The September Issue II.

…After the obligatory quick suitcase repacking in Dubai I was off again – this time with my red hat and the red lipstick on. It was Sydney o’clock. Crazy crazy Sydney o’clock. I hope to never ever have a layover like this again. Let’s just leave it at that. When I landed back home three days later I promised myself and the rest of the crew that what happens in Sydney stays in Sydney. So I may have to try and never return to Sydney again. I stayed in Dubai for only as long as it took to attend a few spinning classes that I fell in love with recently and immediately after boarded a flight to Sri Lanka. Jana – my lovely friend I told you about who graduated a few months ago – was one of my fellow crew and since her parents were visiting her in Dubai she decided to bring them on the flight with us. I have known her parents for nearly as long as I know her so they are pretty much an extension of my own family. And so my Colombo layover became a bit of a mini family vacation. We did EVERYTHING there is to do in 24 hours in Sri Lanka- visited a tea factory where we sampled some of the best tea I have ever drank, went to an elephant orphanage where we watched, fed and rode a few of the them, took a tour around a botanical garden and spent a fortune on magical love potions and anti-ageing creams.IMG_3453 IMG_3355 IMG_3454 IMG_3451

As soon as I landed back from Sri Lanka I shook off my uniform and headed back to the airport – this time I was Prague bound. I had a few important appointments to attend.. The first one the the very same evening in a tattoo parlour :p) The next one the evening after… with Pharrel Williams- which was one of the best live concerts I have seen up to date. I met with cherished friends, ate my favourite food, drank my favourite beer. And before I knew it – it was once again time to pack my bag and leave the indian summer in Prague behind and go to Seattle.IMG_3492 IMG_3643 IMG_3634 IMG_3629 IMG_3584

A brand new destination to tick off my bucket list. I have been particularly excited about this since I’m a die-hard Frasier fan. And Seattle has not let me down. The city is quite frankly stunning. Surrounded by mountains and lakes, bathing in lovely late summer sunshine, full of greenery and friendly smiling people. I was in love instantly. I already know that whenever I fly so far out West the jet lag hits me hard and right in the face. So I learned to plan my layovers accordingly. I can only commit to anything that happens between 3am and 2 pm. Whatever is on offer for later than that – I’m quite literally out (in limbo). Thankfully jet lag is not something I have an exclusive claim on – we all know it, we all suffer the same way. And so it’s not very hard to convince my colleagues to start off our days out in the West bright an early. But not before I managed to stuff my face with as much bacon as I physically can. Simply because bacon makes me happy. As soon as I started to feel slightly guilty and mostly sick from all the crunchy goodness in my tummy me and my crew set off to explore the fantastic place that Seattle proved itself to be. We have managed it all – the bespoke Space Needle, the Public Market, the Chewing gum Wall even the First Stone – the first ever Starbucks shop. IMG_3674 IMG_3725 IMG_3765 IMG_3766 IMG_3769

And that still isn’t all. It is still not the end of my mad September travels. There was yet another trip I was feeling quite particular about. Moscow. I have heard my fair share of horror stories about the flight and I have heard my fair share of all kinds of stories about the destination. I felt torn flying to Russia – I was curious and excited yet didn’t want to admit it to myself either of those two. So ( decided to opt for a very casual and carefree approach. And it somehow seemed to work. I have to say – even tho the flight was packed both way- Moscow has been one of the most pleasant flying experiences of my work life. I was also assigned the duty free position and made an absolute bomb in commission! The Russians just love their duty free watches and perfumes!

Moscow was harshly beautiful. It was sunny and crispy cold and full of fur clad stunning Russians. It was vibrant and buzzing with life everywhere.  It smelled of pirogy and autumn. It was painfully close to my heart in many ways. I tried to resist its charm but I simply couldn’t. Moscow had me falling…IMG_3938 IMG_3943 IMG_3940 IMG_3939 IMG_3929

 

And that was it. That was the epic journey of September that has taken me over two months to describe. I’m really sorry my lovely readers. By now you must have given up on me… I don’t quite know how to apologise anymore. This autumn had been one of the busiest times of my life. I have had a lot to deal with on my plate and even tho I WANTED to blog badly I need quite got around to doing it. Maybe I have commitment issues. Because whenever I committed to writing sleep would have sounded like a much better option…

So long y’all

Love

x

G.

 

 

 

 

 

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The September Issue I.

Hello y’all!

… and somehow without me knowing November happened to me. I have not managed to log into “Journey” since my last post on the 4th October. Shocking! I have had my busiest roster yet and the little sleep and a lot of excitement over everything has taken its tool on me and I have spent the last few days in bed feeling ill and oh-so-sorry for myself.

