure off we simply let go and enjoyed ourselves to the fullest. And Saffron has not disappointed us.

Brunch in Jan

           Brunch in Jan

Brunch in Aug.. same same

Brunch in Aug.. same same

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OK- this post could go on for hours. Yes I indeed have so much on my chest about second chances and comebacks. But I’m gonna spare you this time since I also want to tell you about a few first times I have gone thru in the past month or so… Y’all just wait :)!

Lots of love 

G. 

The Quick One

Oh my oh my, hi there everyone !

Am I even talking to anybody or have you all left already? I wouldn’t be too surprised looking back I can see the last post was published in… ehhhh… May. Ever heard of the writer’s block? Yeah… I kinda had that but honestly I was also all over the globe in the past few months with a very little downtime in Dubai. I never stopped writing I just never got around to the final finishing touches and the actual publishing of something new. But I feel strangely inspired today so I promise I’m gonna try my best to update you on my ever so exciting (ha ha ha) life. There is a few articles hanging in my Drafts so you have got my Canadian trip (that happened almost half a year ago), my recent holidays in Czech and my fantastic first ever reserve month to look forward to. 

Stay tuned I missed y’all so much x

Lots of love 

G.

My May Loving

May 2014 was or still is my Top bid. Which in crew speak means that I get the chance to ask the Roster Gods to give me exactly what I want from them. And if they are in a particularly good mood I may also get it. And in May 2014 the Roster Gods were very happy with me. So happy I’d call May not only my Top Bid but also my Top Month so far.

I have started off the May loving in the most fantastic fashion – in Shanghai out of all places! You guys all know how special Shanghai has always been to me. It was after all my first ever flight as an air hostess. Coming back after more than a year full of travelling, full of irreplaceable memories, full of experiences I still felt as starstruck as I did when I first laid my eyes upon that vast city. I thought that enough shopping has been done the first time around and so this I have opted for some sightseeing. Couple of other girls and I decided to take a river tour and since we were in China where none has never needed or will ever need to speak English there was no English tour to choose. s=So we wet for the Chinese one. Ehm… The view was very nice. I’m not quite sure what I got to see but it all looked lovely. After that we stopped in a botanical garden for some tea and played around with a couple of Chinese toddlers that found us all as interesting as we found them.

Melon on a Chopstick

Melon on a Chopstick

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River tour

River tour

Not even two days after I left my Chinese home away from home I was already enjoying the first rays of spring sunshine in my “real” home – Prague. It was the 8th of May, which is a bank holiday in Czech and so I didn’t have to waste time waiting around for my sister to finish work. By the time our crew bus reached the hotel she was already patiently waiting in the lobby. Since the weather was as glorious as it gets this early in May we just casually strolled around chatting, stopping for food, enjoying each other’s company and just generally having a great time. We discovered a few new hangouts – one of them cooking some real mean czech cuisine and another one that’s so cool you gotta bring a woolly jumper to stand it ! If you ever find yourself in Prague go and have a milkshake in the James Dean bar just off the Old Town Square. It’s a little pricier than what one would expect from a Czech bar but totally worth it. The ambience is fantastic and you get a service with an attitude included in your tip 🙂 I wasn’t overly sad having to leave Prague since I knew I had another two coming up later in May.IMG_0626 IMG_0682 IMG_1131

hashtag selfie square

hashtag selfie square

But not before what I like to call My Milan New York Fussing Week. Yes, yes. It’s that 6-day trip that all crew are dying for. The timings, the destinations, the length of the flights, the customers…. It’s a crew dream in a box. With a cherry on top. And luckily I got to try it before it disappears from the Airline’s schedule.  I have to admit that all I did the first day in Milan was listening to music and eating a lot of pizza. It was just one of those days where I felt too lazy to even comb my hair. So when it was time to meet the crew for some dinner I just pulled it back into a ponytail. Over tea we met the crew that just came back from New York and it turned out I knew a few of them from my previous flights so we sat down for some more drinks and laughter until early morning hours. And then it was time to fly back to my own personal paradiso – New York, New York ! In a few year’s time when I’m happily married to a very rich handsome man I’ll casually ask him if he “could be a total darling a buy me a little pad in NYC so I could have a place on my own for little getaways from the kids once in a while”. Preferably somewhere down the 5th Av. facing the Central Park. You know – to keep the spark 🙂 !

