The September Issue I.

Hello y’all!

… and somehow without me knowing November happened to me. I have not managed to log into “Journey” since my last post on the 4th October. Shocking! I have had my busiest roster yet and the little sleep and a lot of excitement over everything has taken its tool on me and I have spent the last few days in bed feeling ill and oh-so-sorry for myself.

But here it finally comes – the long promised post about September 2014 :

 

It’s that time of the year again. All restaurants, clubs and cafes in Dubai have opened their outside areas to the public. It has slowly become bareable to walk, run and generally live out in the open again after a long and sizzling summer. We have our lives back. At last.

And so the reasonable thing to do would be to stay and enjoy this freedom and the beauty of the great middle eastern outdoors, right? But since when am I ever reasonable? I have been born with an infection I refer to as the travel bug. It can be dormant for months, years even but once it gets out of control it takes over my life and overrules everything. I could feel its power rising within me all summer. My job – of course- helps a lot to keep this little devil in check but there just hasn’t been enough excitement to keep him happy. Day by day I grew more and more restless and by the time September rolled in I had my suitcase packed and was ready to go with no real plan, just a faint idea of being anywhere else but in Dubai. And somehow I succeeded to entertain this tiny monster- I can safely say that the amount of times I slept in my own bed in the last four weeks could be counted on one hand solely.

I started the month off stylishly in Bangkok with my gorgeous wifey Holly. It was one of those multi sector flights and she missed so much she couldn’t take it any longer, jumped on the first available flight and stayed with me for the rest of the trip. I was ecstatic of course. Thai massages, facials and exotic fruit shopping just never are the same without her. I couldn’t imagine having to part from her and so in return of her favour I decided to come as a passenger on her upcoming flight to Dublin. It wasn’t much of a sacrifice since I have never been to Ireland and had always wanted to go. I literally landed from Bangkok, took off my uniform, repacked my suitcase and checked in for Dublin. My travel bug couldn’t be happier. Seven long hours and three tear jerker films later I landed in sunny Ireland. Yes – it was sunny and as I was assured by Holly it wasn’t expected or normal. But it was fabulous. The best way to be introduced to a new city and a new culture is by someone who is familiar with it. And so I let Holly to play her part of the perfect tour guide which she did with flying colours. Only a few hours into my stay I was already buzzing on my second Irish coffee happily chatting nonsense and counting fellow redheads (of which I have seen many) in the famous Bewley’s Cafe. I have heard of a Leprechaun museum (because out of everything Ireland has to offer leprechauns seemed the most interesting after so many irish coffees) and made my only request to see it and so we set of. Somehow tho we got lost in the tempting streets of the Temple Bar area and never made it across the river. It was only in the very early morning hours- and after many drinks I just HAD to drink in order to blend with the Irish culture when we found ourselves wandering aimlessly and enjoying the nightlife – that I remembered. We gave it a second shot in the morning of yet another bright looking day. But by the time we found a place to restore our strength and consume delicious bacon for breakfast, got lost, got found and finally stood outside the museum it was already too late for the entire tour. Visiting the Leprechaun museum just wasn’t meant to happen this time around. I took it as a sign of having to come back again which I would have done anyway. I loved every second of my 24 hours in Ireland. I’m now a strong believer that only every whisky but also every coffee and every man should be Irish. Just because.

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In Love. With Life.

Ok how is it October already? There just isn’t enough hours in the day, days in a week and weeks in a month to manage half of things I set myself to do every morning when I wake up!! I have been flying nonstop in September and there is an awesome post about it all in the making so just hold on tight it’s coming soon !

Have you ever noticed how changes always tend to come in bundles? There never seems to be JUST ONE major change in my life. It’s always either ALL or NOTHING. But it’s all good and super exciting and soon enough I’ll be able to tell you all about it but for now I’m so super busy with everything you’ll just have to do wait a little longer.

Love y’all

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. 

What Time Was My Train ?

A very close friend of mine got married last weekend. I’m not gonna lie – it scared the sh*t out of me. No – you do not understand. I have gotten used to my Facebook wall being flooded every Monday with wedding pictures of my old high school mates, it has been happening pretty much since we left it almost 10 years ago. Then about two years back a new trend had started. Pictures of newborns, pictures of little toddlers messing with their first ever b-day cake, videos of their first words and steps. Got used to that too. This is different. This friend is not someone who lives in the far away universe I call The Real Life. This is not someone who travels twice, three times a year max and if at all then for holidays, someone who wakes up to go to work in the morning and goes to sleep at night, someone who has a mortgage, has an office job, has sales targets to hit, has a Sunday lunch with the family once a month, someone who’s 5 best friends come from the same country or at least from the same continent. In other words someone “normal”. The kinda “normal” I left behind the moment I decided to live in the Middle East. This is a friend I made here in Dubai. Who drinks the same water, breaths the same air, does the same job… who should be infected or shall I say inflicted the same way I am.  

