Seoul Searching …

My Airline has not been sending me to the Far East very much of late. Ok – I have had more Manila flights than I could possibly ever care for (more on that later) but the Philippines are not the right kind of “asian”. By that I mean not the kind that I love. Like China or Viet Nam for example.

That’s why I was very excited when I found out I was about to go to Korea in December. Everybody was telling me that since I like China I’ll ADDORE Korea. And all of them were right. I totally did!

Seoul was a very special layover. In the same way that Shanghai has been back in March. Somehow I just know I will never forget about it. Thankfully it’s one of those longer and “social” layovers when crew feel the need to come down and mingle. Possibly also because there is nothing quite like going out in Asia. I’m telling you guys the nightlife is just INSANE! And addictive… You will try it once and will never want to give it up.

We started the night off typically Korean – gorging on some amazing BBQ. Never heard of it? No neither have I till I tried it. The BBQ restaurants are absolutely genius – conveniently placed on every corner in Seoul. All you need to do is walk in and wait to be seated. You get a “table” within minutes, sometimes you gotta wait a little before it gets prepared for its new occupants. What do I mean by “getting prepared”. See – the Korean BBQ is not a restaurant per se… You get to cook your own food yourself. There is a massive hot place placed in the middle of each “table” ( looking a little like the swiss raclette) which you get to use to your own liking. You get to pick your own meat and/or veggies to grill just as you like it. Plus you get an unlimited supply of sauces, rice and spices. As I said – genius! It’s quick, delicious and costs absolutely nothing…IMG_6768

Later that night -after a few drinks in the hotel lobby- some of us decided to head out and party. As we were leaving the hotel Korea gave me yet another reason to love it – it has started to snow! I don’t need to fill you on the details of our night out in the Gangnam District do I? Did you know Koreans love hip-hop? Did you know they were snapbacks AND suits? Did you know guys dance more than girls? All I need to say is that Asia and its club scene has not let me down once again! I had a great time and so so so much fun with my colleagues. We were quite the distraction being the only non-Koreans in the clubs and I can assure you that many pictures of us have been taken… But I guess it wouldn’t be the real Asia if that didn’t happen:). IMG_6759 IMG_6769

The next morning I beat my hangover to it and left to Seoul-search before it managed to fully start. I wanted to walk and see as much as I physically could and I did. I returned to the Gangnam district and explored it from left to right and bottom to top.It is a truly amazing place -not solely for its fantastic shops but I have to admit that the Underground Market is very impressive. I resisted to spend ALL of my money and only spent some – and that was mostly on gifts for others rather than for myself. Korea is famous for its skin product-well I fear I still wouldn’t know the difference between a hydrating and a firming face cream if my life depended on it- and gadgets. And you should already know how I feel about gadgets. IJUSTLOVETHEM! So I couldn’t leave empty-handed… However I believe my purchase was very justified since I have used it every single layover since ICN. I bought a polaroid camera. I sure still use my IPhone a lot but there is a certain charm to the instant photo you get to hold immediately and stick up on your wall as soon as you get back home…

the beauty of polaroid snaps

the beauty of polaroid snaps

the beauty of polaroid snaps

the beauty of polaroid snaps

IMG_7231 IMG_7218IMG_6958

South Korea has definitely lived up to my expectations. I would love to go back if only for that great BBQ 🙂

Love

x

G.

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The Pleasures of Perth and Novelties of New York

Hi to all of you my sweetest dearest readers!

You must be all very excited, mustn’t you? Not only have we entered the most anticipated (and stressful) month of the year but you are also about to read the most anticipated blog post you must have been all so eagerly waiting for … The one about NYC !!