I spent way to much in NYC. Energy, wooing and money. But I have no regrets. There is just something about that place that makes one wanna enjoy all of it to the fullest! You may remember that last time I set my foot in Manhattan was for NYE. It was bitterly cold and raining back then. Well… it wasn’t too cold this time. But it did rain a lot. But honestly – I couldn’t care less. I got up so early I had to wait an hour for the breakfast buffet to open. The last meal I had was back in Italy so I must have looked real graceful wolfing down my strawberry pancakes. What a lady! When I consumed enough food to feed a family of four I borrowed a massive black umbrella that I was bound to forget in the first shop and headed to the Central Park. My original plan was to go jogging there but Dubai got me too spoiled. I don’t jog in the rain anymore. It’s bad for… the knees …:) To shut up my guilty conscious I decided to at least walk quickly. After  a few hour that I got lost and found again in the Central Park I noticed shops were starting to open so I headed back to the 5th Avenue. There – as predicted – I managed to lose the umbrella and spent an unforgivable amount of money. I’m truly hopeless when it comes to New York shopping 🙂IMG_1050 IMG_0860IMG_0862 IMG_0859 IMG_0812 IMG_0861 IMG_0852

Back in Milan the jet lag was starting to kick in. In combination with my annual hay fever that got even worse in the States I was one tired snotty mess. But I wasn’t gonna let that put me down. The weather outside was so sunny and bright I just had to make the most of it. So I boarded one of my least favourite means of transport – an Italian train – and headed direction Lake Como. The hotel is about 5k away as the crow flies… yet it took us hour and a half to get there. Well- such is life. I could see that the girls I dragged out with me were just about to start b*tching when we got there. And suddenly all the sorrows, all the tiredness, everything was forgotten. Lake Como is stunningly beautiful. It’s everything you want an Italian lake to be- and then some more ! We sat down for some food, some wine and a lot of attention from male Italian by-passers …. and we thoroughly enjoyed all of it. I made a mental note that when I mention to my future rich handsome husband my appartement on the 5th I mustn’t forget about a holiday house at Como too. For the family you know !:) IMG_0870 IMG_0986 IMG_0969 IMG_0985

Coming to Dubai I had a week of back to back turn arounds to “look forward to”. Thankfully to ease to pain I was kidnapped to Abu Dhabi for an overnight stay in … well heaven:). I have to say it made the next couple of days of little sleep and a lot of flying much more bearable.IMG_1034

AD

AD

Beach time

Beach time

After the four flights that turned out to be much less painful than expected I was bound for Prague once again. Particularly excited this time around as my Mum, that hates any kind of travelling was meeting me there. Everybody kept asking whether she was elder my sister which says a lot about her night cream … or very little about mine. I wanted to make her stay special since I missed her b-day last month so I took her to all the nicest places I could think of. We ended the day in a spectacular fashion – in an Opera House. I have been going to opera since I was about 12-yo. It’s a passion my Nanna passed onto me. My Mum however has never been. I saw it as a sign then when I noticed that my favourite Verdi’s masterpiece ever was on that night- La Traviata. I have seen it about 8 times already. And for the 9th time – it was as amazing as ever!IMG_1102