I have been peacefully living scrolling down FB, skipping hen-do invites and ignoring the fact that out of the 32 girls and guys I have attended school with I’m one of a very few, perhaps already the only one that is not committed to anything in any way. Because I always had the very comfortable explanation (or an excuse) of all of them living a very different life. Well – of course ! Aren’t we all tho?! In my happy little bubble I would see everybody making adult decisions with their lives and somewhere in the back of my mind I’d think “One day that is maybe going to be me too. One day in a very very very far away future.” That one day when I’m living that different kind of life. 

That fact, that someone so close to me (not only in geographical sense) , someone with a not-so-different lifestyle has gone and effortlessly created a bridge between them two worlds that seemed so incurably incompatible to me has made me realise that I may have missed my train. No- I haven’t just missed it. I wasn’t just late. I haven’t even purchased a ticket. I had no idea there was a train to catch. Nobody told me. I was just gonna walk. And quite possibly the opposite way. In fact that’s exactly what I was doing. Cheerfully skipping down the road, with my EarPods in, all on my own when I suddenly saw the train rushing off in a different direction. With all of my friends and acquaintances aboard. And I’m just standing here in shock. In complete disbelief that I didn’t get invited to this “Happily Ever After-party”.

Does this make me sound desperate? Well that would only make sense. Not because I’m a single girl. Not because I’m living in Dubai. Or because I’m dating (or well -at least trying to). Because I’m a single girl living in Dubai and dating. And last time I checked that was the new definition of desperate over here.

It’s a jungle out there. No- let me rephrase- it’s a war zone. My parents always use to say how lucky my generation was to be given the chance to grow up in a Como-free, revolution-free and a war-free environment. Little did they know I was heading into one when they congratulated me on my new exciting job in the skies. I can just feel your raised eyebrows and feel you clicking away from this post. You think I’m being overdramatic and exaggerating. I swear to all I hold dear – for once I’m not. It is hard to believe unless you lived the experience of the Dubai dating scene but let me try and paint you its true picture. 

Imagine a buffet brunch. A massive buffet brunch. All kinds of flavours in huge quantities catering to all kinds of tastes and appetites. And you are starving- you haven’t eaten for days because there is quite literally nothing but the desert all around you. Just this buffet you have been waiting for. And now you have all this tasty, delicious food harvested at its best, prepared to its best and presented at its best – all of it nicely laid out in front of you. Up for grabs. All you need to do is reach out and choose. Are you imagining it? Ok – in that case you are the guy in Dubai. 

Now imagine being that poor little courgette or a lamb chop and a chocolate tart, laying there on a plate surrounded by tens and hundreds of others just like you. You are the girl in Dubai now. Being brought out here into the open and scary world and being scrutinised by every single pair of eyes. Are you the biggest, the juiciest, the tastiest looking? Or what if he doesn’t like courgettes? Maybe he is more of a carrot-type of a guy… Maybe he is sick of lamb and wants chicken, maybe he doesn’t like chocolate and vanilla is his thing. Maybe he doesn’t like sweets at all. You simply do not know. You are hoping you would be The One to at least his pair of eyes and look – he is reaching out just about to choose you… But wait they just brought out a new plate of freshly prepared courgettes and that’s the end of it. See – that’s the thing about Dubai. You can be the funniest one, the sexiest one, the fittest one, the tannest one, most fashionable one but you will never be The Newest One. The Freshest One. The Most Exciting One. The moment you go out with the guy you have become conquered (sex doesn’t even have to be involved, not even a kiss). You have been seen, talked to and evaluated. Let’s move on, lets swipe right again, let’s see what else is out there. Because this is the brunch buffet of Dubai – aka the Brunch Buffet of Bigger and Better. “I’m perfectly happy with my medium rare steak cooked to perfection and seductively bleeding onto the plate. But I HAVE to go and check if there isn’t a piece of sashimi that COULD taste better. Because that’s what it says on the tin – and I want and CHOOSE to believe it. Even if I possibly cannot eat any more. There must be a little space somewhere in my stomach for a little more. Because c’mon once I leave this brunch when will I ever get the chance to eat and taste so much ?! “