Well I’d like to keep your suspense for a bit longer so let me first tell you about some layovers that I haven’t had the pleasure to write about just yet. Like Perth for example. Perth is one of the regulars on my roster. It seems to somehow find its way there every other month. I don’t mind at all. As a crew I have to admit it’s one of the easiest flights. Never full, relatively short, perfectly timed. It’s a duty from heaven. The only reason why it hasn’t become my favourite layover yet is that there isn’t awfully much to do once you are in Perth. Don’t get me wrong, the city is lovely and all … It’s just not very exciting I guess. But on the other hand sometimes it’s good to just get to the hotel, sit back and relax without the haunting thought of missing out on something that’s out there. I usually take Perth as my workout layover, bring me my running shoes and go for a jog down by the waterfront just 2 mins from the hotel and then change into my swimsuit and do a couple of lanes in the shortest pool in the history of pools (on the upside it’s the only time when I can casually say “yeah I’ve swam 100 lanes today, no biggie”).  It’s exactly what I did today. Now I’m happily typing away comfortably parked in a cafe surrounded by young professionals having their quick 30-min vegan organic lunch. Life is good. Knowing myself I will probably give in to the shopping addict inside of me and go and browse some shops down the high street later. I love clothes shopping in Oz. It is unfortunately a very expensive hobby of mine since the Aussies have obviously never heard of the concept of “a bargain”. The only sole reason why I haven’t moved Down Under is that I haven’t found my multi-millionaire husband to pay for all my clothes. That’s a joke of course…. About the “only sole reason”:)

working out in PER is fun

working out in PER is fun

Seasonal Greetings from 30 degree heat

Seasonal Greetings from 30 degree heat

The one time when I haven’t followed my usual Perth schedule was when Salma was here. You remember Salma? One of my batchmates and best friends in Dubai? She is from Perth but originally… oh crap let’s not get into that here- that’s a long and old story. It was a pure luck that I got assigned PER just as she was back home for her holiday. She picked me up from the hotel and took me to what she promised “were gonna be the best waffles I have ever tried”. She wasn’t lying. I don’t remember the name of the place but if you ever find yourself on the West Coast of Oz and craving waffles then go to Northbridge and just ask. Oh – but don’t go at night because apparently that’s when Northbridge gets rowdy. I wouldn’t know – luckily I left before sh*t got real … 🙂

Ok -enough about Perth. Let’s take a trip across the globe and travel a few time zones back all the way to the NYC!

Oh my – where shall I start? There is simply so much I have to say about New York. I was completely taken aback by that place. I was feeling very sceptical when landing into JFK. I have just served the longest and by that I mean  THE LONGEST (if you get my gist) duty of my entire career. Obama himself could have been welcoming me but all I cared for was a warm cosy bed, cup of hot chocolate and at least a thousand episodes of ANY sitcom to make me feel human again.  Well – as it turned out I didn’t need any of that. All it took was a glance at Manhattan and I was as chipper as a newborn. Our hotel is situated right on the Times Square so going to sleep after the flight was outta question. I splashed my face with ice-cold water put a woolly jumper on, my headphones in and stepped out in NYC for the first time ever.

Breath taking

Breath taking

How was it? It was big – massive actually. It was chaotic. It was breath taking. Stunning. Exactly like in all the film and videos. I ate a chilli dog in Times Square and bought my obligatory snapback (yes I know what I said about the shopping earlier but c’mon we are talking snapbacks and New York here!). Then I strolled down the 5th Avenue, stopped at the Rockefeller Sq. and went up the Top of Rock. OMG! Probably the best decision I made that day! As if it has been ordered the sun has decided to make an appearance (or maybe I was just high enough above the smog cloud) and I got the most amazing view of the City. I stayed for about an hour, rooming around the deck and snapping pics and then really REALLY wanted to make it to the Central park that looked so nice and green from above. But -alas- that’s when my body finally gave up and recognised the fact that I have been up for more than 24 hours and most of it running around a massive cabin serving cranberry juice and ice to 400 passengers. I literally couldn’t walk any longer and had to return to the hotel for a power nap. One that lasted 7 hours. I woke up refreshed and ready for more sight-seeing. At 3a.m. It was 4 hours before my wake-up call and I wasn’t gonna spend all that precious time in my hotel room in one of the most amazing cities I have ever been to. They say New York never sleeps and I was about to see for myself. Well – it’s bullshit. It does. I cut a very lonely figure retracting my steps from earlier that day. I really wanted to do that one thing that every girls secretly wants to do- have breakfast at Tiffany’s. Hmmm… I found Tiffany’s. But couldn’t find anywhere to get breakfast. Not even the omnipresent Starbucks was open. I assure you that on this one particular lovely freezing morning at 4.30a.m in NYC the only one who wasn’t sleeping was myself. I returned to the hotel with the first rays of the rising sun just in time to watch the city slowly wake up. It was magical. Even more so when a lovely cosy cafe opened in front of my eyes and I gulped down a very much needed hot soya cappuccino and gorging on a blueberry muffin the size of my fist (yes I may have relaxed my diet a little in the States:). Life couldn’t get much better at the very moment.