One quick flight over to Dubai, one day by the beach, one night out with my gurls, one night dog sitting and I was checking in at the Prague hotel again. The receptions asked why I haven’t left my suitcase in the room at the beginning of the month and made it easier for myself… She was right:) It was Mummy’s time two days earlier and now it was all about Daddy. Not only because he is the best Daddy. But also because it was his birthday! I missed Papi’s big day last year so this time we made sure to celebrate in style. Him and my stepmum have only recently joined the world of smart phones and social media and so all of our moves and mischiefs have been documented, posted and checked in. So cute! They are growing up so fast ! Next thing you know they will be tweeting!IMG_1275 IMG_1297 IMG_1279

I have just woken up from the longest and much needed sleep of this month. May has been amazing but very hectic and fantastically busy. I couldn’t have asked for a better and sweeter month of love! I’m now -more than ever- ready for my reserve month which I have been scheduled for June. It can bring me anything and so I’m -as always- hoping for the best.

Please Love ME

Please Love ME

Sleepy time

Sleepy time

I laughed so frigging hard

I laughed so frigging hard

 

Love and hugs

x

G.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ab und zu Musik (und Wifi Pausen)

Have I ever mentioned I studied at a German high school? Well if I haven’t yet I have now. It was nothing fancy really – I went thru the same shitty adolescent traumas and had the very same complexes as any of you had. Only I did all of it in a foreign language.

It really explains a lot. For example why I struggle so much with geography – capitals in particular. I know most of them in German and many of them in English. However when it comes to having to name them in Czech I’m lost. The same goes for history. I can have a fairly long conversation about all kinds of religious bans of the 16th century but do not recognise any single treaty in my native language. Not that it has ever stopped me from enjoying my life but I’m just saying that my 15-year-old brother could be a better history teacher than I would ever be. And don’t even get me started on literature. I doubt you could have found a teenager who was better informed about Reiner Maria Rilke’s life than myself. I also knew “Die Loreley” by heart. In German. I don’t even think the native Germans know that…

I was pretty decent at speaking German. Never really reached the top of my class tho. That spot was occupied by one person only. Rudi. The guy we all hated because speaking German came so naturally to him. No wonder since he grew up in Germany… Where we (well me particularly) struggled with articles, syntax and cases he excelled and very humbly so. As I said – we all(me particularly) hated him. But high schools tend to last forever – especially the ones where you are not very popular. Mine lasted for about a decade. His for about a week. And in that decade the guy I hated so much, mainly because he was so popular and clever and annoyingly nice and modest about all of it,  became my best friend. Now 13 years,5 countries, one marriage on his side and countless more or less successful relationships on my side later – we still talk every day like nothing has changed. IMG_8370

Couple of weeks back during one of our discussions about the unbearable lightness of being out of the blue we decided to go skiing together. One of the best decisions I have made this year! It was all “planned” so quickly we didn’t really know where or for how long to go but we decided to just wing it. After all – the main point was to spend some time together !

So I got onto the first flight out of Dubai and flew right into my lovely sister’s warm embrace. She really is the best sis anyone could ever ask for! We never argue . Like NEVER ever. And even tho she is just 12 months and 2 weeks younger she always admires and praises everything I do and that gives me this amazing feeling of being old and wise and experienced and shit … and my ego just loves that! So I spent a few days in the best place on Earth= among my beloved ones and then packed my spanking new backpack (yes it took me whole 28 years but I now own a backpack!) and headed to the second best place on Earth – Moravia. If you don’t know where or what Moravia is then look it up. It’s the place where we brew the best beer, cook the best food and grow the best people with the widest smiles and biggest hearts. Full stop.