“Oh I’d so very much enjoy a brunch in Dubai” is probably what most of you guys are thinking right now. Yeah well – it’s not all just pearls and diamonds. Actually – that’s precisely what it is! Going to a brunch in Dubai is all about status. You have to book the right table, wear the right clothes, turn up in the right car. If you are driving anything less than a Lexus just take a cab honestly. Otherwise you are walking off from this brunch and still starving. It’s also a very exclusive event. You have to book well in advance. Try turning up at the last minute and wearing jeans. You are gonna be laughed at for weeks on end. And probably banned from the place for the rest of your days. But let’s say you managed to get in and at last you are holding your plate and about to choose your first dish. “Oh my- look at that beef stew! I always liked beef stew, reminds me of my granny and my granny is the one person that loves me the most, because she knows I’m just the best thing since sliced bread. My granny is awesome. Man- I’m definitely having some of that stew it just smells so good. Especially in comparison to that awful overcooked fish stir fry right next to it. Ewww – fish ! Fish makes me sick, not to mentioned this one comes with green peppers and I’m allergic to green peppers. Last time I had them I broke out in hives. Yeah let’s have that stew.” And just as you are about to have the tastiest looking stew of your life you notice a guy to your right helping himself to the fish stir fry. The flash of his Omega watch is what caught your attention. “Why does he get to eat the fish stir fry?! Wait- do NOT eat it all you dick,what are you doing I just told you not to ! What do you mean I said I was allergic to it?! Well now I’m not and I want some of that. What? What beef stew ?! I don’t even like beef. Gimme that fish ! I want fish!”

But let’s say we all got thru that brunch successfully. And the courgette was lucky enough to be the tastiest thing on the menu that day. And the guy wore the right clothes and drove the right car the courgette was happy with. And nobody is already married… altho -ehm ehm – even that doesn’t seem to stop some of us… And there is date number two. A dinner this time. Then perhaps a movie night. A couple of drinks the next time. First kiss. Goodnight and good morning texts. Then the “sweet nothing and I miss you and when are you back” texts. And then you seal the deal. Or so you think. Because apparently having slept with somebody you have been dating for some time doesn’t make you guys exclusive anymore. Nowadays it goes more like ” Dinner, drinks, kiss, sex and I may see you next week unless the other girl I’m seeing is available in that case I will see you the week after that or maybe you will not hear from me for a few months and when I get back in touch I will be married”. Welcome to Dubai. You are gonna have the time of your life. It’s gonna be the best party you have ever been to. The only thing they forgot to mention on the flyer was that this is a BYOB (where the B stands for boyfriend not beer) kinda party. 

I dedicate this post to all my fellow Dubaians. To my fellow fighters. I salute you and gracefully surrender. I’m done with Dubai dating, especially the online type. I suck at it anyway. I’m gonna stick to doing what I do best. Which is sit around cafes smoking shisha and blogging. So if you are an available single guy with singular taste and see me around sometime- don’t Whatsapp me. Don’t Snapchat. And definitely do not look for me on Tinder. Just come and talk to me – it’s worked for thousands of generations before us maybe it will work for us too! 

Love 

x

G.

The 800 Magical Candles

People keep all kinds of weird and wonderful stuff in all kinds of weird and wonderful places in their lives. I have met people that keep old pairs of shoes under their beds, people that collect little pieces of rocks from all the places they have visited. I know people that keep a stash of emergency pain killers in beauty boxes on their bed tables and take them as precaution “just in case” and people who would never let go of a worn out t-shirt even tho there is no chance in hell they’ll ever wear it again. I myself am guilty of keeping a few too many skeletons in my own closet and cherishing some of them way too deeply. There is a little sentimental freak in each one of us that from time to time forces us to hang on to certain beliefs, feelings or a memory that we are scared would fade into oblivion if we didn’t have that small reminder hidden somewhere…

I have recently met someone that keeps 800 candles in the bedroom. Countless white paper boxes full of candles neatly stacked in one big box and carefully placed in a corner of a green and a maroon wall. As if that was the most natural place to keep 800 candles. Because  isn’t that where we all eventually end up anyway? In a neat box somewhere between the green grass and the maroon ground?

I have left that bedroom thinking about those candles.I have never kept 800 of anything. It just seems like such a vast and intimidating number. I went to bed that night and dreamt about 800 magical candles coming to life and each telling me a story of its short and rather pointless existence. I woke up with candles on my mind. As if they have all melted overnight and the wax has covered my body and created an invisible shield all over me. And I just can’t seem to be able to shake it off. It is after all a powerful shield – 800 candles have been used on it.