I only have one word for this - YUM

I only have one word for this – YUM

<3

The Empire State of Mind

The Empire State of Mind

The 5th Avenue

The 5th Avenue

Times Square at 3 a.m.

Times Square at 3 a.m.

I’m due back in three weeks and I’m already getting excited. NYC has definitely made it to my top five layover destinations.

x

Love

G.

The Most Amazing Roster YET !

This is gonna be a short and sweet one… I just have to share with you some of the joy that has been filling my days since the new roster came out.

I was hoping and also bidding for some European flights to soak up the Crimbo atmosphere a little and maybe get a chance to catch up with my friends scattered around the continent. Still-given my previous “success” with bidding I wasn’t expecting much. But I have to say Christmas came early this year and I got the most amazing present from my Airline – the best Roster yet! 

I will be starting off the last month of this fantastic year in possibly the best place one would want to be at this time – NYC !! And that’s not all – since what goes up must come down I will be finishing December in the very same city. Yes- that’s right. NYE in NYC – I just looooooove saying it over and over !!!

There will be no turning around anywhere for Gabby in December – instead I will celebrate Xmas under the Eiffel Tower in Paris with my beautiful sister, who is flying out there just for the night to keep me company- how sweet is that?!

I would be over the moon just for these three flight – but The Airline has decided to be super generous and send me to Manchester just in time to hit John Lewis for some last-minute Xmas purchases and. Then a quick trip Down Under and to the land of Gangam Style and that’s it. Life just couldn’t better if you ask me ❤

Lots of love and hugs

x

G.

Lots of love and kisses

Lots of love and kisses

Busy busy busy….

Ok I admit to it… I have been such a crappy blogger these last couple of weeks! The thing is I’m a perfectionist and rather than posting something short and rushed I will risk losing your attention for a while and then surprise you with a long and accomplished post. And such posts require time. And time is something I haven’t had a lot of lately.

I’m currently in Prague, spending the last few days of my vacation with my sister. “Another vacation?” I hear you say? Well- rest assured this holiday has been all but relaxing. I have pretty much not stopped until this morning. It’s been mad ten days full of spinning around seeing old friends and even older family members and travelling up and down the Czech Rep like there was no stopping me. If you think that cabin crew would have enough of travelling from their everyday lives and would want to spend their free time on one spot- well then think again.

The holiday pretty much started the moment I landed back from Manila and signed off from my duty. I had about an hour before the check-in for the Manchester flight, which is where I was headed, was to open. I beat the speed of light by making it back home, repacking, taking a shower and getting to the airport just in time to pass out in front of my gate. I was looking forward to at least 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep since planes put me to sleep like nothing else does -but alas not this time! I spent the flight starting at the IFE in front of me without really seeing what was going on. As the Boeing reached the runway in Manchester I reached a new level of tiredness previously unknown to me. But since I only had less than 48 hours before I was due to leave for Prague I wasn’t gonna spend my “layover” sleeping was I now? I have enjoyed an awesome weekend in the Peak District- a place that has always been very close to my heart- hiking,shopping, lazying and enjoying plenty of tasty mulled cider  at local Christmas Markets. IMG_6247

Before I knew it – it was time to board yet another plane and head to Germany and then onwards to Czech. The next week or so was spent madly pending from one corner to another trying to ration “quality” time between all members of my massive family.

there always has to be some kind of competition in our family...

there always has to be some kind of competition in our family…

watching my brother's floorball tournament.. yes he is indeed playing a girl...

watching my brother’s floorball tournament.. yes he is indeed playing a girl…

visiting my gran always ends up like this

visiting my gran always ends up like this

I sighed in relief when I left all that “stress” behind and made my way back to Prague to focus on one person only – Holly, who was coming from Belfast to visit the Capitol of Beautiful for the first time. I have tried my best to show her as much as I possibly could in our limited time and I believe I succeeded . I have managed to feed her as much Czech food as she could take. We have drank mulled wine and ate smoked ham. We (over)indulged eating Czech sweets in my favourite caffes around Prague. We walked miles and miles sightseeing. We fed our starving cultural selves in the National Theatre having attended the ultimate pre-Xmas show- The Nutcracker.