Nelly my beautiful soul-mate

Nelly my beautiful soul-mate

I boarded Rudi’s brand new Seat Ibiza and we embarked on what shall be remembered by generations to come as “The Most Musically Charged Road Trip Ever”. Like honestly. See for yourself(it would take me another day to change the format of all the vids -which I will eventually do but I just wanna publish this post now so if you wanna see all the crazy singalongs we got up to then visit my Instagram page). The only time we wouldn’t sing would be when we ate. Or talked. Which we did A LOT of. We haven’t seen each other for only a month but a) sometimes A LOT can happen within a month and b) I was under very strong painkillers last time we spoke and didn’t remember A LOT of what has been said back then. And so we headed south past Brno, past Vienna direction Salzburg and even further…

Backpack selfie

Backpack selfie

this pretty much set the mood of the entire trip

this pretty much set the mood of the entire trip

standard ...

standard …

when I said music I meant digital love...

when I said music I meant digital love…

There were only a few occasions when we didn’t sing, talk or eat. We called those occasions “WiFi Pause”. There seems to be free WiFi everywhere nowadays in Austria (well everywhere but in the apartment we had rented but let me get to that). And I need WiFi like I need the breathing air. Because I’m a cabin crew and WiFi is my only stable connection with everyone I want to stay connected with. Get over it. And spare me the ” social media addiction” talk. I know about that. C’mon let’s face it – we all have it. Even Rudi does . We didn’t need to tell each other about the WiFi availability. If one of us fell silent for more than it takes to take a breath the other one would know. And connect as well. Then eventually once we resurfaced from the depths of Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp we would continue our journey. Until the next “WiFi Pause”.

The only time we stopped for other reason than WiFi was in Salzburg. The birthplace of Mozart. I have been once before ages ago with my dad and remembered it to be quite the beautiful place. And it still was. We walked down the ancient streets, stopping in the weirdest souvenir shops, taking heaps of pictures and eventually finding a small cafe that had it all – decaf coffee, Sacher Torte, WiFi and accessible electric plugs (my iPhone battery ran flat by then).

I love your duck(face)

I love your duck(face)

Salzburg

Salzburg

The world is your oys... egg

The world is your oys… egg

IMG_8069 IMG_8076

Next morning – as a courtesy of my US jetlag- I was up at such an indecent morning hour I felt ashamed of myself. I let Rudi sleep for exactly as long as it took me to braid my hair but then I was much too hungry and excited to be quiet any longer. We enjoyed our first and obviously amazing Austrian breakfast (I love Austria for many many MANY reasons but its food is always gonna be number one) and set off direction Kaprun and its glacier – Kitzsteinhorn! Everything went so smoothly we were up at the very top before 11 am. The weather conditions weren’t so great that day. It was cloudy, foggy and cold but I haven’t skied on a real snow for over 2 years and couldn’t care less. Towards the end of the afternoon the fog has lifted a bit and we finally saw a part of the glacier in all its might and glory. And what a view it was !IMG_8160 IMG_8252 IMG_8171 IMG_8179 IMG_8164 IMG_8190 IMG_8251 IMG_8208 IMG_8204

I insisted to stay till the very end and as we took the last lift up to the top we managed to be the first ones following a group of snow groomers. What a spectacular end to our day ! As we made our way back to the valley I was itching for some WiFi and couldn’t wait to share my feelings online tugged from the comfort of my bed. What a nasty surprise it was when I found out the only place I could connect (and very poorly so) was in the hall leaning against the front door. To make it even harder for me to swallow Rudi could – of course- connect from everywhere including the toilet. It was a dark place I found myself in believe me!

yes... I text a Lot... I geddit !

yes… I text a Lot… I geddit !

That's my WiFi Ecke !!

That’s my WiFi Ecke !!

I took my revenge on him when I woke him up at 6am the next day *insert evil laughter here*. We indulged in more Brotchen mit Nutella and made it to the pistes before 8.40. It was as if the Alps decided to make up for the previous day and reward us for our early start. If you ever wondered what “Das Kaiserwetter auf der Piste” looks like well have a look :IMG_8273 IMG_8281 IMG_8289 IMG_8321 IMG_8339 IMG_8357 IMG_8334 IMG_8294

Knackered but happy

Knackered but happy

Knackered but happy

Knackered but happy

ginger beard

ginger beard

Frozen

Frozen

IMG_8365

It was Rudi’s first time in the Alps and we couldn’t have asked for a better way to experience it. We had it all- bad weather, great weather, food, drinks, music, fun, apres ski… and WiFi.

