Comebacks and Second Chances

Would you like to know what is The Number One Question I get asked all the time? It is not “What’s this- water ?” (ok this was a crew joke and unless you’ve ever done a round of drinks you are not likely to understand it.) And strangely it is not “Where are you from?” (oh – how much has my life changed in just two years!). The one thing people always seem to want to know is how long am I “in it for and what’s next?”. How long am I gonna stay in Dubai and have I considered what I wanna do next? As if it is quite impossible to believe that I would want to stay in Dubai forever and fly until I can’t lift my cabin bag no more. 

Dubai is so conveniently located which is one of the reasons why the Airline I work for became so successful. It connects the East and the West, it makes travelling to and from Down Under so much more bearable and brings Asia to everybody’s doorstep. You can now take a flight that’s shorter than 6 hours from pretty much anywhere in Europe, spend a layover in the glorified Sandpit and travel on refreshed a couple of days later. Which is what everyone seems to be doing. The popular opinion is that none in Dubai is here for the long run. All of us expats have come for a more or less a layover that can sometimes last years – to have our fun, earn some tax-free cash, travel as much as we can whilst we have the rest of the world within our reach… and then eventually return back and start living the responsible life. Nobody moves to Dubai to establish themselves. Or do they? Having read back my latest post it occurred to me I could have left you feeling like I don’t particularly like living over here. Which would have been a very wrong impression. I love Dubai and my life here. I don’t love it all day every day. But I love it enough every day to consider it my home and staying here for as long as they would have me.  Not to mention the fact that -unlike many others- I don’t really have anywhere to go back to. See – I don’t do comebacks. When I left Czech all those years ago I always knew that was it. I was never to come back and live there. I do adore my country and I would proudly ramble on about its wonders to everyone who is or isn’t willing to listen. But it’s just not for me. Ever since I could remember I never saw myself actually spending my life in Czech – it was never even an option to consider. So I lived there for as long as I could take it or for as long as it was necessary to come up with a plan and then took off. I never looked back. I never doubted the decision to leave a respectable job in a respectable company where I was earning twice as much as anyone else my age that I knew (I was 22 then). My heart just wasn’t in it. My heart was in the hands of a guy I thought I loved then. So much I would have followed him anywhere in the world. Oh wait – I actually did that! Many years later this romantic affair has ended in a disaster but despite that or maybe just because of that I decided not to run back “home” and heal my wounds but to stay right where I was and make this new life work for me. And so somehow I found myself living in the UK and liking it. But me and the English don’t seem to agree with one another. My relationship with the country has followed the same pattern as the relationship with the guy – after being initially smitten with each other we started to see each other’s flaws in the everyday life’s light and slowly but surely we have come to a point where none of us could take it anymore. I was allergic to pretty much anything the country has laid my way and in return it seemed to have rejected me. I was ready to move on. The only issue was – I was much older than when I so carelessly thrown a great job opportunity away and followed my heart. I was worried. My life wasn’t going the direction I had wanted it to but I felt I was too scared to change it completely. And so I waited. And waited. And waited, For what I did not know. I think I was waiting for the brave 22 yo old girl to wake up in me and take charge of our live again. And as the time passed me by I started to realise that wasn’t going to happen. I was going to have to (wo)man up. And so I did and moved to the Middle East. When I told my family I didn’t get a single “Oh but..” not a single eyebrow was raised not even a little bit. They all knew just like myself that that’s the kinda person I am. The kinda person that takes “moving on” literally. And then up a notch. How was I feeling leaving the UK for Dubai? Relieved most of all. I have come to the end of the road and for all I knew I could never see myself coming back to live there. Because as I told you – I do not do comebacks. Ever. To anywhere. Or anyone.

And that’s where my job comes in. After more than 18 months of flying – it turns out not only do I do comebacks. I also give second chances. Who knew? I most certainly did not. August 2014 saw me give a lot of second chances. It had me coming back to many places I have visited and left behind before too. August 2014 has been one big learning curve, one big journey into the depth of my own self and mind you – it is still not over yet..

 

Exploring new places and flying to new destinations can be exciting… as much as it is tiring. Sometimes all I want from my roster is for it to be easy, short and familiar. And as Asian as possible. And my late summer roster has turned me into the Queen of Asia. Singapore, Bangkok, Shanghai, Hong Kong on top of Rome and Frankfurt. I could not have been happier or more familiar with any of them having visited all of these places at least 3 times before. Sometimes it is just so nice to know what to pack, where to go, what to eat and how to behave. It’s also nice to give another chance to a place I wasn’t too sure about. Like Singapore. It’s a great place no doubts about that. It’s just not the kinda place I thought I would ever want to visit again once I’ve seen it. Singapore is quite spectacular with its clean green and luscious streets, friendly people, big expensive cars and delicious food. It’s also a little too high maintenance for my liking. I feel like I should try hard and harder… like I can’t really let go and be myself in a place that has literally made it to the top of world’s capitols. I always feel a little lost when in Singapore. And as I was wondering and wandering in the SinCity I suddenly found the one spot I needed to calm my slightly agitated senses. I little beach bar on the Sentosa Island. A piece of heaven. A sanctuary. The Bikini Bar. Where they played good music, served mean frozen Margaritas and I could read my book undisturbed. And just like that Singapore and I became friends for life. Because as it turns out I don’t need that much to be friendly. Just a little time and space to be myself…

 

The Bikini Bar

                       The Bikini Bar

 

As for the other comebacks I have mentioned – well not much new has gone down in Bangkok and even less so in Shanghai. And I’m not about to bore you to death talking about my massages . I guess one very successful return I should tell you about was to the Friday Brunch at the Atlantis hotel – the crime scene of my mad birthday bash back in January which I have still not been able to blog about… Some stories should remain untold. There was no particular occasion to celebrate this time apart from Salma coming back to Dubai and with the pressure off we simply let go and enjoyed ourselves to the fullest. And Saffron has not disappointed us.