In The Theatre

In The Theatre

 

different type of culture

different type of culture

Ok – this is not the kind of elaborate post I was talking about at the start… But I promise I have a few up my sleeve. There is so much I have been up to that you guys haven’t heard of… yet. For example my numerous trips to Perth. Or flying to my precious Ghana again. And describing my Filippino experience. It’s all underway just stay put :)!

 

Bye for now

x

Love

G.

Lovely Lazy Layinners

I think we can all agree that there must be a damn good reason for somebody to make a career choice that -when at work- involves spending 95% of one’s time having to explain to more than 400 people why their meal choice is no longer available and remain calm and composed whilst doing so.

keep-calm-we-ran-out-of-chicken-not-fuel-2

Agreed? Yes? Well I’m glad we are all on the same page. Yes there is – a whole sack of reasons actually. Starting with the remaining 5% of time spent on board chatting to colleagues in the passanger-free oasis also known as the cockpit and devouring all the left over business class food and freshly squeezed juices. And ending with landing in a far-away destination, checking in into a 5 star hotel and being handed an envelope with your spending money aka The Layovers.

As I have come to know lately there are different types of Layovers. There is The Party Layovers , The Shopping Paradise Layovers, The Lets Go to the Beach Layovers, The Must See Sightseeing Layovers, The Not Much to Do Layovers and The Depends on the Rest of the Crew Layovers. And then there is a type that I have invented – the Layinners.

It’s pretty self-explanatory so just for the slower ones. A Layinner is a type of a Layover that requires a vast amount of self discipline- under no circumstances must one leave the hotel room or the hotel complex and only the amount of energy that’s absolutely necessary for survival is allowed to be spent. Hard work I’m telling you.

I have so far only managed to turn two of my Layovers into Layinners (one has to be truly super dedicated to the cause!). First one was the infamous asian party destination Kuala Lumpur. I know … I know … I know there is so so so so much more to see and do in KL than just eating some nice street food, checking out the Petronas Towers (which btw just between the two of us after having lived or been to Dubai is not such a big deal) and heading back to the hotel. I know. And I swear to all that’s dear to me I was gonna see and do it all. But then I woke up the next day, looked outside of the window, saw a tropical storm or whatever they call it over there, looked at my comfy bed, draw my curtains back together and fell asleep for the longest time in absolute ages. When I eventually woke up again and looked outside nothing has changed (as I found out later it has, the weather has actually changed to sunny spells but then changed to rain again). With a few hours to spare till my wake up call I lazily reached for the phone, ordered my breakfast and turned on the TV. And it was as if The Gods of Layinners wanted me to stay in bed because The X-men followed by The Avengers were on. I boarded the plane back happy and relaxed with an open promise that if ever back in KL I’d make the effort to actually go past the hotel sign …IMG_1548 IMG_1551

x

G.

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.

I guess they call this a “working holiday” …

Last week I was treated to a little surprise by my best friend of late – The Roster. Couple of “on reserve” days have changed to a few very uneventful stand-by evenings and a few days off and I was left with astonishing 7 days of sun and fun (and most importantly no work or college) in Dubai. Which in normal-life-terms would be my annual summer holiday…

I decided to use that time as an opportunity to explore a bit more of Dubai and go beyond my usual borders of the Sheik Zayed Road. The initial plan was to visit a place called The Miracle Gardens. Yet again tho – that plan did not take into account the very inconsistent competency of the Dubai taxi drivers. See – the success of every trip you make around here comes down to your cabbie. I had my fair share of scary rides (the driver has decided to drive me all the way to Abu Dhabi instead of Deira because he “liked me” as he put it), peculiar rides (taking a taxi every day at the same time going the same direction doesn’t mean you will end up paying the same fare- it can vary from 50%-200% of what you have paid the previous day), funny rides (driver singing along to what I assume must have been his favourite song ever) and believe it or not even completely normal rides (get in, pay, get out). The valuable lesson I have taken from all this is to always do your re-search in Google maps first, then take a picture of the screen (it’s no use to just remember the name of the street/area and try to spell it to the driver), grab a taxi, ask whether of not the driver knows the place you want to get to then a) if he does know re-confirm that by showing him the picture or b)if he doesn’t know then get out as fast a you can and don’t wait up until he calls his dispatcher to have a 30min long conversation and yet still manages to get lost and makes you pay half of the fare anyway. Yes indeed- taking a taxi in Dubai is an adventure on its own.