But here it finally comes – the long promised post about September 2014 :

 

It’s that time of the year again. All restaurants, clubs and cafes in Dubai have opened their outside areas to the public. It has slowly become bareable to walk, run and generally live out in the open again after a long and sizzling summer. We have our lives back. At last.

And so the reasonable thing to do would be to stay and enjoy this freedom and the beauty of the great middle eastern outdoors, right? But since when am I ever reasonable? I have been born with an infection I refer to as the travel bug. It can be dormant for months, years even but once it gets out of control it takes over my life and overrules everything. I could feel its power rising within me all summer. My job – of course- helps a lot to keep this little devil in check but there just hasn’t been enough excitement to keep him happy. Day by day I grew more and more restless and by the time September rolled in I had my suitcase packed and was ready to go with no real plan, just a faint idea of being anywhere else but in Dubai. And somehow I succeeded to entertain this tiny monster- I can safely say that the amount of times I slept in my own bed in the last four weeks could be counted on one hand solely.

I started the month off stylishly in Bangkok with my gorgeous wifey Holly. It was one of those multi sector flights and she missed so much she couldn’t take it any longer, jumped on the first available flight and stayed with me for the rest of the trip. I was ecstatic of course. Thai massages, facials and exotic fruit shopping just never are the same without her. I couldn’t imagine having to part from her and so in return of her favour I decided to come as a passenger on her upcoming flight to Dublin. It wasn’t much of a sacrifice since I have never been to Ireland and had always wanted to go. I literally landed from Bangkok, took off my uniform, repacked my suitcase and checked in for Dublin. My travel bug couldn’t be happier. Seven long hours and three tear jerker films later I landed in sunny Ireland. Yes – it was sunny and as I was assured by Holly it wasn’t expected or normal. But it was fabulous. The best way to be introduced to a new city and a new culture is by someone who is familiar with it. And so I let Holly to play her part of the perfect tour guide which she did with flying colours. Only a few hours into my stay I was already buzzing on my second Irish coffee happily chatting nonsense and counting fellow redheads (of which I have seen many) in the famous Bewley’s Cafe. I have heard of a Leprechaun museum (because out of everything Ireland has to offer leprechauns seemed the most interesting after so many irish coffees) and made my only request to see it and so we set of. Somehow tho we got lost in the tempting streets of the Temple Bar area and never made it across the river. It was only in the very early morning hours- and after many drinks I just HAD to drink in order to blend with the Irish culture when we found ourselves wandering aimlessly and enjoying the nightlife – that I remembered. We gave it a second shot in the morning of yet another bright looking day. But by the time we found a place to restore our strength and consume delicious bacon for breakfast, got lost, got found and finally stood outside the museum it was already too late for the entire tour. Visiting the Leprechaun museum just wasn’t meant to happen this time around. I took it as a sign of having to come back again which I would have done anyway. I loved every second of my 24 hours in Ireland. I’m now a strong believer that only every whisky but also every coffee and every man should be Irish. Just because.

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My May Loving

May 2014 was or still is my Top bid. Which in crew speak means that I get the chance to ask the Roster Gods to give me exactly what I want from them. And if they are in a particularly good mood I may also get it. And in May 2014 the Roster Gods were very happy with me. So happy I’d call May not only my Top Bid but also my Top Month so far.

I have started off the May loving in the most fantastic fashion – in Shanghai out of all places! You guys all know how special Shanghai has always been to me. It was after all my first ever flight as an air hostess. Coming back after more than a year full of travelling, full of irreplaceable memories, full of experiences I still felt as starstruck as I did when I first laid my eyes upon that vast city. I thought that enough shopping has been done the first time around and so this I have opted for some sightseeing. Couple of other girls and I decided to take a river tour and since we were in China where none has never needed or will ever need to speak English there was no English tour to choose. s=So we wet for the Chinese one. Ehm… The view was very nice. I’m not quite sure what I got to see but it all looked lovely. After that we stopped in a botanical garden for some tea and played around with a couple of Chinese toddlers that found us all as interesting as we found them.

