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

IMG_7239 IMG_2782IMG_7274 IMG_2828

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. 

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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…