So anyway as I was saying I was trying to get to the Miracle Gardens, however my taxi driver has decided that today was not the day I was meant to see them and drove me around for good 40 minutes before announcing he doesn’t know where the place was and can’t seem be able to find it (he hasn’t used that many words but I got the gist anyway). As you know my dear readers I have been embracing a new way of life lately and trying to take it as it comes with all its ups and downs. Yet at this particular moment I have completely lost my cool for the first time in ages. I have considered a range of options from trashing the interior of the car to killing the driver but then opted for calmly asking him to stop the car immediately. I got out and screamed of the top of my head. Then got back in and asked him if he knew where Dubai Marina was. He said yes and I honestly didn’t care anymore if that was true or not and told him to take me there. Which -surprisingly- he did. Here is a picture to prove it :

Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina

A little bit disappointed about not having explored anything new I have chosen to get refreshed in the most exotic looking cafe in the Marina Bay. But that day was just not my lucky day I guess since this restaurant was clearly the winner of this year’s “Worst Product& Customer Service” contest. Upon asking what the Iranian tea tasted like I was told “it’s of course delicious m’am, it’s Iranian” which unfortunately wasn’t the kind of an answer I was after. When I tried to find out a bit more I got an eye roll and a sharp ” it tastes like tea m’am”. I probably should have left then but I decided to beat my bad luck and try to turn it around and stay. Plus I was a bit intrigued by this tea I have to say. It wasn’t delicious. It was alright. The Iranian ice cream wasn’t delicious either. It was edible and I’m being generous here.

The "delicious" Iranian tea

The “delicious” Iranian tea

The weird ice cream (you can choose what flavour you want by pouring a syrup over it)

The weird ice cream (you can choose what flavour you want by pouring a syrup over it)

I gave up on that day, went back home and watched countless episodes of  The Family Guy whilst eating dates stuffed with almonds. So I guess it turned out to be a great day after all!

I spent the next couple of days chilling out by the pool reading books and magazines on my amazing Christmas Kindle, working out in a new gym I found (more on that one later),eating fantastic food, hanging out with friends checking out all the Ladies Night’s offers around SZR, shopping and watching all four seasons of Misfits all over again. It was just the perfect “holiday” at work.

Of course one experience I shouldn’t forget to mention was Wild Wadi Water Park. That was Fun. With a capitol “F”. I come from a family that takes water parks and swimming in general very seriously so I couldn’t have missed out and not go when the opportunity arose. It was definitely an unforgettable day full of water, slides, stripes and fruit smoothies. Quite pricey tho so I don’t think I will be doing it anytime soon again (there is however another water park by the Palm Atlantis which I HAVE to go to so I will keep you posted).

So that was it. My “holiday” that wasn’t really a holiday but it sure felt like it! I have since been to China and am going back there again this weekend but that trip deserves a post on its own so just gimme a little time to put it together 🙂

Lots of love

x

G.

Vodka Genies and other weekend shenanigans

So apparently there is such a thing as free drinks all night at a table in the middle of one many bling bling clubs in Dubai. Provided you are a girl accompanied by a group of other girls of course.

And not only that. With each table (to which you are being ushered by a teeny girl in a black body-con dress and an iPad- still no idea what she needed it for?!) comes a free Genie. A  free Vodka Genie to be precise. Are you confused? Well so was I last Friday night. Having spent yet another fabulous Thursday at the Irish Village celebrating successfully passing Medical Training with the batch (anything goes as an excuse for a drink where my batchmates are involved) we have decided to try something more classy the following day. I’m not usually such a party animal however you know what they say :” When in Rome…”

As blurry as a night in the Irish Village gets ...