I’m now back in Dubai, having flown in from Vienna last night. I still have a few days off before I start off my next roster by my first few turn arounds in ages. But better not think about those. I’m concentrating on the rest of the month which is about to be pretty awesome – I’m off to Bangkok next week, I will be visiting Canada for the first time and crossing off yet another one of my childhood dreams – seeing the Niagara Falls- from my list. That’s not all tho – The Gods of Rostering have been very generous indeed and very casually scheduled me a Prague flight later in March. And to wrap it all up I have a long and wonderful Oz and Nz trip right at the end. Life is a bliss if you ask me !

Love to all

x

G.

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 9th November

The 9th of November 17 years ago was- funnily enough- also a Saturday. How do I know that? Because quite simply it is a day I will remember forever. The day my life as I knew it changed. The day the first one of my many brothers was born.

And here is the full story of that memorable weekend:

It is a Friday night and I’m quite excited. My best friend is coming to stay with me and my family at our weekend house in the mountains where we usually spend all of our free time. My parents (and by that I mean my mum and my stepdad) hate the city life so much we sometimes escape there during the week just for the night which I don’t like that much since it means I have to get up super early to make it to school on time. But weekends are cool. Especially now when the winter is in the air and we fire up the stove and sit around in our tiny rustic kitchen overlooking the beautiful landscape. We are even hoping for some snow since the autumn has been particularly cold this year.

My mum is HUGE. She is due any day now and she is the size of a train- seriously I have no idea how big is this baby going to be when it’s out at last. My best friend’s mum insist we all take a picture before leaving (which couple of years later we all realised was the last picture of Hynek inside my mum’s tum). Thanks to my mum’s enormity it takes us ages to pack the car, get out of town and unpack the car. When we eventually get there it’s so late and dark and there is a definite snowy promise hanging in the mountain air. My friend and I are convinced this weekend is gonna be great. Oh – if only we knew!

There is no chance of a hot shower before going to bed ( our weekend house is over 150 years old and has not been equipped with such luxury as central heating or decent plumbing) so we just pile lots of warm clothing on and all head to  our beds. My friend and I stay up for ages talking about guys of course and making silly Xmas plans. I eventually go to sleep dreaming about snow. I love it when it starts snowing.

When we get up it’s still quite early in the morning. All the windows and ground outside is all frosty but alas- still no snow. Lucy – my friend- and me take the advantage of my health conscious mum still being asleep and pig out on a very unhealthy breakfast. Then we just sit around the kitchen table for ages, making sure the fire won’t go out and talking guys (of course- we are 9 what do you expect!?) After an hour or so I notice it is getting quite late for my parents to be still asleep. They are both early risers, especially now with my mum being all pregnant and stuff. We decide to give them a cheeky wake up call and rush to the master bedroom, screaming, yelling and generally making as much noise as possible. We hastily open to door to find an empty and undone bed…

“What the heck!? My mum would never leave a bed without making it up first.” That’s the first thought I have. The second one is ” Where the hell is everybody”. That’s when we notice the car is gone too. Things are starting to make sense. We head back to the kitchen and there it is. The note that none of us even bothered to look at because we both assumed it’s just one of my mum’s countless To-do lists (honestly there are millions of notes everywhere my mum goes -always! She just leaves them everywhere! Sometimes she makes a note not to forget to make a note I swear!).

It says: “We have gone to the hospital!” 

Now this is all happening 17 years ago. Remember that time? Before mobile phones? Before Facebook and Internet everywhere? Hell – before weekend houses even had their own landlines! Luckily this one did… So that’s what we are doing right now. Sat near the landline and waiting for The Call. And it’s not coming !!! I called everybody I could think of – well by that I mean my auntie because her number is the only one I know by heart. And Lucy called her mum. Now we are just waiting for more.