Melon on a Chopstick

Melon on a Chopstick

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River tour

River tour

Not even two days after I left my Chinese home away from home I was already enjoying the first rays of spring sunshine in my “real” home – Prague. It was the 8th of May, which is a bank holiday in Czech and so I didn’t have to waste time waiting around for my sister to finish work. By the time our crew bus reached the hotel she was already patiently waiting in the lobby. Since the weather was as glorious as it gets this early in May we just casually strolled around chatting, stopping for food, enjoying each other’s company and just generally having a great time. We discovered a few new hangouts – one of them cooking some real mean czech cuisine and another one that’s so cool you gotta bring a woolly jumper to stand it ! If you ever find yourself in Prague go and have a milkshake in the James Dean bar just off the Old Town Square. It’s a little pricier than what one would expect from a Czech bar but totally worth it. The ambience is fantastic and you get a service with an attitude included in your tip 🙂 I wasn’t overly sad having to leave Prague since I knew I had another two coming up later in May.IMG_0626 IMG_0682 IMG_1131

hashtag selfie square

hashtag selfie square

But not before what I like to call My Milan New York Fussing Week. Yes, yes. It’s that 6-day trip that all crew are dying for. The timings, the destinations, the length of the flights, the customers…. It’s a crew dream in a box. With a cherry on top. And luckily I got to try it before it disappears from the Airline’s schedule.  I have to admit that all I did the first day in Milan was listening to music and eating a lot of pizza. It was just one of those days where I felt too lazy to even comb my hair. So when it was time to meet the crew for some dinner I just pulled it back into a ponytail. Over tea we met the crew that just came back from New York and it turned out I knew a few of them from my previous flights so we sat down for some more drinks and laughter until early morning hours. And then it was time to fly back to my own personal paradiso – New York, New York ! In a few year’s time when I’m happily married to a very rich handsome man I’ll casually ask him if he “could be a total darling a buy me a little pad in NYC so I could have a place on my own for little getaways from the kids once in a while”. Preferably somewhere down the 5th Av. facing the Central Park. You know – to keep the spark 🙂 !

I spent way to much in NYC. Energy, wooing and money. But I have no regrets. There is just something about that place that makes one wanna enjoy all of it to the fullest! You may remember that last time I set my foot in Manhattan was for NYE. It was bitterly cold and raining back then. Well… it wasn’t too cold this time. But it did rain a lot. But honestly – I couldn’t care less. I got up so early I had to wait an hour for the breakfast buffet to open. The last meal I had was back in Italy so I must have looked real graceful wolfing down my strawberry pancakes. What a lady! When I consumed enough food to feed a family of four I borrowed a massive black umbrella that I was bound to forget in the first shop and headed to the Central Park. My original plan was to go jogging there but Dubai got me too spoiled. I don’t jog in the rain anymore. It’s bad for… the knees …:) To shut up my guilty conscious I decided to at least walk quickly. After  a few hour that I got lost and found again in the Central Park I noticed shops were starting to open so I headed back to the 5th Avenue. There – as predicted – I managed to lose the umbrella and spent an unforgivable amount of money. I’m truly hopeless when it comes to New York shopping 🙂IMG_1050 IMG_0860IMG_0862 IMG_0859 IMG_0812 IMG_0861 IMG_0852

Back in Milan the jet lag was starting to kick in. In combination with my annual hay fever that got even worse in the States I was one tired snotty mess. But I wasn’t gonna let that put me down. The weather outside was so sunny and bright I just had to make the most of it. So I boarded one of my least favourite means of transport – an Italian train – and headed direction Lake Como. The hotel is about 5k away as the crow flies… yet it took us hour and a half to get there. Well- such is life. I could see that the girls I dragged out with me were just about to start b*tching when we got there. And suddenly all the sorrows, all the tiredness, everything was forgotten. Lake Como is stunningly beautiful. It’s everything you want an Italian lake to be- and then some more ! We sat down for some food, some wine and a lot of attention from male Italian by-passers …. and we thoroughly enjoyed all of it. I made a mental note that when I mention to my future rich handsome husband my appartement on the 5th I mustn’t forget about a holiday house at Como too. For the family you know !:) IMG_0870 IMG_0986 IMG_0969 IMG_0985

Coming to Dubai I had a week of back to back turn arounds to “look forward to”. Thankfully to ease to pain I was kidnapped to Abu Dhabi for an overnight stay in … well heaven:). I have to say it made the next couple of days of little sleep and a lot of flying much more bearable.IMG_1034

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Beach time

Beach time

After the four flights that turned out to be much less painful than expected I was bound for Prague once again. Particularly excited this time around as my Mum, that hates any kind of travelling was meeting me there. Everybody kept asking whether she was elder my sister which says a lot about her night cream … or very little about mine. I wanted to make her stay special since I missed her b-day last month so I took her to all the nicest places I could think of. We ended the day in a spectacular fashion – in an Opera House. I have been going to opera since I was about 12-yo. It’s a passion my Nanna passed onto me. My Mum however has never been. I saw it as a sign then when I noticed that my favourite Verdi’s masterpiece ever was on that night- La Traviata. I have seen it about 8 times already. And for the 9th time – it was as amazing as ever!IMG_1102