As blurry as a night in the Irish Village gets …

The beauty of being new in town is that there is a whole lot of bars and clubs to be discovered and regardless of other people’s recommendation you wanna go through them all. Me ,being the OCD geek I am, took this massive task on in an alphabetical order. Last week Boudoir had the pleasure of my presence and this weekend’s pick was Crystal.

I have to admit – the first impression Crystal made on me will be very hard to top by any bar I should ever visit in the future. It happens very rarely (and by rarely I mean never) that as soon as I enter a club its manager personally sees to me and my friends getting a table and ensuring nobody pays for anything for the rest of the night. And before you raise your eyebrows in a very doubting fashion I can assure you that no “favours in return” were asked for or requested. Evidently a giggling group of  15 odd girls in pretty dresses strategically placed where everyone can see them is all that makes up for one pleased bar manager. And we were more than happy to oblige.

Doooooolly and I

Doooooolly and I

But let me get back to the Vodka Genies. So as I said we got our table with our own “mini bar” as one could call it. It looked pretty much like a huge gravy boat full of ice, juices, red bulls and the biggest bottle of vodka I have seen. Ever. It was pretty heavy to lift so we were quite pleased that a bartender has appeared to help us pour our first drinks. Then he discreetly disappeared and our night has begun. After some time the glasses have been emptied and needed a refill. One of us reached for the bottle and as soon as it was touched the bartender was there as if he materialised out of thin air. I swear to goodness he was nowhere to be seen just a second ago. As soon as everybody’s drink has been tended he left again – without anyone noticing. This process has been repeated a couple times. By then we have each had a few of re-fills done by this mysterious guy and his dis/appearing has become the main topic by our slightly drunken conversation. It has also been noted that other tables are being tended to in a similar fashion. We decided to call those poor lads Vodka Genies and stopped reaching out for the bottle. Instead we started rubbing it. Just like Aladdin did to his magic lamp. It has provided us with that kind of a teenage fun that only a group of “socially tired” girls can understand. I’m convinced “our” Vodka Genie will never recover from that night. I wouldn’t be surprised if he resigned from his position for good!

That's him!! That's the Vodka Genie and I managed to capture him when he wasn't looking!

That’s him!! That’s the Vodka Genie and I managed to capture him when he wasn’t looking!

Anyway-after a very memorable and enjoyable night I have taken a full advantage of not having to study for any upcoming tests or practicals and did absolutely nothing for the rest of the weekend. Well that’s if shopping and sunbathing counts as nothing. Living in a walking distance of the biggest shopping mall in the world is doing my wallet no favours I have to say…

x

G.

P.S. Look at this lovely linner (linner is a bit like a brunch, only this one is between lunch and dinner- this new thing I’m trying out at the moment) they serve in my favourite cafe- doesn’t it look just soooo delicious?

Feeling a bit bad about my unhealthy lifestyle of late I gave in to some green cravings

Feeling a bit bad about my unhealthy lifestyle of late I gave in to some green cravings

Step by Step

Today marks my third week in Dubai. It also marks the longest week of my life. I have noticed that as I grow older time seemed to have taken on a different speed – a year used to feel so long when I was a little girl and now it quite literally flies by. However this past week I was back to being 5 years old and every day seemed to have had 50 odd hours. Or at least I wished for it to be so as I could have really done with some extra time to study, finish my homework or even god forbid- sleep! It was indeed a very challenging week full of exams, practicals and assessments and very little of anything else. When I woke up last Sunday (which really means a Monday in here) I found myself overwhelmed, anxious and stressed just thinking about all that was ahead of me. I don’t really enjoy being either of those three- who does,right? – so I had to come up with a way to stop it.

I took a deep breath and decided to take it step by step and day by day. I turned into a little mayfly. I only lived for one day and its cause. On Sunday I lived for Fire on Board. On Monday for Ditching (landing on water) and Crash Landing. Tuesday for General Safety. Wednesday for Emergency Equipment. Thursday I lived to Survive- quite literally. And here I am- on Friday living for bikini shopping. And some studying too since I have a massive Boeing exam coming up on Sunday but again- no need to worry about that today!