It’s been a couple of days now. And here I am still thinking about those candles and that fantastic number 800. Would I ever be able to keep anything of such quantity? And if I did would I proudly display it or would it be my dirty little secret – for my eyes only? Let’s say I did have 800 candles laying in a corner. If I decided to burn one each night it’d take me exactly 2 years, 2 months, 1 week and one more day to get thru all of them. That’s a commitment to alternative energy sources if I ever saw one. Or if I’d want to use them every year on my b-day cake I’d have enough till my 46th birthday – which would of course still officially be my 21st…  

I could also turn them into wax figures and become the Mayor of the first ever wax village. I’d call the place Waxville. “Welcome to Waxville – a heart melting place.” It has nice ring to it don’t you think? 800 tiny wax soldiers would also make for a nice powerful army. Waxarmy. And I could be the general. It’ be protected and forever safe under the watchful eyes of my soldiers…

My mind has literally taken me on a Magical Candle Mystery Tour. I started to feel slightly obsessed. And that’s when it hit me. I may not have 800 candles but do keep something so numerous it surpasses The Great 800 (as I decided to call the pile of wax in somebody else’s bedroom) by far. And I keep it so close to my heart it hasn’t even occurred to me at first. It’s my chants. My guarding angels. My happy thoughts. My blessings I count everyday before going to sleep in order to remain grateful for the life I have been gifted. In order to never become oblivious to the fact that I’m a epitome of a happy-go-lucky in the most literal way. 

There must be thousands upon thousands of people, things and experiences I’m thankful for every minute of my life. Do not worry I’m not about to try and list them all – I cannot afford to bore and consequently lose any of you my dear readers. Y’all are one of the first items on my “Thanks for” list. Because without you I’d be just a crazy nerdy girl publishing random stuff on the internet. It’s you guys that make all the tossing and turning over syntax and endless grammar checks and author’s blocks so worth it. So thank you. For every click you make on this site. None of them go unnoticed. And all of them are highly appreciated.

But then I still feel like to make this post come together I should mention at least a few of my Magical candles that I light every evening before bedtime and that shine so brightly and guide me thru the unknown waters of my life like countless reliable lighthouses. 

There is the Big Ten. The Big Obvious Ten. You know – the fam, the friends, the job and all the trimmings. I write about being thankful for those in every post so why repeat myself all over again? I thought instead I’d let you on about the Big Five after The Big Obvious Ten. Now how about that? 

1. FLUFF 

Oh – how thankful am I for all the fluff. How bruised would I be by all the edges of everyday life should there be no fluff. Fluffy animals. Fluffy food. And fluffy conversations in particular. What’s a fluffy conversation? You know- it’s those that don’t necessarily have a purpose and yet are so meaningful. They lift you spirits and leave you all warm inside hours after they’ve happened. Put a fluffy smile on your face. 

This kinda fluffy smile :

Happy hamster is happy - Imgur

 

2. SVEN

You remember Sven? Some of you may some of you may not. Anyway he is the guy I write so extensively about here. You know The Guy. The one that made me believe in love again and then kinda went on and broke my heart and sometimes I feel like he also broke me for the rest of the male population on the Earth. But no hard feelings. There is always the outer space I could try my luck in- I just hope they use Tinder over there. Plus I’m obviously joking. He has not broken me. He merely highlighted areas in my life that I have been ignoring for long enough and that are in a desperate need of improvement. I still think about him every day. But not in a I-hate-you-way. In a very thank-you-for-all-the-nice-moments-and-have-a-nice-life-way. I do miss him from time to time. Well I mostly miss the way I used to feel around him. I miss what I thought we had when we had it. But I no longer believe that he was the only one I could ever feel like that around. Because after all – those feelings came out of me and not him so it is quite possible there is someone out there who could bring the same feelings to the surface again. If I ever let them. 

So thank you Sven. Thank you for trying to break me (I know you did not mean to) because I know it will eventually only make me stronger. And I will forever love you for that. 

 

3. BAD DATES

What would a girl’s life be without all them bad dates we have to go thru to eventually have a really good one? I mean- some of them are true horror stories that we exchange over liquid lunches with our girlfriends. Like when you go out with a guy and he disappears and next time he contacts you weeks later he casually says ” Sorry I was in jail for beating up a guy once.” Yes – that happened! To me… 

Or when you bravely venture out on a blind date and the bloke brings his best mate along. Probably for moral support, who the heck knows? Also happened. Also to me. 

I’m not even gonna go into details about all the others that just can’t take “no” for an answer and would try pretty much ANYTHING to change your mind. The mind that has been made up the moment they first spoke. And when you still try to remain polite but firm they still try the ” Ok well how about at least a BJ?”. Yes- they are out there believe me… 

I’m so grateful for every single one of them because they make me appreciate the good ones that much more. Plus what would I have to write about and what my best friend to have to laugh about? 

