What to expect when you’re expecting…

Life is full of surprises. Like for example when you’re expecting to be turning around Islamabad and instead find yourself sat and waiting in the airport stand-by lounge. Or when you see one of your best friends entering the very same lounge and get excited about spending the next 4 hours catching up with her but she gets pulled out for a flight the moment she signs in… Well such is life.

Standing-by is fun. It all starts with the packing part. I got allocated one of the busiest reserve slots there is. The early morning hours at the HQ resemble peak time traffic in any major city. Flights are departing and arriving to and from all the corners of the world. Meaning I could be headed anywhere in the next 5 mins. So when packing up I had to think big. My suitcase that’s usually neatly prepared in advance and carefully thought thru looks like a psychedelic 60′ themed party. The OCD me had to look away and pretend it wasn’t there…

This Islamabad turnaround was supposed to be my first flight of the month followed by a layover in Beijing- which I was super happy about. Going back to China and especially being given the opportunity to fulfil one of my childhood dreams and see the Great Wall was more than I could have wished for in June. However with my unexpected roster change I could as well be going nowhere near the Far East in the next couple of weeks. See – if I do get pulled out of this comfortable haven for a duty longer than 12 hours I will not have enough time to “legally” rest before my Beijing flight and will be taken of it. Which doesn’t make me all that unhappy either since that would be mean I could possibly spend the entire weekend in Dubai, which has not happened for quite a while. I could go for a brunch for example. Or to a gig I really wanted to see. Or just generally chill out. I told you – standing by is fun when you look at this way!

Talking about rosters I realise I haven’t updated you on my flying schedule for the upcoming days. Well – unless there will be more changes such as the one that has happened to me tonight I should be practising my German skills quite a bit in June since I have two weeks full of German and Swiss destinations. I will also be exploring the chewing gum free streets of Singapore and visiting my beloved Sri-Lanka again.

The lady managing tonight’s crew on reserve just received a call and looked my way. Wish me luck! Exciting times !!

Talk to you later from wherever my life takes me !

Lots of love

x

G.

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Ready for take off

Every time I pictured today aka the day before take off  in my head I saw panic, tears and mayhem. So far so good as none of that has occurred. I’m completely calm and composed. My bags are packed and locked, documents copied, printed and stored, addresses changed – it’s safe to say and  I’m ready for take off.

With a little more than 24 hours before my flight I’m just going over all of my checklists making sure I have not forgotten anything essential. I have to say the Packing List from my dear virtual friend Bakess has helped a lot. I’m also glad to have joined the Facebook group of January starters. Nobody will ever understand your bragging about accommodation, flights, fears and joys better than the people going thru the same! I can’t wait to meet some of them in person in just -oh my gosh- less than 2 days !

See you in the desert peeps x

See you in the desert peeps x

 

I’m just getting ready for my last English jog- and looking outside it is once again going to be a wet one. Being my obsessive self of course I have already researched running groups and routes in the sandpit. I found this : Walking, running and cycling routes in Dubai. One of them seems to be very close to where I’m about to live so I can’t wait to try it out and tell you all about it. I was also glad to find out people do cycle in the UAE. I’m leaving my bike in Huggie’s shed but I guess I can always get or rent one if I manage to use it under the blazing sun.

I have also come across Dubai Desert Boot Camp , Military Boot camp and Fitness02 and I got super excited about it! I have tried boot camps in Prague and here in England and absolutely loved it. If I ever get the time I will definitely try out one of them too !

Since this post is going quite the random direction I’m just gonna go with it… I don’t just work out- I actually spend most of my time sitting around drinking nice coffee or browsing the web. Or doing both at the same time. Here are a few places I could surely be found at in the upcoming months : Dubai Internet Cafes. Or maybe at one these: Infinity pools Dubai ?

Anyway… the next post will be probably from Dubai as I have plenty of goodbyes in store before I go and there will hardly be any time left for blogging.

 

Lots of love

x

G.

It’s The Final Countdown (7 days to go)

So here it is. The final week. The last seven days before I fly to Dubai. I have a feeling the upcoming days are going to fly by and that’s why I decided to make a note of every each one of them. Just to make sure I remember them right. And to have something to look back to when if I ever feel sad and lonely in the lively sandpit. And to dedicated something to all of you out there, who have gone/ are going/ are going to go thru the same.

So here it is: 

Thursday 27th December 2012

I woke up unnecessarily early as I usually do whenever I’m forced to spend a night at “mine”. Among others my landlady has a strange habit of sleeping with her TV on. On full blast. Nothing a pair of ear plugs can’t fix really, however I tend to subconsciously take them out while sleeping and then get woken up at 5am by BidTV. I spent couple of hours tossing and turning trying to go back to sleep then finally giving up and making my way to the gym. Having been shut for Christmas Eve and Boxing day everyone assumed it would have been closed for today too. That’s probably why I got to enjoy an unprecedented work out in a completely vacant studio. It got refurbished very recently and I’m in love with all the new equipment. I am going to miss this little gym of mine when I go. For sure.

After an hour or so my endorphin levels were running high and I wasted no time and used up all of that “fake” energy on packing. Tomorrow is my last day in the “Kingdom of smoke and loud TV’ and I can honestly tell you- never was I happier to pack my bags and go. Since I went thru the process of moving (out of my beloved smoke-free apartment) less than two months ago there was very little left to do. I was done in two hours. I got ready to work and set off.

