All Things White

When coming back from a flight the other day I overheard a conversation between some of my colleagues. It went a bit like this :

” Man – my back is killing me, I could really do with a massage!”

“When is your next Bangkok flight then?”

It left me completely unfazed. See – unlike normal people, who would go for a Thai massage when suffering from a back pain, crew go to Thailand for a massage. They also go to Rio instead of the mall to buy a pair of Havies and to the States for a new Macbook rather than the nearest Apple store. Travelling for living spoils the hell out of us.

It also rinses our wallets and there is no denying it. Crew that say they don’t shop are liars. Of course they shop. That’s what our allowances are for. To buy the freshest mint from a tiny street shop in Casablanca in the morning and drink a cup of a delicious moroccan tea in Dubai in the evening. To make one’s stomach hurt by buying dozens of the best German sausages and eating them on the spot. To get you nails and hair done in Malasia. And then of course the Duty Free shopping… Ohhh don’t get me started on the Duty Free shopping…

I always had this kinda sneaky feeling that I was a shopaholic in making and having started flying has only confirmed my suspicions. Luckily for me (and my back account) most of the destinations I have been to so far have been completely new to me and I have therefore resisted the notion to shop until I dropped and instead opted for sightseeing. Goodness knows what’s going to happen to me in a couple of years. I just hope my Airline is going to keep on expanding its network and in order to stop my balance from shrinking…

Still… somehow when sorting out my wardrobe and drawers the other day I have noticed I already have a very nice little ensemble of pieces I have picked all round. I guess whilst other people collect fridge magnets and postcards I tend to collect random stuff that take my fancy. I decided to call my medley “All Things White” since that seems to be the only trait they all have in common.

And here it is :

white box full of goodies from Morocco, white espresso cups from Germany, poster from Italy, pumps from England and a couple of white tees from I-dont-even-know-but-have-afeeling-it-was-somehwere-in-Asia

white box full of goodies from Morocco, white espresso cups from Germany, poster from Italy, pumps from England and a couple of white tees from I-dont-even-know-but-have-afeeling-it-was-somehwere-in-Asia

 

and there is more ... white bikinis from BKK, dressing gaunt from MRU, a T-shirt  from my layover in AD and a mysterious white Burberry box from SIN...

and there is more … white bikinis from BKK, dressing gaunt from MRU, a T-shirt from my layover in AD and a mysterious white Burberry box from SIN…

What is it that you guys collect or tend to bring back from your travels? Amaze me!!

Love, hugs and kisses

x

G.

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Shanghai I Love You Back (to Back)

“Back to back” in EK-speak means having two separate flight duties in a spam of two days or less. My back-to-back in March meant going to Shanghai for two days, coming back to my beloved Dubai for 40-odd hours and flying back to Shanghai again. Such is the daily life of all cabin crew my dear readers.

You can research all you want before going to China however nothing will ever really prepare you for what’s in store. Number one to be ready for : none (and I mean NONE) speaks or understands English. Number two: it’s an absolutely amazing place you will never want to leave. Out of my four days I got to spent in Shanghai it rained for a total of three and a half – and you already know how strongly I feel about rain, right? (for the newbies to this blog I wanna punch rain in the face every time I see it)- and yet it did not spoil the overall experience one bit.

My first flight to PVG was my first operational and I tried my very best not to mess up. I was so worked up that my adrenalin level went thru the roof. By the time we have landed our very full flight after seven hours of two service and countless call bells I should have been dead. But I wasn’t I was ready to turn around in my hotel room and go out to explore. That’s before I saw the room. The rumour is that the crew hotel in Shanghai is one of the best our company offers. And I’m quite inclined to believe it. It’s the Chinese hospitality combined with the Arabic love for luxury that does the trick I think. Just check out the room service I got :

The Bento Box

The Bento Box

After having spent couple of hours pressing all the possible buttons and going thru all the drawers in my room I decided to join the rest of the crew and go out for a couple of drinks. Which turned out to be Crazy Night in PVG Number One. I loved the night life- it reminded me of my student’s years in Prague rather than the very expensive looking and sometimes rather pretentious going out style in the Middle East. In China pretty much everything goes.

The only presentable picture from Crazy NIght in PVG Number One

The only presentable picture from Crazy NIght in PVG Number One

I woke up the next day, counted all my financial losses and decided for a devil-may-care style shopping spree. O-M-G as my brothers would say. I felt like I have never really shopped before.I hugely recommend to put “Shopping in Shanghai” on your Bucket list and make bloody sure you do it before you die. Because it most definitely is an experience. It changes your life. Ok- maybe it does not quite change your life but it’s helluva fun! I turned out to be pretty damn good at haggling which is something I never knew about myself. I probably still wouldn’t have known have I not spent most of my money the night before. I was only left with a measly part of my allowance and there were simply to many awesome things to buy. So I went for it and haggled like I never did before. And it paid off.

My little trick was that when the seller just wasn’t having my price offer to start walking away. In 9 out of 10 cases they would start calling me back. If they did- I’d let them sizzle for a bit, then turn around and walk back. Then say ” ok- that was my best offer two minutes ago. Now I came back my best would be XX (an even lower number)”. They will roll up their eyes saying ” Ladiiieh – you too hard ladiiieh. No good bizzneeesss, no profiiiet”. And then accept my price. 9 out of 10 I’m telling you. Here is what I got for near to nothing:

Haggler's Paradise

Haggler’s Paradise

I spent the rest of this layover fussing over my shopping, stuffing my face with delicious room service, hanging out with my fellow crew and gymming. Perfection itself!

Crew Pyjama Tea Partea

Crew Pyjama Tea Partea

I couldn’t wait to go back to Shanghai as soon as we took off. My rest days in Dubai flew by (haha- see what I did there?:) and I was on the plane heading back to People’s Republic of No-Social-Media land before I even knew it. My plan this time around was to save all of my allowance for the shopping and enjoy even more time in the lovely gym/spa within the hotel. Well once again my plans proved to be a waste of time . I was in store for a Crazy Night in PVG Number Two- the one that would take an entire day to recover from! I made the effort to actually remember the name of the club we ended up in and it’s (*drumroll*) M2. That place was quite literally insane! Or just very Chinese. One of those two. They had their own “crew” of absolutely stunning dancers but wouldn’t let us take any pictures of them so you are just gonna have to take my word for it! The music was very eclectic and also very loud. I could still feel the drum beat in my ears back in hotel room.

Oh yeah.. .I'm back to the full fringe btw...

Oh yeah.. .I’m back to the full fringe btw…

I slept pretty much the whole of the next day and when I woke up from my coma (mind you I already had a huge sleep deficit coming from Dubai so I guess it just makes sense) I decided to finally venture outside and explore a bit more of Shanghai- it is a gorgeous city:

In answer to your question – no I did not go shopping the second time around. My entire allowance was spent once again on room service and even more room service. Well – that’s a lie. I’m actually left with quite a few yuens which I’m meaning to give Dolly (who is flying to PVG next month) with a detailed description of how to best use them …

Well that’s the story of Shanghai, my dears, hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed living it. There will be many more such stories to come as I just received an update from my bezzie- The Roster- and he is sending me (among others) to Viet Nam, Kuala Lumpur, Mauritius (try not to be too jealous:) and Male next month.

Love y’all

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.