 

4. Le PQ

I simply do not know what I would do if there wasn’t Le PQ right at the bottom of my building. I would probably starve to death without realising. Because when I blog for hours (very much like today) unless somebody comes along to ask if I wanna eat or drink anything I simply don’t. 

F<3<3d

F<3<3d

Thank you PQ for your being here for me, for feeding me, for putting up with my many overstayed welcomes and for being generally very awesome. 

 

5. GUESS

My newest obsession that managed to overshadow the one man I thought could never be replaced in my life- Michael Kors. Thank you Guess for so gladly accepting all of my pay checks. You are great ! I love you too… 

It's all about the watch !

It’s all about the watch !

Lots of love

x

G.

Note: If you are wondering what’s the reason there are 800 candles kept in a bedroom somewhere – they were once used to try and mend a relationship that was about to break. They carried a love message. The message didn’t work. Or maybe it was the candles… maybe it is a very intimidating number to carry such an intimate message or that’s at least what I think. But then again what do I know about love messages or romance in general? Quite possibly very little… 

 

 

 

 

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

IMG_0548

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

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh-man

Back in March when things between Sven and I were still peachy we decided on a short getaway to Oman. I have heard so much about the country , I have seen pictures and I have wanted to go ever since I moved to the Middle East. Mountains, sea, dolphins and beaches … sounded exactly like my kinda place!

And since Sven was – or as I’d like to believe- still is the type of guy that will do anything to keep one’s eyes sparkle with joy we finally made that trip that I was planning for over a year happen.

There is a lot one can do in Oman. There is also a lot of places to go and stay at to choose from. I had my mind set on camping. Frankly speaking I get enough of hotels at work and it stopped feeling special a while back. Getting woken up by the sound of crashing waves on a beach sounded like a much better option… And so that’s what we did.

I spend the day before the weekend in Oman in Prague with Rudi and Nela. Normally I wouldn’t want to leave even if you paid me (wait ..but I DO get paid… nevermind then:) but this time around I couldn’t wait to land the plane back in Dubai. I was particularly looking forward to the road trip and I wasn’t disappointed. The coastal drive is truly something – even tho we crossed the borders at night and all I could see was that little bit within the reach of the beamers – I still loved it. We woke up the sailor that was supposed to take us to the remote beach where our camp was set. He didn’t look too impressed at that ungodly hour but I bribed him with a few Sudanis – don’t worry that’s just the Arabic word for peanuts- and off we sailed. Well- speed boated.

The camp… well how to best describe the breathtaking view I was treated to when I woke up the next morning and opened up the tent? I guess pictures will have to do all the talking instead:IMG_9066IMG_9292

The day started off with a brisk hike up the cliffs surrounding the beach, after that a breakfast consisting mostly of flies that just wouldn’t leave a single bite of food untouched and then it was slowly time for the main event of the day : the Dhow tour. What’s a dhow?  A dhow is a traditional fishing boat that looks more like somebody’s living room rather than a fishing boat. I guess since most of the people use it as an actual living room it only makes sense:) It’s covered in carpets and cushions , catered with figs, arabic coffee and overly sweetened tea. It’s perfect. I felt like a Cleopatra sailing down the Nile, nodding off to the slow rocking of the boat. But that was just the calm before the storm. And by the storm I mean the arrival of the dolphins ! Yes – real wild dolphins !!! The closest I ever got to a dolphin before was watching Flipper on a Saturday morning at my Dad’s. So you can imagine how super excited I got. I was running around the boat like crazy – managed to stay on board only by a pure miracle. I was quite ready to call it the best day of my life already but I was in for a treat. Later that day after a tasty lunch served on the dhow and an amazing scenic sail around the cliffs and mountains we stopped the boat for an afternoon dip. Everybody was feeling lazy and so I was one of the very few that decided to go into the crystal clear water. I swam quietly away from the others and that’s when I noticed something big and graceful swooping around me. It was the most beautiful dolphin that was probably as curious about me as I was about him. Now – he was probably about 10 meters away but just for the sake of the story let’s go with “within an arm reach” ok? I froze for a moment and then tried to alert everybody else without alarming the that wonderful creature next to me. Big mistake. Obviously everybody WANTS to swim with a dolphin at least once in their lives. Nevermind a wild one! And so the entire crew jumped into the sea and once and that pretty much scared the shit out of the dolphin and that’s the very anticlimactic end to my wonderful story .IMG_9138 IMG_9172 IMG_9154 IMG_9149

However much everyone tried to discredit my experience (jealousy is a b*tch:) nothing could ever take it away from me! I – and only I – have swam with a dolphin ! I sat quietly for the rest of the day watching the coast, watching the little black sharks (yes there are Great Whites and then there are Little Blacks) , watching the waves swallowing the sun with a warm furry ball of happiness inside of me. I capture some of the most fantastic moments of my life here on my blog, some of them thru the my camera lens… and some of them I capture with my soul. Forever there and never fading. This is one of those.

