Lost But Not Forgotten Vol II. -German F-Laying

So it’s official. I must be on the top of my Airline’s list of German speakers. At least one would think so by looking at my summer flying diary. Frankfurt. Zurich. Dusseldorf. Hamburg. And Frankfurt again… I know all of my German announcements backwards by now. As reserved and unimpressed as I was by frequent visits to Pretzel& Beerland to start with I have learned to really like them. I have started seeing them as my monthly grocery shopping trips. Honestly – living in the middle of a desert really teaches you to appreciate the beauty and taste of fresh produce and quality meat. Not to mention anything organic.

I don’t believe I have mentioned my first visit to Frankfurt yet – probably because there wasn’t much to talk about. The highlight of my layover there was (beside a 20-odd-hour sleep) making a friend behind the lobby bar in our crew hotel. I impressed him with my language skills and he impressed me with his knowledge of a good beer. And also with his cutting of my final bills to a ridiculous 10 %. We bid our farewells after an evening well spent chatting about life and love and I promised to look him up next time I was visiting. Little did I know that would happen in less than a month.

My second time around in FRA was much more exciting. Flight-wise, crew-wise, layover-wise. I was assigned a much better-timed flight which brought me to Germany fresh and ready to have some FUN. Yes- with a capital F and U and N. I happened to have flown with a few of the people in my crew before and knew them to NOT be the ones to skip on a party and even the rest has turned out to be just the right kind of people you wanna have around when you feel like a couple of bruskies. To my surprise my friend behind the lobby bar was working that night too! What a great reunion ! I decided on the spot to leave my sensible self locked in the heavy duty suitcase and let my party self loose. To cut a long story short – I ended up closing the bar that night. And boy what a night that was ! It wouldn’t be far from the truth saying that the only people flying to Dubai without a hangover the next day were the passengers.

Couple of weeks later I found myself Germany-bound once again. This time to Hamburg. I was just in the middle of my no-drinking no-junk-food-eating working-out-a-lot phase and Hamburg has turned out to be just the place! The hotel was situated right next to a beautiful lake surrounded by a park that just invites you for a run. And I never turn down an invitation this tempting. It was a brisk late summer morning and I and half of the Hamburg population decided to go jogging. Honestly I must have met about 200 people running my usual 5k. But I didn’t mind. The lake park (as I like to call it) was obviously designed with sport enthusiasts in mind. Or by one. Or both. It even had little workout stops where one could stretch and do work on the rock-hard (hahaha) abs:

Don't Twerk- Work out !

Don’t Twerk- Work out !
IMG_3680

Hamburg in general strikes me as a very health-concious place. They have massive stores with organic products, organic cafes on every corner and plenty of fair trade shops. I have enjoyed my time there so much that upon leaving I couldn’t remember for the hell of it – WHY exactly did I NOT want to come ? I’m definitely gonna try and go back – this time to have a proper browse in all the cool little boutiques I have only managed to see from the outside so far…

HIIT-ting the Gym

Hey everybody!

I know what are you all thinking – that I have been too busy writing posts about going out and having fun in Dubai to actually get on with my 6-pack challenge! Well – do not let yourself being fooled!

I haven’t had the time to work out as much as I would like to but I have not become a couch potato either… just yet 🙂

The great (arguably) thing about my job is that a big part of it consists of looking your best. Meaning you can’t really let yourself go and indulge too much without people noticing and letting you get away with it. It may sound patronising to some but to be honest I’m quite enjoying the fact that I have to keep fit and on the top of what’s going with my body. In any other job you could slowly start getting bigger and bigger and your co-workers wouldn’t do as much as raise their eyebrows when you reach for the third doughnut during your lunch break. Here you get a nice little chat with a nutritionist who tries to help you get back on track. As I said – it may not be everybody’s cup of tea but I get a kick out of the challenge 🙂 !