One quick flight over to Dubai, one day by the beach, one night out with my gurls, one night dog sitting and I was checking in at the Prague hotel again. The receptions asked why I haven’t left my suitcase in the room at the beginning of the month and made it easier for myself… She was right:) It was Mummy’s time two days earlier and now it was all about Daddy. Not only because he is the best Daddy. But also because it was his birthday! I missed Papi’s big day last year so this time we made sure to celebrate in style. Him and my stepmum have only recently joined the world of smart phones and social media and so all of our moves and mischiefs have been documented, posted and checked in. So cute! They are growing up so fast ! Next thing you know they will be tweeting!IMG_1275 IMG_1297 IMG_1279

I have just woken up from the longest and much needed sleep of this month. May has been amazing but very hectic and fantastically busy. I couldn’t have asked for a better and sweeter month of love! I’m now -more than ever- ready for my reserve month which I have been scheduled for June. It can bring me anything and so I’m -as always- hoping for the best.

Please Love ME

Please Love ME

Sleepy time

Sleepy time

I laughed so frigging hard

I laughed so frigging hard

 

Love and hugs

x

G.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flying High Flying Low

Flying high is something I enjoy to the fullest -both in life and at work. Is there a better feeling than being so high up in the sky it seems impossible I’m just a mere human being and not some kind of a goddess-like creature? And flying low … well flying low makes me appreciate the small wonderful things in life and in the world that I sometimes overlook. See- when I fly high over the tops of the highest mountains and all I can see is the vast endless blue sky it’s so easy to forget about the world down below and how much beauty it holds.

Most of you already know me as a person that strives to be happy. Always. And I’m doing a pretty good job. But sometimes I have to come down from the heights of Mount Bliss and fly low for a while. Because that’s life isn’t it? And one of those whiles lasted a bit longer than I intended a couple of weeks back. And I realised that to get back up I was gonna need some new fresh fuel. In the shape of my sweetest sister. And so I played the carefree “drop everything you are doing and come to Dubai at once” card and went all in. And it paid off. We have spent a wonderful week full of laughter, food and shishas and by the time she left I was feeling invincible again. She is a true blessing of my life !

And here is the more or less edited Story of our Sisterly Shenanigans :

She is here !

She is here !

Nela is not what I ‘d call a frequent flyer. She is more of what I’d call a nervous flyer. So to make sure the flight was as comfortable as possible I let the operating crew know what treasure they were about to carry that day. And they made me proud. As I picked her up she was giddy – not only from the first class champagne she was treated to but also from all the caring attention she was given. And once again I was feeling grateful for all the opportunities my job gives me to make the people I love happy. And we have only just started !

I took her home and let her rest for a couple of hours before I whisked her off to the pool to start off our homeliday (holiday at home:) with a swim under the watchful eye of the Burj Khalifa. She was happy enough to paddle there for the rest of the day but I had an agenda we absolutely had to adhere to. And so we had a massive breakfast in the public extension of my living room – Le PQ and off we were to the beach. I didn’t think Nela was quite ready to experience the public one so we ventured all the way to the Marina to chill out at Barasti. And chill we did. So much and so hard we nearly missed the birkam yoga that was next on the list. My poor little sister ! She had already taken in more heat in the past 12 hours than she had in the entire past 12 months. By the end of the 90 min session she was as worn out as pair of athlete’s socks. But the day was far from over ! My sis couldn’t have stayed oblivious to the fact that I live in a walking distance from the world’s biggest mall. And so that’s where I took her. And that’s where she – having seen it in all it’s might and glory – had fallen in love with the Burj. Ever since then everywhere we went she I had to point her to the direction of it (in case she wasn’t able to see it herself). We watched the fountain show, we ate, we watched some more fountain shows and then when we could barely walk any longer we headed home.

Lift selfie.. first one of many

Lift selfie.. first one of many

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L<3 ve vole

L<3ve 

Next day after the obligatory morning swim it was time for some more beach living – we put our swag on, slipped into the roller skates and left the SZR behind once again. The beautiful thing about Dubai is that nobody skates around here. And so – this early in the morning we had the roads to ourselves. We skated for hours, we dodged a few jellyfish, we burnt in the sun … and then we still had most of the day to spend smoking shisha, eating and endlessly chatting. Oh how beautiful life can be !

