BANGKOK ~ Thailand

We arrived in Bangkok at 11pm so we only reached the hotel around midnight. A few the crew and I had arranged to go out as we arrived. So we quickly ran up and got ready to meet downstairs in 30 minutes. I was really excited for my Bangkok flight, because after 7 months of flying I had never been. This is a very popular flight many crew get two or three Bangkok flights a month. So I was really grateful to finally have one.

The five of us jumped into a taxi and set off for the famous Khao San Road. The closer the taxi got the slower the taxi driver drove as he had to weave through the hoards of people! It was INSANE the amount of people running around the streets having the time of their life! We hopped out the taxi and made our way down the road looking for an inviting bar to go into. There were bars open everywhere and right across the road was a massage parlour, with people having their feet massaged out in the open. Along the streets they also had the stalls with the cooked scorpions but none of us had the guts to buy one and taste them. Unfortunately there was a big sign saying no photographs allowed so I couldn’t take a shot.

We then decided to stop at a restaurant for a bite to eat and something to drink. Little did we know it was much hotter inside than outside. After an hour or two things start to die down. By this time we were all exhausted so we made our way back to the hotel.

Early the next morning three other crew and myself set off to do some sight seeing! We first had an amazing tok tok ride to the canals close to the hotel. We then decided to do a tour of the canals by boat which included a stop at the local temple. Along the way we met up with a old lady who was sitting in a small canoe alongside the canal. The driver of the boat then told us that this lady was actually a floating shop.

At the temple there were a number of stalls selling souvenirs. I bought my usual fridge magnet which is what I collect on every layover and I have also started collecting shot glasses for Jeffrey my boyfriend. I know it is quite the cliche however after all my trips it is quite satisfying to walk past the fridge and remember the story behind each magnet I’ve bought. After we had taken enough photographs we went back to the boat. The lady then dropped us off about a kilometre down the canal where she said we could catch a taxi to the MBK shopping centre/mall.

The four of us split up into two so we could get what we were looking for. I got a few bikinis, dresses and a few shirts. I was really shocked in a GREAT way how cheap everything was. A good few hours later Mariana and I set off back for the hotel. Something I do before leaving the hotel is take a card with address on it. Staying at so many different hotels it sometimes gets hard to remember the name. Another thing if it’s a destination where the locals can’t speak English at least you can just show the address!

When back at the hotel there was enough time to have a good rest before the night flight back to Dubai.

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Paris – France

I never thought I would ever be traveling to PARIS! I was ecstatic when I saw CDG (Charles de Gaulle Airport) on my roster.

When we arrived at the hotel it was mid day. I knew I had to carry on with the day else I would fall asleep and not wake up till midnight. Another thing with Paris flights is that often most of the crew have already been to the city and done all the sight seeing. So luckily Yan and I, a Chinese girl decided to head out to the city as she had also never been to Paris before. Unfortunately the hotel is situated quite far from the city (ie Eiffel Tower).

Yan and I caught the shuttle to the airport and then the train all the way to the city. It was about an hour trip BUT it was so worth it! As we came out the train station we were right under the Eiffel Tower!! It was crazy both our faces lit up. And then the cameras shot out.

As we walked along the canal next to the Eiffel Tower we came to the bridge and we noticed there was quite a bit of commotion going on. Yan and I got closer to see what was going on. As we got closer I noticed that it was a game that people play to try rip off the tourists. It’s a game with three cups and they place a ball under the one and then swap the cups around. You have to keep your eye on the cup with the ball under it and then bet money on it. The lowest bid is 50 EUROS. IF you get it you double your money. We were watching and before I had said anything Yan had gone and pointed at one of the cups! They asked her to show the money and then flipped the cup over it was empty! She had lost her entire allowance for the trip. I carried on watching and then I explained the whole scam to her. There were about three people bidding each round but I noticed that all the people bidding were very tan from standing out in the sun every day. They were part of the scam. I had also seen a documentary on national geographics called Scam City. And this particular scam was one of the scams on the program.

After the drama we walked through the city, stopped off for lunch and then made our way to the Arc de Triomphe. It was quite the walk but once we got there it was insane cars zooming and hooting as they raced around the circle like it was a scene from an action movie! We then started the journey down the beautiful Champs De Élysées Avenue. It took us a good 20 minutes to walk half jog to the famous Le Grand Louvre. Unfortunately we did not go in and visit the Louvre Museum as we wanted to see as much as possible that day.

Yan and I really got a good work out doing all the sight seeing. We managed to get some great shots and a few selfies as well. We then made our way to the locket bridge the proper name is Pont Des Arts. I then bought a locket and placed it on the bridge with mine and Jeffrey’s name on it.

I found it really funny that I was in FRANCE, buying a lock made in SOUTH AFRICA and sold by a PAKISTANI.

After all the excitement for the day Yan and I decided it was time to head back to the hotel for a good rest before the flight the next morning. We found the closest metro station and hopped on the train.