It seemed that whatever was about to happen the day after couldn’t possibly stand up to The Dolphin moment. But once again I stood corrected. We packed up and got picked up by our grumpy speed boat driver again. He took us to yet another driver – but this one was manning a questionably powerful 4×4 and took us on what was called a “Mountain Safari’. Don’t be fooled by the name – no animals were involved. Instead we were treated to an amazing tour around the Omani mountains. I felt like travelling back in time – especially when we stopped at about 1000 m and saw the remains of fish fossils scattered around. We stood so high up looking down at the world beneath and yet we were walking on something that once was the bottom of a sea. An incredible feeling of time passed thru me. One of my favourite writers Eckhart Tolle says that we are all one and that time as such does not exist. We create it within ourselves. And I guess it wasn’t till then that I fully understood when he means by that. IMG_9326 IMG_9323 IMG_9237IMG_9293

The end of our Omani weekend came way too early but before we had to go back to the Dubai reality of our lives we still managed to visit the best restaurant in Khasab. Oh – excuse me – the only restaurant or shall I say eatery in Khasab. I was hoping for something local but it was a Yemeni establishment. Delicious nonetheless. Also I ate the food of the floor. Sorry Mum – I know how you feel about that:)

Oman is a magical place. One of those you absolutely have to visit and experience before you die !

Take care everybody

Love

x

G.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flying High Flying Low

Flying high is something I enjoy to the fullest -both in life and at work. Is there a better feeling than being so high up in the sky it seems impossible I’m just a mere human being and not some kind of a goddess-like creature? And flying low … well flying low makes me appreciate the small wonderful things in life and in the world that I sometimes overlook. See- when I fly high over the tops of the highest mountains and all I can see is the vast endless blue sky it’s so easy to forget about the world down below and how much beauty it holds.

Most of you already know me as a person that strives to be happy. Always. And I’m doing a pretty good job. But sometimes I have to come down from the heights of Mount Bliss and fly low for a while. Because that’s life isn’t it? And one of those whiles lasted a bit longer than I intended a couple of weeks back. And I realised that to get back up I was gonna need some new fresh fuel. In the shape of my sweetest sister. And so I played the carefree “drop everything you are doing and come to Dubai at once” card and went all in. And it paid off. We have spent a wonderful week full of laughter, food and shishas and by the time she left I was feeling invincible again. She is a true blessing of my life !

And here is the more or less edited Story of our Sisterly Shenanigans :

She is here !

She is here !

Nela is not what I ‘d call a frequent flyer. She is more of what I’d call a nervous flyer. So to make sure the flight was as comfortable as possible I let the operating crew know what treasure they were about to carry that day. And they made me proud. As I picked her up she was giddy – not only from the first class champagne she was treated to but also from all the caring attention she was given. And once again I was feeling grateful for all the opportunities my job gives me to make the people I love happy. And we have only just started !

I took her home and let her rest for a couple of hours before I whisked her off to the pool to start off our homeliday (holiday at home:) with a swim under the watchful eye of the Burj Khalifa. She was happy enough to paddle there for the rest of the day but I had an agenda we absolutely had to adhere to. And so we had a massive breakfast in the public extension of my living room – Le PQ and off we were to the beach. I didn’t think Nela was quite ready to experience the public one so we ventured all the way to the Marina to chill out at Barasti. And chill we did. So much and so hard we nearly missed the birkam yoga that was next on the list. My poor little sister ! She had already taken in more heat in the past 12 hours than she had in the entire past 12 months. By the end of the 90 min session she was as worn out as pair of athlete’s socks. But the day was far from over ! My sis couldn’t have stayed oblivious to the fact that I live in a walking distance from the world’s biggest mall. And so that’s where I took her. And that’s where she – having seen it in all it’s might and glory – had fallen in love with the Burj. Ever since then everywhere we went she I had to point her to the direction of it (in case she wasn’t able to see it herself). We watched the fountain show, we ate, we watched some more fountain shows and then when we could barely walk any longer we headed home.

Lift selfie.. first one of many

Lift selfie.. first one of many

IMG_9730

L<3 ve vole

L<3ve 

Next day after the obligatory morning swim it was time for some more beach living – we put our swag on, slipped into the roller skates and left the SZR behind once again. The beautiful thing about Dubai is that nobody skates around here. And so – this early in the morning we had the roads to ourselves. We skated for hours, we dodged a few jellyfish, we burnt in the sun … and then we still had most of the day to spend smoking shisha, eating and endlessly chatting. Oh how beautiful life can be !