LIfe with you is so dope

LIfe with you is so dope

Sistas on da beach

Sistas on da beach

 

What else did we do ? We rented bikes and cycled around the Marina. We sweated our asses off in the Miracle Gardens of Dubai. We went to the Palm to see world’s most crowded aquarium. We ate like crazy. We smoked more shisha. We tanned some more. We went to my favourite park in the entire world. And we had so much fun! It was amazing being able to share some of my everyday life with one the most important person to me. I wish I could have kept her here forever but the week just flew by and before we knew it was time for her to go back. Luckily enough I have been rostered Prague three times in May and one of them is tomorrow!!!

renting a bike they said. easy they said

renting a bike they said. easy they said

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Zaroobabes

Zaroobabes

UR so beautiful

UR so beautiful

I'm skilled at taking selfies   doing whatever

I’m skilled at taking selfies doing whatever

IMG_9887

Another lift selfie? Just shoot me already

Another lift selfie? Just shoot me already

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Al Safa

Al Safa

Last Dinnah

Last Dinnah

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Gimme that meat !

Gimme that meat !

Seeing her off

Seeing her off

The last evening's selfie

The last evening’s selfie

Fly high , fly low, be happy and let life go. It always seems to know the right way !

x

G.

 

 

Flying with Friends

Hullo my pets!

Guess what? You darling redhead blogger has been officially flying for a WHOLE frigging year! Are you finding it as hard to believe as I am? Some of you have been with me this entire time since the very start some of you joined just recently but still guys – what a year this one has been huh?! I have taken you with me everywhere I went. You guys tried all the delicious food I ate (wait – why is it just me who gained weight then ?! So not fair!:) and jogged using my poor little legs around Europe, Asia, Australia, USA and Africa . Together we have taken off and landed hundreds of times and went to sleep in so many different beds that if I wasn’t cabin crew I would have to be a… ehm… nevermind :). I feel like every each one of you is a very dear friend of mine and I hope those feelings are mutual.

My Dubai

My Dubai

I’m not in this for the fame or the big bugs (however if any of that comes I won’t refuse:) I blog because I love to talk and I love to share my self-proclaimed wisdom. But I never ever imagined that having a blog will bring so many new and amazing people into my life. Some of you I have had the pleasure of meeting randomly – one of the proudest moments of my life was when I was sat having a coffee with Ryan in the HQ and this girl comes to me and goes:

“OMG Gabby- it’s you ! I loOoOove your blog- I even commented on it a couple of times!”

Ryan’s jaw dropped and I felt so damn special ! That girl was Carmen, who joined a couple of month after me. I have met her a few times since then – at the pool, in a club .. the usual locations of the Dubai expat scene:) Then there is Kamila, a fellow Czech blogger  and my Shangri-la buddy. Her Instagram posts always tickle my taste buds… and my wallet 🙂 Kamila is not ONLY Czech she is also Moravian – which is far more important! I just love listening to her broad accent that takes me a decade back to the times when I still lived and studied in Moravia. She is as close to home as Dubai gets.

My Dubai

My Dubai

Some of you I have flown as passengers – like Noemi for example, whose blog I have been following long long looooong time before I got this job and moved to the Middle East. This time around it was my turn to feel starstruck ! I have read EVERY single post she ever wrote(it dates about 5 years back) and I still remember how very proud I felt when she started following “Journey” and even commented a few times! So  I was casually strolling thru the isle of my flight to Athens when I noticed her sitting in my area. I thought ” no- this can’t be !”. Then I did that very conspicuous turn that only flight attendants are capable of and walked past her again looking right at her quizzically. I have no idea how she hasn’t noticed because everybody else has done and they all must have thought she is in a big trouble. I wanted to make this meeting as special for her as it was for me so I went to business and asked my colleagues for some sweet treats and gathered all of my courage to approach her. It was so bizarre and yet so very amazing! 

My world

My world

 

And then there is a very particular few of you. The few ones that have a blog of their own, are also cabin crew and above all I have flown with. Greta for starters. Greta is an Aussie from Perth (which as you all know is my second home – at least according to my rosters:) and I have “known” her for quite a long time thru her blog and Instagram. Then one day I looked at my roster and there she was. Flying with me to Paris on Xmas day! You know about my trip to Paris already – I spent it all with my sis so I didn’t get much time to get to know Greta as I would have liked to but from the time we did spend together I can honestly tell you she is absolutely lovely – exactly as she comes across in her posts. She is also as obsessed otaku as her Instagram shows 🙂 (Btw Gretz- I went to see Frozen and I know you won’t agree but I prefer Anna to Elsa… and I also hope your back is getting better!)

And Doyle. I have been not so secretly in love with Doyle’s I-gram and keep bragging on about it to everybody, who is willing to listen. I’m a huge fan of visuals. That’s why I love pictures. And Doyle’s pictures are truly something! Go check it out please! Plus he is very strong visual experience himself :p) Yes – there I said it Doyle :)) I have just flown with him- we did a long flight Down Under together. It’s a four day trip to Sydney and onwards to Auckland and back again. We have had plenty of time to chat in the first class galley ( hahahaha first time I made friends with the first class class crew at all actually they aren’t usually very approachable- ops did I say that out loud?:) I have to say – apart from being in love with him and his pictures I also love his outlook on life and how very loudly he thanks everybody for everything! So Doyle – THANK YOU it was lovely flying with you 🙂 .