unanticipated emergencies

unanticipated emergencies

Today I’m gonna enjoy the luxury of being able to post from the comfort of my own bed (oh yeah I forgot to mention how amazing I am for getting our apartment broadband, right?!) then get up and make my lazy way to the Dubai Mall to which I finally found a pathway to- so no need to go thru all the drama of trying to get on the first Friday metro service (seriously that deserves a post on its own so watch this space for more on that). Once I get there I’m gonna treat myself to a pair or two of…

10 hours later:

Right so when I got to the word “of” my door bell rang and Dolly (my batchmate Holly, who is such a doll hence the nickname) was there to pick me up for our shopping trip. We set off armed with ice coffees and enjoyed a sunny and dusty walk to the Mall. The original plan was to go and get some cheap bikinis from H&M… however does your shopping ever go according to plan? Anyway to cut a long story short we ended up in Ted Baker each with two pairs of swimwear and massive grins on our faces!! We pretty much sprinted back home to enjoyed as much sun as we could at our rooftop pool!

 

 

 

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Managed to get a couple of hours of pure chillax by the pool and then returned into my air-conditioned cave full of post-its and manuals. After a coupled of pages I remembered this abandoned post and here I am now ! Step by step, day by day I’m getting closer to finishing SEP (Safety and Emergency Procedures)and starting to fly !

Our little study group consisting of Ryan, Dolly and I wanted to get our teas delivered but we couldn’t decide whether it should be Thai, Lebanese, Indian or Italian so in the end we ventured outside and let our senses lead the way. They led us to Zaroob  which I absolutely LOVED ! I loved everything about it – the interior, the personnel, the FOOD, the drinks and mostly the chilled out atmosphere !

This post has taken me a whole day to finish – therefore I am not going to attempt anything longer 🙂

Love

x

G.

 

What Gabri Did (Next)

I don’t like to mix work and pleasure (although I kinda already do considering my job) so this post is purely on my rambles in Dubai. Again – due to being otherwise engaged so far I haven’t had the opportunity to see as much of Dubai as I’d have liked. But I did manage to see a wee bit. Here are some pictures , they are pretty much self-explanatory so just in bullet points:

  • The Mosque 

Beautiful, we got to learn a bit about the Islam religion, which was very interesting – it explained a lot and helped me understand some of the basic competencies I’m expected to have as a cabin crew of a middle eastern airline.

The Mosque

The Mosque

  • The Beach

Was breathtaking. As someone who grew up in a land lock county I will never get rid off that feeling of a complete amazement everytime I see the clear ocean/sea waters and wonderful long beaches. This one had a long dual lane running track with a special soft surface to protect your knees from getting damaged- ingenious ! Can’t wait to go back after the training try it outing get back in shape !

That's me on the left

That’s me on the left

  • The Dubai Mall 

Very dangerous for a gadget shopping addict with no idea of how much a “dirham” is in pounds.

Here is my shopping list : IPhone 4s, IPhone 5, IPad, mini IPad, those amazing Beats speakers, that thing to remotely controls my IPhone that looks like a necklace, Porsche Blackberry, new MacBook Pro, waterproof camera, LCD TV, Wii, humidifier, that things I saw in the first shop and had no idea what it was and was too shy to ask but it looked really cool nonetheless…

Here is what I got: new IPhone 4s (yeah well girl’s got to do what she’s got to do!)

Here is what I should have gotten:

Po(r)sch(e) Blackberry

Po(r)sch(e) Blackberry

  • Secret location cafe

I won’t tell you where it is or what it’s called unless you tell me your great secret location hang out in exchange but this one is just literally unreal! Friendly personnel (which never ceases to surprise me here in Dubai- everybody is so super friendly and smiley- must be the weather!), cosy interior, tasty shishas, AH-mazing coffee!

  • Wafi’s free open air cinema

We went to see a really stupid flick chick which I wouldn’t have normally suffered but this place was so super cool, chilled and comfy I found it hard to leave. You don’ have to pay any entrance fee but you are expected to purchase a drink or food (which will be delivered to your beanbag- yes I said bean bag) plus the surroundings are ah-so picturesque !

On a beanbag

On a beanbag

  • Long’s Bar

Last night was the time to let the books closed for a bit and have a lot of fun with the batch. Which is exactly what we did 🙂 I’m not on drugs btw thats just the red-eye fix:)

  • Friday brunch at the Millennium Hotel

Ooohhh… what an experience. Let the pictures do the talking :