LIfe with you is so dope

LIfe with you is so dope

Sistas on da beach

Sistas on da beach

 

What else did we do ? We rented bikes and cycled around the Marina. We sweated our asses off in the Miracle Gardens of Dubai. We went to the Palm to see world’s most crowded aquarium. We ate like crazy. We smoked more shisha. We tanned some more. We went to my favourite park in the entire world. And we had so much fun! It was amazing being able to share some of my everyday life with one the most important person to me. I wish I could have kept her here forever but the week just flew by and before we knew it was time for her to go back. Luckily enough I have been rostered Prague three times in May and one of them is tomorrow!!!

renting a bike they said. easy they said

renting a bike they said. easy they said

IMG_9913

Zaroobabes

Zaroobabes

UR so beautiful

UR so beautiful

I'm skilled at taking selfies   doing whatever

I’m skilled at taking selfies doing whatever

IMG_9887

Another lift selfie? Just shoot me already

Another lift selfie? Just shoot me already

IMG_0026

Al Safa

Al Safa

Last Dinnah

Last Dinnah

IMG_0060

Gimme that meat !

Gimme that meat !

Seeing her off

Seeing her off

The last evening's selfie

The last evening’s selfie

Fly high , fly low, be happy and let life go. It always seems to know the right way !

x

G.

 

 

Sven (or The Girl’s Diary of Dating a Married Man)

It has been a couple of months now that a massive tidal wave has brought into my life the one single thing I was expecting the least- love. You know that kind of love that completely sweeps you of your feet and leaves you stupidly grinning at an empty wall in your room during one of the many sleepless nights. That kinda love that moves mountains, stops wars and cures cancer. That one that makes everything shining bright and nothing- quite literally NOTHING- is impossible. That kinda love.

I wanted everyone to know. I wanted everyone to see the reason why I can jump 6 feet high, why I can’t stop smiling and why the battery on my Iphone runs flat every two hours. And I also wanted my parents to stop assuming that me going on holiday with my best friend means we are together (don’t get me wrong I love him with all my might but you know… it’s not THAT kinda love). So I told them.

I told them about Sven. Sven the guy with a tender loving heart. Sven the guy who is 24 years my senior. Sven the guy with two kids my age. Sven the guy who does not exist. Yes -I’m sorry Dad, I’m sorry Mum- Sven isn’t real. I know that at least one of you is immensely relieved and the other one probably very disappointed in me. I’m so truly sorry. It’s just that making up a story about a 52-yo Swede was much easier than telling you the truth.

That I’m in fact dating a married man. Yes – despite everything we have been thru together, despite everything you have been telling me all my life and despite everything I should know by now I have still fallen for somebody who to me – as you Mum used to call it – should be a “dead man” . I could of course now go on and tell you all the right clichés about how “we can’t choose who we fall in love with” and how “this is completely different ” but I’m not going to. Because I had a choice and because this is not different in any way. I knew from the start what I was getting into. And yet I didn’t stop myself.

Why not?

Because … because quite simply although I was doing wrong it felt so damn right. It felt as if a massive jigsaw of my life has finally been completed. As if I found the last missing piece. None of my past mattered anymore. All of it made sense at last. I finally realised why I could never make it work with anybody else. Because all my life I was meant to meet this one single person, my soul mate, my other half. Who also happens to be somebody else’s half already.

So what do you do when you meet the love of your life? Do you just let them pass by or do you grab your chance and don’t let it go? I thought I knew the answer to that. I thought my childhood would have been enough to give me the strength to walk away with pride. I guess I was wrong. Because the moment I realised I have met the one person I have been looking for I jumped in head first and absolutely nothing could have stopped me. Looking back now knowing what happened next would I have done it differently? No. Never in a million years. Despite the hell dating a married man puts you thru… being with the one person you are meant to be with makes it all worth it.

Of course there comes a point when you just can’t go on like this any longer. You try to understand with your head – and can’t. You try to understand with your heart – and you can’t either. So you know the only way is to go and let go. Have you ever tried to break up with somebody you love ? I know I always say that impossible is nothing but this comes very close. You try, you fail, you try again, you fail again, you pick yourself up, you beg him to do it for you and don’t really mean it… and then at last you wake up one morning and realise that the feeling of sheer happiness that used to fill your heart thinking about him is gone. That all that’s left is the dread of what’s coming next.

“Is today the day he is not gonna call back?”

“Is today the day I lose him forever?”

“Is it all gonna finally end today?”