I hope to meet many more of you in the future y’all seem to be such an interesting bunch

Till then just keep on reading

x

G.

 

Dancing, Singing and Holidaying !!

Hey everybody,

I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last post ! But I have been away on holiday – which you may have noticed if you follow my Instagram and since coming back I had hardly any time to spare. I have a few drafts laying around tho and they are about to be published later today !

So watch out for this !

x

G

Cooking myself to sleep

Ever heard of insomnia? Ever had it? If you answered “yes” to both of those questions then welcome to my world and I hope you are enjoying the flight just as much as I am. Not. I don’t know if it’s the flying over different time zones or the excessive drinking of green tea and black coffee or my brain that has been so switched on lately or the combination of it all but I just cannot go to sleep. I mean I do sleep – but it doesn’t feel like sleeping if you get my gist. It feels more like a hard labour getting my eyes closed and forcing myself to pass out… and then “waking up” 20 mins later and going thru it all again. Most of the times I just give up and get up. The first week was harsh. Going from a light sleeper to no sleeper ain’t an easy ride. The second week felt like a joke I was playing on myself. Then the third week of insomnia slowly approached and I figured that “if you can’t fix it Jack you gotta stand it”. And since my glass is always half full (oh my gosh this post IS full of clichés already and I haven’t even finished the first paragraph!) I decided that rather than thinking about the wasted time I could have spent sleeping I’m gonna utilise it to do something productive. Like cooking. And baking. Because counting grams and spoons of sugar and chocolate is so much more fun that counting stupid imaginary sheep jumping over the fence.

And so after long 9 months of avoiding the one place that used to be my haven of peace and creativity back in the UK I stepped inside my Dubai kitchen and had a proper look for the first time. I’m a self-confessed gadget girl and my kitchens were always the place to show for it. Blenders, whisks, shape cutters, coffee machines, tea sets, pasta makers you name it I had it. I even had a special spoon for scooping out honey for heaven’s sake! And now the most elaborate thing I found inside this “kitchen” (yes I couldn’t help it, it deserved the quotation marks) was a box of matches. A very large and cool box but nonetheless still a box. It was time to upgrade.

It only took one trip to IKEA and a rather long visit to the Dubai Mall and my domestic goddess’ needs felt a little more satisfied… At least until I move to an apartment that offers more than 4 square meters of kitchen space. I was all set and ready to kick my insomnia’s butt Gordon Ramsay’s style ! 

The Peabbage salad”

This is the simplest crowd-pleaser salad I have ever invented.

Red cabbage chopped

Two medium pears either chopped or peeled (leave the skins as it adds a little bit extra bite and crunchy taste)plus a lot of white vinegar.

The combo may sounds strange but wait till you try it out. It’s fantastic !

Pear +Cabbage = Peabbage

Pear +Cabbage = Peabbage

“The Secret Agent Cupcakes”

The expiration date of these is about 10 minutes after being served. I made a couple of batches already and none lasted longer than that. And mind you – these are sugar-free, low carb, almost-fat-free cupcakes. Or as I like to put it – eating those pretty much makes you slimmer. You are welcome !

Can of cooked red kidney beans (I know what are you thinking but just trust me on this one!) -blended into a smooth paste with added vanilla flavouring – or any other flavouring you like… 

Darkest chocolate you can find (I always use at least 70%)- melted 

Peanut butter- I know I said these cupcakes are low-fat and peanut butter may not be on the top of the low-fat list. But peanut butter fat is “good fat” so don’t be too scared. Use crunchy, smooth whatever rocks your boat but mind you it should be organic and with no added sugar

Cocoa powder (optional – skip it if you enjoy sweet rather than bitter)

Baking soda

Stevia (optional)

3-4 large eggs 

I don’t do measures I usually just go with my gut feeling on texture and flavour. Mix it all up and bake on 180-200 for about 25-30 mins. As for the frosting I went with low-fat cream cheese with peanut butter and just a splash of a strong coffee shot for smoothness just because all of my creativity was spent on the bean base. However next time I make those I’m playing with an idea of tofu based soya goodness- I’ll let you know when the time comes:)

Hello there Mr. Bean!

Hello there Mr. Bean!

“The Best-Date-of-Your Life-balls”

I’m obsessed with dates at the moment. And there is no better place to be obsessed with dates than in Dubai where they cost near to nothing and are absolutely to die for. I warm you tho- because of the sugary nature of dates this is not a very diet friendly snack. Limit yourself to about two a day. Don’t eat 10 in one sitting like I did.