And finally -after what feels like a century – it’s RINGING!! It’s my stepdad “It’s a boy, Gabby! You have a brother! And he is perfect!”.

F*ck! I have a brother! I HAVE A BROTHER – HELL! Somewhere out there there is a tiny little person and it is my BROTHER!

“I’m coming to fetch you, get ready!”

I’m not sure I can. I have been a single child all my life. I have had nine months to get ready for this moment- the moment I meet the little monster who will steal everybody away from me. Especially my mum. It is MY mum you evil little thing I haven’t even seen yet. I hope you are f*cking ugly with at least three moles on your forehead.

That’s pretty much what’s going on thru my head on the way to the hospital. And yet- very deeply inside of me there is a tiny voice that’s quietly humming in excitement.

Ok -here we go- the gates, the hospital reception, the long corridor leading to my mum’s room, the door, the door handle… Holly shit there he is …. !

I have fallen in love for the first time in my life at that moment. He was – he still is- perfect just as my stepdad said. The most beautiful and serene baby I have seen up-to-date. No moles. No crying. Just the massive grey eyes staring deeply into mine.

“Hi! I’m your new brother. You will love me unconditionally and would never want to leave my side. You will dress me up as a doll and put make-up on me and I’d let you do all this without a wink. You will sing for me every night and I will enjoy and demand it even tho we both know you are completely tone-deaf. You will teach me all the bad words and in return your name will be the first I will ever try to pronounce. And 17 years on you will have a blog and on my birthday you will write an uncessarilly long and emotional post about today and I will love it!” is what his eyes said to me that day.

And he was absolutely right.

I have no idea if it snowed that weekend. It could have rained cats and dogs for all I cared. I was completely besotted and beside myself by this tiny human being that was born that Saturday and about to become the bestest brother anyone could ever wish for.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AGAIN BRO! I LOVE YOU !

The most recent pic of both of us jogging this summer (and yes- I do have time to take selfies whilst jogging!)

The most recent pic of both of us jogging this summer (and yes- I do have time to take selfies whilst jogging!)

P.S. Coincidentally 9th November is the b-day of one of my dearest Dubai friends- Edel. I wish I could recount the day I have met (and fallen in love with:) him but I will save that for another post, shall I ? Let’s just say it involved a lot of alcohol but strangely it wasn’t being consumed … Happy B-day again Edel my bebe! ❤

yes another selfie- deal with it !

yes another selfie- deal with it !

The Tale of Two Girls (and many Cities)

15 days, 4 countries, 3 airlines and many MANY many bottles of wine later and I’m finally back from my summer vacation.

There is so much – perhaps even too much- two young girls travelling around Europe can jampack into two weeks of holidays- but fortunately for you my dear readers I have just ordered a large soya cappuccino and have all the time in the world to describe everything Dolly and I got up to during our girly trip to Croatia. So why don’t just sit back, relax and enjoy the read ?:)

Chapter One – The Most Wonderful and Horrible Thing…

… that can happen to you when travelling stand-by is to miss or not get on the connecting flight you were hoping for. Like it did to us. We happily boarded the A380 bound for Munich and spent the few hours it takes to fly from Dubai to Europe watching films, drinking miniatures ( or as we liked to call it “sampling for future reference”) and chatting to our former batchmate who happened to be the operating crew on our flight.
We (still happily) disembarked and made our way to the check-in counter of our connection. And that’s when the fun started. I’m not gonna bother with the details and wonders of stand-by travelling. The important thing was that some 40-minutes later we found ourselves mentally exhausted and without a flight to board that day. The miniatures we haven’t managed to finish on board came in handy at that moment. We were stranded in Munich for 24-hours. It was horrible because thanks to the Octoberfest all the hotels were fully booked and there was no way we could find a last-minute accommodation. And it was wonderful because out of all places I’d have wanted to be stranded in Europe- Munich during the Octoberfest was the best of them all! We put our heads together and figured there was no harm in asking our batchmate if she would mind terribly letting us crash in her crew-hotel room for the night. Which she didn’t. The holiday had started right there and then. IMG_4253