“Why? Why? WHY?!”

But for some stupid reason you still can’t let go. Is it because you have been given the taste of what the perfect version of your life could be like? Is it because the simple thought of never seeing him again is ripping your insides apart so forcefully you can hardly breathe? Is it because  you just can’t imagine ever being able to love like this again? I don’t know … it’s one of those or maybe all of the above what does it matter anyway.

Letting go of your loved one is something I don’t wish on anybody. I have gone thru quite a lot but this is by far the most painful decision I had to ever take. It’s because the part of my soul I found in him has to be torn again and returned to him. And I bleed and hurt and miss that part badly because knowing it exist somewhere out there is much worse than not knowing if I ever find it…

I know this post is probably not what many of you would expect to read… but writing is something that helps me cope with the downsides of life. This post was never written to be published but somehow I feel it has to be in order for me to heal…

x

G.

Lucky Number 215

I generally consider myself a very lucky person. I live for free in a place that is for many the ultimate dream holiday spot. My job is essentially as heavenly as a job can get. I spend my free time either sleeping, eating, chatting to one of the precious people I can proudly call my friends or the combination of all of the above.

Life Is What You Make It

Life Is What You Make It

Sometimes I get so caught up in the bliss of my everyday life that I tend to forget to appreciate it fully. So from time to time I get to experience moments that leave me speechless and beyond grateful . Like last month in LA . Oh – yeah I forgot to mention. I flew to LA. And it was great. Amazing. Fantastic. Fabulous. So much better than I have ever imagined it. So good that as my wake up call was approaching all I wished for was the chance to stay longer and enjoy more of it. And that’s when my good omen kicked in.

I woke up expecting to put on my uniform, shut my suitcase close and take off direction Dubai. But instead the hopeful red light was flashing on the room phone and when I pressed it I heard the most amazing voice mail of my life :

“Your wake up call has been postponed for at least another local night .”

Thanks to the foggy weather in Dubai that delayed some of my flying friends by hours and hours and stranded the others in more of less desirable places across the globe I got to spend three happiest days in L.A. All expenses paid. With a cherry on top :).

First time seeing the Pacific

First time seeing the Pacific

Most of the crew flying with me have -just like myself- never been to California before. So the first day most of us agreed to book a tour and see all the local attractions people are always after. The Hollywood sign. The Avenue of Stars. Beverly Hills. Rodeo Drive. Santa Monica. The New Port Beach. The enjoyed all of it. I was living my Californian dream to the fullest with the sun shining bright and high and everybody flashing their broad american smiles. I was in awe of New York when I first got there. But I BELONGED to L.A the moment I laid my eyes upon it. It felt like finding a long-lost home honestly.

Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive

Stars

Stars

one day...

one day…

902 10

902 10

Chuck and I

Chuck and I

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HappyHolly In Hollywood

HappyHolly In Hollywood

Especially when I took out the roller blades that I brought with me all the way from Dubai and headed for the beach. Some of my new friends came with me, rented bikes and we cruised up and down for miles and miles passing all the other bikers, runners, walkers and holiday makers. Then we purchased cold beverages and hot dogs, sat on the beach and just chilled watching these weird tiny little birds running into and away from the tide. They kept us entertained for hours! IMG_7732 IMG_7828 IMG_7804

My absolutely favourite place in L.A. must have been this outdoor farmer’s market called The Groove. It was crammed with people craving all the yummy food you could get there – everything from a fresh fish chowder to an organic chocolate covered beans. Whoever says that the Americans have no culture where food is involved has evidently never been to The Groove. It was most definitely one of the top ten taste bud enticing spot I have ever been to. I wished I was a cow and had three stomachs just so I could fit in more food… Not the first time that has happened to me either… 🙂 IMG_7649 IMG_7680IMG_7645 IMG_7682

I also went shopping because that’s an absolute must when in the States. Have you ever seen the prices of clothes and sportswear out there? My jaw literally dropped when the cashier announced the final price.

“Are you from Europe?” he asked

“Yup” I said

“Thought so. We usually get this reaction from you Europeans.” he replied wisely.

My bank card got a good work out that day but I came back to the hotel with a brand new skiing outfit that I’m absolutely IN LOVE with (and got to use immediately after the L.A. trip and you can read about it here) , entire running outfit and much much more. So much more I had to ask one of my colleagues to lend me some space in her suitcase since I just couldn’t fit it all in. Yes. I have a problem. I know.

I HAD to buy it

I HAD to buy it

That unexpected turn of events ate into my annual leave but to be completely honest I couldn’t care less. That one extra day in Cali already felt like a wonderful holiday !

x

G.