Palmful of almonds and walnuts (or any other nuts you love) – roasted on a frying pan (don’t be afraid to let them burn a little it adds a nice toasty flavour to the whole thing) and chopped in a blender or just simply with a knife. 

Dates – my favourite kind is Fard but really any kind will do. From my experience the shinier the better. Chop them roughly  in a blender together with some date syrup (or honey or agave syrup all works well)- if you wanna make those balls a little merrier feel free to add some rum or brandy. I tried that once and it was delish.

Mix  the chopped nuts together with the date paste and add some spices of your liking – I choose cinnamon, cocoa and chilli powder. Not necessarily all together. Scoop out the mixture with a spoon and create little balls. Or squares. Or whatever takes your fancy.  Sprinkle some more cinnamon or other coating spices or on a chopping board and get rolling. When you done, put those babies to the ice for a couple of hours if you can last that long:) Enjoy!

the best date I have had in quite a while ...

“The Mangoconut I-Scream-For-More”

This is a shining example of a great recipe that has gone wrong to create something even greater. I meant to make a mango coconut custard cream with some seasonal fruit salad. But because I rarely follow recipes and NEVER look at measures my cream wouldn’t set. Because I was running out of time and patience I stuck the whole thing in the freezer. At the end of the dinner party I was throwing I went back to it to find not only has it set but it also froze to death and voila – it made for an amazing desert after all !

Two large ripe mangoes – they HAVE to be orange NOT yellow, peeled and blended (yes – I blend a lot, it’s the only machine I own at the moment)

Banana – optional, the browner the better. 

1 Can of coconut milk – bring it to boil and add some custard powder. As I said I don’t do measures so … when you taste more custard powder than coconut you have added too much. Wait until it thickens and turn down the heat. 

Let the milk cool down a little and then add the fruit mixture. No need for sugar or any other sweeteners – the mangoes will do all the hard work. Prepare some nice desert bowls or if you don’t have any (like myself) just use wine glasses and espresso cups. Divide the liquid equally, put it in the freezer and forget all about it for a few hours. Garnish with mint leaves and mango cubes

“So-good-So-ya cup of love”

You may have figured I don’t use milk much. As it happens I have been lactose intolerant this whole time without even knowing it. I’m also sugar intolerant but that’s just a life choice more than anything else. Ever since banning milk products out of my life I made it my goal to find suitable replacements for all of my favourite snacks such as yogurt, cheese and above all a nice cup of hot milk with honey before bed.

So here it comes (and this is so good I can’t believe I haven’ tried it earlier) : heat up some soya milk and add a few spoons of date syrup. Wait until the milk turns darker colour and thickens a little bit. Pour into a cup and add some cinnamon. OMG! I may have to have some right now…

… Or get some extra soft tofu. Whisk together with a splash of soya milk and a few scoop of protein powder of your choice. If you need an extra boost in the morning add an espresso shot. Best low-fat, protein-packed , lactose-free yoghurt-like breakfast I have had in a while.

Mmmmmm...

Mmmmmm…

“Panamanian Birds”

“A Spanish bird” is a traditional Czech dish that has despite its name absolutely nothing to do with Spain. Or a bird for that matter. It is usually prepared using beef, bacon, eggs, pickles and sausage (I know -sounds delicious doesn’t it?:) but when you live in a constant soaring heat of 40 degrees and higher none of these ingredients sound very appetising. Still – whenever I cook for my friends I try to introduce a little bit of Czechness into their lives and so I came up with a much lighter and healthier version. And since it has become a popular dish with my dear Panamanian friend I have taken the liberty to not only remake it but also rename it.

Turkey breast

Beef bacon strips

Asparagus

Turnip, swede, beetroot, carrots

Slice the turkey breast into long and thin strips and wrap around a few stalks of asparagus. Season with your favourite spices – I love using cayenne pepper and sea salt, sometimes even a splash of soy sauce (yes- soya again!:). To hold it all nicely together use the bacon strips- would also work with ham or any other kind of cold cut meat. If you would like to make those wraps a little more substantial then add a quarter of a hard-boiled egg next to the asparagus. To give them a bit of shape , fry the “birds” individually in a pan for about a minute on each side .