Chapter Two – Octoberfest…

… is not your typical festival as you would imagine. I have always wanted to go. Just like everybody else I guess. I expected it to be crowded, chaotic and commercial. To my surprise it was none of the above. For such a massive event the whole place felt very intimate and so so soooOOO super friendly! It had everything – massive pretzels, foot-long sausages, roasted sugar coated almonds, music, drindls and leder hosen, amusement rides and THE BEER of course! And we tried all of it. If you ever considered going then DO IT ! It’s an unforgettable experience !IMG_4268 IMG_4279 IMG_4317 IMG_4327

Chapter Three – Dubrovnik …

… has very nearly taken over the Number One City spot in my heart that has been so far occupied by Prague. Well- when I say nearly I mean I still haven’t decided. It is a true germ – so stunning it makes you wanna weep. I scored a window seat on the way there and got the chance to enjoy the most beautiful approach and landing in my life (yes -and I have landed into Maledives before).

We checked into our approx. 100yo little stone-cottage B&B overlooking the Old City of Dubrovnik, downed a shot of something very strong offered to us by our friendly landlord and ventured out to savour the moment of our first Adriatic sunset. There is so much I would like to say about this amazing city starting by describing its white streets full of jewellery shops and ice-creams parlours and beautiful architecture and its morning markets with all kinds of fresh fruit and home-made products and the most fantastic wine bars on the city walls and all the painters and musicians on every corner and all the different smells from local restaurants  and… and… and are you still with me? We have fallen head over heels for this hidden paradise – so hard we decided to extend our stay from the originally planned two nights to full 5 days sacrificing the Venetian part of our trip. Yes- that’s how very awesome Dubrovnik is!

After having spent our first night gorging on seafood and wine we left Dubrovnik for a couple of days and returned for another overnight stay a few days later. This time around we have learned a lot about the history of the settlement and the importance it has had throughout the history of the Medditerranean trading. We have walked on the City walls and visited even more jewellery shops in preparation of making some very hefty purchases. And because we felt like that still wasn’t enough we returned yet another time right at the end of our tour of Croatia and stayed until we really HAD to go in order to return to work on time. But not before we treated ourself to some bling bling shopping and -you know it’s coming – yes even more wine!IMG_4403 IMG_4420

I will never get sick of taking pics of palms... never

I will never get sick of taking pics of palms… never

Morning fruit markets... fresh figs, dried figs, fig salamis, fig jams, fig liquers, fig brandy... but they also had some grapes...:)

Morning fruit markets… fresh figs, dried figs, fig salamis, fig jams, fig liquers, fig brandy… but they also had some grapes…:)

ahhhhhh...

ahhhhhh…

first evening in Dubrovnik - the City Of Stunning

first evening in Dubrovnik – the City Of Stunning

The view from our room

The view from our room

Dubrovnik from above ..and my Croatian ring

Dubrovnik from above ..and my Croatian ring

Just chillin' on the last day of our epic trip

Just chillin’ on the last day of our epic trip

One of many mouth watering dinners we have treated ourself to.. this one featured a lobster...

One of many mouth watering dinners we have treated ourself to.. this one featured a lobster…

IMG_5518

Croatia has it all... sun, wine, seafood, silver... rain

Croatia has it all… sun, wine, seafood, silver… rain

The City Walls and the two of us

The City Walls and the two of us

Ahhhhh

Ahhhhh

Having a glass of vino and watching the sunset on the City Walls.. my life is complete now

Having a glass of vino and watching the sunset on the City Walls.. my life is complete now

another day another breath taking sunset

another day another breath taking sunset

yes... it's happening

yes… it’s happening

and another one

and another one

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.