Anyway – to get back to what I was originally trying to share with you 🙂 My employer gives me plenty of discounts, freebies and 2 for 1s choices in the local gyms. Last week I have finally managed to take advantage of some of them!

First Dolly and I tried out the HIIT Ultimate Circuit in the Hercules Fitness Centre. I’m safe to say I have never sweated as much in my life. It felt like gulping Tabasco in a sauna. For a full one hour. If you like to push yourself beyond your limits and enjoy a fast paced work out you shouldn’t miss out on this one. It’s quite hard to describe since I have never really attended anything like it before but if you trust my judgement then definitely go and try it out yourself! Just make sure you have nothing important or physically demanding to do in the next  couple of days because you WILL hurt all over. No matter if you give it your all (which I would recommend) or just 50% the circuit is designed to work out your whole body, find your weak spot (arms in my case) and kill it.

Next we have gone to a Body Pump class followed by an amazing Ab work out with Gladys . There is no way you will not love her and the class from the first minute! There is nothing quite as motivating as a gorgeous and energetic instructor with a wash board stomach !!

I have also tried to go jogging but I have to say Dubai is not the most jogger-friendly city in the world. Never mind the heat unless you are prepared to run all the way to the beach and back for a decent track you have to circle around the 5-star hotels, offices and apartments, dodge the traffic that never really goes away and avoid all the beeping taxis passing you (seriously guys – we are JOGGING we do not require a taxi!).

I will be back with more updates and try outs soon!

arnold_schwarzenegger_bodybuilding

x

G.

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.

4 days to go (this post is on offer 2 for 1)

Sunday 30th December 2012

What do you call a morning that’s better than the best one? Is it “bettestest”? Yeah – that sound about right! So this morning was the bettestest of this week. Without doubt! I woke up to some amazing news – I was placed by the Airline to the exact building I wished for : The 21st Century building (I really ought to use the law of attraction on everything from now on!).

I was over the moon running up and down the stairs trying find somebody to share the big news with. But everybody was asleep! When I finally stumbled upon Huggie’s 11-year -old sister having her breakfast and told her she didn’t look too impressed. Probably because it went down a bit like this:

Me (red faced and sweaty from running):”OMGIjustgotmyaccommodationandimgointolive-         rightontheSheikZayedroadrightinthecitycentreinthisamazingbuilding!!!”

Little sister (chewing her pancake totally unstirred) : “Sheik what?”

I gathered I wasn’t being very coherent and Googled some pictures instead. That seemed to have done more than any words could have.

Little sister (putting the half eaten pancake aside): “Is that where you are going to live in Dubai?”

Me (nodding vigorously): … !!

Little sister (looking quite impressed): “That’s pretty cool!… Is this the best job you’ve ever had?”

I didn’t have to think very hard to answer that. Any job that puts me up in here must be the best job I ever had :

21st_century_tower_a191108_3

I’m sharing this beauty with Tam and Claire from the January Joiners group on FB and countless other lucky people x

Today also marks another week of the six-pack challenge. More on that here.

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.

6-pack (team) is growing !!!

Do you remember how in the first ever post about the 6-pack challenge I have mentioned that my dad is probably the most competitive person in the universe? Well – I have been proven right.

Having seen my weekly updates he felt challenged enough to join in. Yes- as of this week my father is officially taking part in the 6-week-6-pack-challenge. I even have the pictures to show for it.(Now- it looks to me like they could have very well been taken on the same day but he has sworn 24 hours have passed between those two shots. And who am I to doubt his word?)

So here we go- please welcome the 3rd member of the 6-pack team:

Meet my dad ...

Meet my dad …

... and his six pack

… and his six pack

If there is anybody else out there who feels like joining- oh please do so! You know how the saying goes: the more the merrier! Just let me know by commenting! Let’s make this 6-pack dare A THING!

Lots of love and wishing y’all very Merry Xmas

G.

MMXII

Dear 2012,

Now that we are about to enter the time of your sweet and well-deserved retirement I would like to express my gratitude and thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have surely been one hell of a year. Full of ups and downs you will be the one I will most certainly never forget about.