Peel and roughly chop all the root vegetables and place them into a large baking tray together with a few slices of garlic and some chilli peppers. Add a cup or two of chicken/ vegetable or beef stock. Place the pre-fried birds on the top and cover with a tin foil. Bake on 200 for about 20-30 minutes . Keep on checking and adding the liquid level – the veggies should always be partially submerged. Uncover for the last 5-10 minutes.

pájaros panameñas

pájaros panameñas

“Beef-Me-Up Salad”

I have taken on running. I try to run every day. I started off slowly at 3k-a-day and I’m currently working my way up to 10k. I’m at 6.5k at the moment and it feels pretty damn good ! With so much running one needs to get some proper nutrition too. This salad easy, quick and satisfying – pretty much all you want when in training or in pursuit of eating clean.

1/2 hass avocado

spinach

fennel

chillies

bean sprouts

lean beef steak cutIMG_4108

x

G. 

Call me a Post-Grad

The last week or so has been an absolute whirlwind- since having posted about my recent Malta and Zurich trips I had quite literally no time to spare -not even to check on my little baby-blog.

So what has been going on that kept me so busy are you wondering??!

Well- first of all – I have graduated. As of a few days ago I’m no longer my airline’s  Ab-initio. I’m now a fully qualified employee. Gone are the days of wearing red t-shirts to the college. Gone are the days of batting my eyelashes and making up an excuse for my lack of knowledge. No-no I have been flying on either real or not-so-real planes for over 6 months now and am starting to meet colleagues on board that are much more junior than I.

Having passed my probation means I can start choosing the flights I wanna do and get rid of those that might not be my favourite ones. It also means I can start travelling my own out of the UAE on my days off. And most importantly of course – I can make a full use of the discounted tickets that are now to my avail. That pretty much sums up why I was so eager for the Big day to come. What I wasn’t expecting at all was how nice the actual Graduation day was going to turn out.

It was the first day of Ramadan and we had to get up real early (well- there isn’t really such thing as “real early” in our line of job), get ready and meet up in full uniform to sign in for the ground duty. It was quite emotional seeing everyone from my batch again – we have shared so much in last couple of months and the Graduation day definitely marks an end of an era for all of us. The day has started off with all of us telling flying stories and evaluating the overall experience. We have met couple of important people from the company and the day has slowly progressed towards the main event – the Graduation ceremony.

Each one of us has received a certificate and a hand-shake from our Manager. We have watched a video that was made about our batch, listened to what our customers on board had to say about us and took thousands-possibly even millions- of pictures. Then we had a cake and a cuppa tea and went home to get ready for the not-s0-official graduation of our own that has taken place later that evening in various venues across Dubai.

We are big girls now...

We are big (fly) girls now…

2194

2194

x

G.

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.

“What’s your favourite rainbow colour?”

So here is the thing… Have you ever noticed how your favourite colour seemed to reflect whatever it is you are missing or craving in your life? Let me explain!

Before I moved out here to Dubai my favourite colour would always have been bright blue. I never even gave it a second thought. Whenever faced with a choice -blue would be the one colour I’d go for. However I have since noticed a growing trend in my room, wardrobe and even everywhere else around me. I’m turning green!

IMG_1606

It has only occurred to me a couple of days when I was shopping for a pair of skates and automatically asked the shopkeeper “Have you got those in green by any chance?” Then I stopped for a moment and said “I meant blue.” and then “No actually sorry – I did mean green”. (nevermind my mental torment they had neither). When I looked at my reflection in the shop display I realised I was wearing a green dress and sipping a green tea smoothie. My brain – deprived of acres and acres of fresh greenery it was used to in the UK- must have found its own way to substitute.

I got back home happy with my amazing purchase of a brand new pair of roller blades, opened the door to my room and that’s when it fully hit me. A few weeks ago I went to Ikea and without even realising I bought a green rug, green bedding, green shower curtain and heaps of other green decorations. I turned my appartment into a forrest! That realisation got me thinking…  Maybe my obsession with blue was just a way to make up for the absence of blue skies in England? Now I wake up to sunny bright mornings every day but all I see out of my window is  the endless Sheik Zayed Road surrounded by dozens of skyscrapers and sand… lots of it. Luckily I have my amazing job that takes me places. Places that are blue, green, blue&green and yellow and red,  purple even. Simply put I can fly thru the whole rainbow spectrum within a week.

Bright Blue in KL

Bright Blue in KL

Even more blue in Africa

Even more blue in Africa

Yellow in Sri Lanka

Yellow in Sri Lanka

Green in AD

Green in AD

Blue, yellow and green in Tanzania

Blue, yellow and green in Tanzania

Red in AD

Red in AD

Besides my changing from a Smurfin to the Green Goblin I have also noticed I developed a brand new liking for all things black. Must be the complete lack of truly dark nights in Dubai, the city that seemingly has no need for saving energy and therefore switching off lights. Ever.

So what’s your favourite rainbow colour and what is it you crave in your life? 🙂

x

G.