Brunch in Jan

           Brunch in Jan

Brunch in Aug.. same same

Brunch in Aug.. same same

IMG_7239 IMG_2782IMG_7274 IMG_2828

OK- this post could go on for hours. Yes I indeed have so much on my chest about second chances and comebacks. But I’m gonna spare you this time since I also want to tell you about a few first times I have gone thru in the past month or so… Y’all just wait :)!

Lots of 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.

Girl in Czechland

As most of you know blogging is my hobby. What’s also my hobby is reading other people’s blogs. Just recently I’ve come across yet another hilarious one. It’s called Girl In Czechland, check it out. Unlike my blogsite which is about a Czech girl taking on the vast wide world this one is about a British woman living taking on a whole new universe- the Czech Republic.

I have my own reasons for not living in “Czechland” (or in England for that matter) but whether I like it nor not there is a little part of me that also misses it and it’s just so precious and refreshing to read about these lil shenanigangs that make one love and hate that place. Some of her post are absolutely spot on – so painfully true and maybe even too close to the bone but funny nonetheless.

Happy reading !

x

G.

The One (day to go) and The Last One (in the office)

Wednesday 2nd January 2013 …

… is the day I returned my headset, emptied my drawers and had my last cup of awful powder cappuccino. Today is the day I bid farewell to the receptionist for the last time and logged off my workspace for- hopefully- ever. Today was my last day at the office.

It was in early 2010 when I got pulled into the vibrant world of an airline and the years has quite literally flown by. I have seen natural disasters, political unrests, rich times and not so rich times. It wasn’t all good but it was far from bad. It is in this place I have found love and friendship and have grown up into a person I truly want to be.

I’d like to thank all of my colleagues and friends for filling the past three years of my work life with laughter and joy! I will miss you dearly and I promise I will make sure every customer calling back after their trip will be a satisfied one !

Thank you for reading and is there anything else I can help you with?

x

G.

5 days to go (poetry included)

Saturday 29th December 2012

Today left me feeling pampered, spoilt and loved. Since I woke up to my last weekend in the UK I decided to make it a special one and treated myself to a beauty salon visit.

Last night was a long one ending with a fierce Just Dance 3 battle in early morning hours which resulted in me feeling rather under the weather when I woke up. However after hour and a half of being beautified and spa-ad I was back up to my usual standards. Instead of going back home and probably finding Huggie still asleep I opted for a coffee& kindle session in our local cafe which is quickly becoming my favourite indoor activity.

I was playing with the idea of a quick gym visit but when my bestie suggested a home cooked lunch and an afternoon of girly chitchat instead I gladly forgot about it. And I’m glad I did because I got to spend the rest of a very rainy day in a very lovely company of my girl-friends. It involved loads of amazing food, plenty of wedding talk and some nail varnishing. Also a good-bye present which totally kicks butt!!

I got a customised Teddy that has been decorated with good-bye messages and also A POEM! My friend and her husband turned out to be quite the poets, behold and see for yourself :

Dear Gabri,

You are off to Dubai 

for a job in the sky.

Leaving the office,

coz you are flying high.

We will miss your face

and your crazy ways

as you jet set off with Emirates Airways.

But don’t be a stranger,

when you’re back in the UK.

Please bring back some sunshine,

coz our city is so grey !

x

G.

P.S. In case you are wondering – still no updates on the accommodation.

6 days to go (parental advise: not suitable for U12)

Friday 28th December 2012

First of all- no accommodation update yet. Second- as of today I officially  LOVE SHERRY ! Sherry is even better than port which till now would always have been my drink of choice. Unlike port, sherry doesn’t give you that annoying red lip and teeth look that lets everyone immediately  know you have had too much. It also tastes much sweeter which stop you from that second helping of an absolutely amazing apple crumble.

Yes – I admit. I may be a bit tipsy whilst writing this post. And by tipsy I mean drunk. You see I was going to write a really long post about my day today starting with surprising Huggie at the airport this morning when he got back from visiting his family in Germany and having my last jabs done and moving over to Huggie’s house tonight. But then Huggie was like “we should have a drink” and I was like “bring it on”. And now half a bottle of that sweet sweet sherry later I have remembered my resolution to write about every single of my last days in the UK.

I realise as I’m writing this that this one is not going to be my best post ever. But it had to be done. I can’t NOT write once I have promised I would. So …. in short today was pretty average almost on the edge of being pretty s**t until a bottle got open. And once again I realise saying this makes me sound like an alcoholic. Bite me. It’s Christmas time and I’ve just worked all week whilst my family and my boyfriend were miles away from me. And it didn’t matter until tonight when I got a bit drunk and started feeling sorry for myself.

I think I better stop now because this is not going quite the way I’d like it to. I promise everyone  a very sober post tomorrow.

Happy Friday aka The-day-when-it’s-ok-to-get-drunk-before-8pm-day everyone

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.