I have to say I wasn’t too impressed to welcome you as a newborn baby in January. Following the amazing 2011 –the year of Gabri’s travels- I thought you were bound to be a bit of a disappointment. And as you slowly unfolded you seemed to only want to confirm that assumption as you saw me working my a** off and getting really sick (of it). Still we both know that no January can be too bad since it’s my birthday month. Spending two weeks in my lovely snowy country with Huggie and circled by friends& family- skiing, eating, chilling and celebrating our numerous birthdays and name days was simply perfect! Oh – and let’s not forget about my poor snowboarding attempts which shall never be repeated.

Snowtubbing

Snowtubbing

The February blues hit us pretty hard didn’t they? Not even that little break in the Lakes did much help. On the contrary –it made the whole month of working late weekends so much harder!

March, however, was the month of remedy. More skiing, more family time and the beautiful Austrian Alps. Life was good once again.

April was devoted to preparations for an epic Hen do party, then partying and then attending a wonderful wedding.

In May Geoffrey came into our lives. Good old Geoffrey. Geoffrey- the only serious competition I have in the contest for number one place in Huggie’s heart. It’s shameful to admit it but I think I may have lost in May. Even more so considering Geoffrey is a car. “He” even went on holiday with us. Rambling road trip to Cornwall, where I decided that camping on the beach might be a great idea -everywhere else but in cold Blighty.

Geoffrey The Golf

Geoffrey The Golf

Now –let’s be honest. June/ July period was your all time low. Or shall I say mine? Let’s just leave those two months where they belong- in the past, buried under great memories of my mum’s visit in August. My mum! No words will ever be enough to describe her. Let the picture talk instead:

Here comes the trouble

Here comes the trouble

August was also the official start to my Cabin Crew dream. September/ October – that’s just a blur in my memory filled with all things flying. November– auch- was the month of injections. And gymming. And shopping. November was gooooooooodl!!

And here we are now – me ready to jump head first into 2013 and you nearing the end or your service. You did me good 2012, you taught me that if life gives you lemons you make a lemonade and drink it chilled with friends. Shaken, not stirred.

I just hope you are not going to come to a premature end this Friday. Let’s suck it up till the very end. Till the 31st !

 

x

 

G.

Challenge Cancelled

Since I have spent most of this week sweating in bed instead of in the gym I have decided to cancel this week’s update on the 6-week-6-pack-challenge. I have however taken it upon me to work twice as hard next week and hopefully it will show!!

I don’t want you to feel cheated on the pictures tho so here is a bunch of random nice photos I found of things I particularly love. Enjoy!

x

 

G.

 

 

Mind over matter

Do you know that feeling when you are sooooooooo sick of being sick? When reading books in bed all day, watching all your favourite TV shows on catch-up and even shopping online stopped being fun days ago? And now all you desperately want to do is just being able to go to work and talk to somebody else than your crazy (and by crazy I mean eccentic kind of crazy) landlady? Well – that was me yesterday.

Today I am like : “C’mon body, what can possibly be wrong with you for so long?!”

Today I am really over this whole “sickness” thing. I think my body is just trying to avoid its responsibilities like having to move and function and go to the gym. The going to the gym is the part that’s bothering me the most because OBVIOUSLY I have got my challenge to keep up with.

And it was only today I remembered my mum telling me that as a child I was able to make myself sick overnight. I would be completely fine going to bed the night before an exam for example and wake up with a fever in the morning. Just like that I would order my body to create an excuse to stay out of school. “I wonder if that would work the other way around?” I thought. And then I tried really hard to concentrate on feeling good and healthy. Next thing I know I wake up three hours later. So much for healing myself using my mind. I did feel a bit better after that nap tho !

So I decided to dedicate this post to my body in hope it will then feel thankful and better in return ! I love you body so please don’t let me down! Let’s go to work tomorrow and feel great !

 

x

G.