And that’s when I got England-ed. What’s that I hear you ask? To get England-ed is what I call that moment when I look out of the window to check the weather. It’s not quite the winter wonderland but it’s bright and fairly dry. I zip up my jacket and get going. Just when I reach the point where it makes no sense to turn back and fetch an umbrella it’s start chucking it down. I don’t even get mad anymore because honestly I should know better by now and carry a small brolly everywhere I go. But I don’t and that’s why I get England-ed so often.

Work was pretty much awesome. Since I can count the office days I have left on one hand (and I don’t even need all the fingers) I dare to admit that for the first time in nearly three years I finally get away with pretending to work rather than actually working. I don’t feel too guilty about it tho because I’m sure the same company that’s letting me slack off a wee bit now will have me working my a** off in just a couple of weeks 🙂

Today and tomorrow is also my last “deadly combo”. It’s what we call a combination of a late shift followed by an early one. Meaning I finished at work at 8.30 pm tonight and start again tomorrow at 7.30 am. You only have to experience one of these to hate them from the very bottom of your heart.

I’m just about to go to sleep – half expecting that when I wake up tomorrow my Candidate portal would have been updated with the last piece of the jigsaw- the accommodation details. It’s indeed a big deal. You either get put up in one of the “good” buildings in the city centre and live happily ever after or get accommodated in the middle of the desert and have to wait for half a year to get relocated. Needless to say I am hoping for the city centre one. There is a flip side to everything tho – even if I do get the apartment in the desert I have heard it’s pretty much a cabin crew campus full of like-minded people doing the same thing as you are – trying to have the time of their lives- which means a very good chance of forming some strong friendships !

Goodnite everyone, let tomorrow be an amazing start to a long and well-deserved weekend!

x

G.

This is a shoe story

Do you remember when as a school kid you had to write an essay on “3 things you would take with you to a deserted island and why”?And how hard it was? Because once you packed your favorite Teddy and favorite book you only had one thing left. What did you choose?

I used to say I would take my mum assuming she could take three things of her own and that would be an empty bottle, a pen and my dad, who would then take a piece of paper and a torch … and so on. I was a clever kid, you see, I usually found my way around limitations and rules.

However life has its ways of getting back at you. Like for example when you trick your way out of  “If you only had 3 things you could take to a deserted island ..” it turns around, rephrases the question and asks “ If you only had 50 kilos you could take with you to a desert(ed island)…” .

 I have already described how I dealt with clothes packing for The Big Move here. So what exactly am I going to put in my enormous suitcase? The same principle applies – only things that matter.

Once Misulka (my teddy) and MacBook (my favourite book) are packed away the remaining 48 kilos are going to be used for boxes full of my beloved shoes. Yes- because I own 48 kilos of shoes. And counting. And they all matter to me. And I see nothing wrong with that. Absolutely nothing. Do you?

Shoes to me are more than just footwear. My shoes are my life. And I mean that – I remember the story of every pair I have ever bought. I get emotional if a pair gets worn out beyond repair and I have to get rid of it. If I had the space I would dedicate an entire room just to my worn out shoes. Each pair would get a separate shelf with a laminated description. I’d call the room “Shoezeum”.

 I still have the pair of high heeled court shoes my dad got me for my high school graduation. I call them my Minnie Mouse shoes because that’s exactly what they look like. They are my lucky pair. They “got me” to uni, “helped” me with my first work interview and ultimately “landed” me my dream job. I don’t wear that often anymore because they are battered a great deal but whenever I feel down or nervous (like for example before my assessment day) I put them on at home and wear them for a bit. And the lucky charm still works!

Then there is the sky high golden pair I bought for my first Christmas party in England. It was shortly after I met my special someone and I was over the moon that I finally have somebody taller than me by my side. Even if I wear the highest heels ever made. They have blistered me awfully plus I had a couple of terrible falls trying to walk in them but I still love them. Almost as much as I love him. 

Or the faux-leather sandals from Primark that went to Asia with me. After two weeks in Thailand and one especially dirty trip to the “jungle” they HAD to be thrown away otherwise I was threatened with a break-up. The dirt and smell just wouldn’t go away. I was so gutted that when we got back I went straight to Primark to see if they still had a pair. They did and it was reduced! It was meant to be – me and the sandals were reunited! The new pair is still laying unused in my suitcase waiting to be worn in Dubai. I bet it can’t wait!

There is also the pair of green Zara kitten heels that I bought for my last 20 euros in Rome after I spent the whole summer working in Italy. I went without food for two days but it was totally worth it – both the shoes and the summer.

My red stilettos, black stilettos, black stilettos with golden heels (no girl can ever have enough stilettos), pink, blue, floral, boots, flats, expensive, cheap , old and new … each one of them have their own tale and all together they tell the story of my life. That’s why I can’t let go of them. Because it would be like tearing pages out of a diary and being left with an empty space. And barefoot.

So when I get asked “If you only had 50 kilos… “ my reply will be “2 kilos of necessity and 48 kilos of history and memories” 

 

not even half way there ...

not even half way there …

 

x

 

G.