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Paris! And I can honestly say I understand what people find so fascinating about the city. There is a vibe there that I’ve only felt in a few cities so far. It may be cliche;however, you will know what I’m talking about once you get there!

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GRADUATION + MOM in Dubai

In the blink of an eye 6 months had past! And that meant it was time for my probationary meeting to review my performance over the last couple of months. My meeting with my manager was nerve racking but it turns out I had nothing to be nervous about. The meeting went well and I was told that I would be graduating a week from that day. I had arranged for my mom to come over for my graduation.

When I picked her up from the airport it was such an emotional experience! Not seeing your mother for almost 7 months is not ideal. Every girl needs to have their mom in their life! We ran into each other’s arms there was a mixture of laughter, happiness and tears…. I was really excited to show mom my apartment and how grown up I’ve become in the last few months. Mom was especially keen to checkout my new cooking skills. As I would always show off and send mom pictures via Skype of the meals I was rustling up!

And the day had come GRADUATION! Alice and I got ready for the day, while Alice’s parents and mom waited at the apartment to meet us at the ceremony. It was a crazy feeling to think 6 months had past and I was no longer in my probation period. After the graduation we now have access to one of the best benefits of the job……to swap and bid for flights!! The ceremony was really nice you are called up in your batches and introduced individually with your name on the big screen and your countries flag. So far that is still probably my proudest moment!

Below are a few selfies of mom and I on our holiday around Dubai! We went on a desert safari, shopping at the biggest mall in the world, night out at the Marina and many more things like going out clubbing in Dubai (Very proud of you mom) to getting henna tattoos and visiting the tallest building in the world. Mom was also lucky enough to see Ginger the local cat that lives around the Sarab buildings. It was truly an unforgettable time with my mom! I love and miss you every day! xx

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NEED TO KNOWS – DUBAI

First of all you must bring:
1 x black cardigan or jacket (training college)
1 x black pumps or tommy tekkies (training college)
2 x smart black pants (not skinny jeans or leggings)
5 x skin color stockings (the strong kind from WOOLWORTHS) – at least 5 pairs

I was under the impression not to bring clothes that are very revealing and not to bring any shorts or skirts. That’s not the case here in your apartment you can wear whatever you want. When you go out jolling (partying) you dress up. I think girls dress up a lot more here than they do in South Africa.

Another thing Dubai might be hot but the countries around the world you travel to are NOT! Since I’ve been flying I’ve been to NINETEEN different destinations and at least HALF of them had temperatures under 5 degrees! So being the winter coats and boots.

Toiletries no need to buy a lot as you can get all the products here for a similar price. There are shops called Spinneys and Carrefour that have lots of products from all around the world. Bringing all your toiletries from home will just weigh your suit case down. And compressing all your processions into suit cases weighing 50kgs is pretty challenging.

I would also recommend bring a fair amount of cash. I brought 1500 dirhams (which is like R4000) and I made it to the end of the month but I ate like a mouse.

PLUGS – Make sure you have an adapter for all your chargers, laptops and hair dryer. Especially the THREE pronged South African plug I can’t find them anywhere in Dubai

When I arrived I had no idea that you are not allowed to drink the water from the tap. So you have to buy bottled water all the time. This was a new experience for me as in Cape Town we have one of the best tasting water in the world.

Another thing I have noticed is that there are no animals roaming the streets in Dubai unlike in Kommetjie where they do. I miss this a lot; however there are some other fury friends that I have become fond of. The stray cats there are lots of them and a few of the crew and me feed them. Below is a photo of “ginger”.

COOKING – prepare yourself (ie buy a recipe book) because if you don’t know how to cook you won’t eat! Before I arrived I had made dinner a few times but I can honestly say I could barely boil an egg! I lived on 2 minute noodles during training college now I can’t stand the taste or sight of them! Since then I have become a master chef!!!!! I can now make all sorts of dishes pesto pastas, risottos, seafood paellas and many more amazing dishes I wouldn’t have dreamed of making. I’am now domesticated! My boyfriend Jeffrey is ecstatic about this fact!

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Dubai holiday with Jeffrey

The day had arrived no more Skyping, no more long text messages and extremely expensive telephone bills – Jeffrey had arrived in Dubai. I was so excited to see my boyfriend who I hadn’t seen for more than 2 months.

Eventually Jeffrey walked through the customs doors and our faces lit up as soon as we saw each other! The best way to describe how I felt at that moment, you know the first time you realize you really like or love someone you instantly get a smile on your face, your stomach is going wild with butterflies and you are so anxious you cant stop pacing or moving. It was that feeling!!!

When the long walk through all the people was over we were able to say hello… and get the awkward hug and kiss out the way (Nerves as if we had just started going out). After 5 minutes of being together it were as if nothing had changed, we weren’t living in different countries and we weren’t working through a long distance relationship. It was unreal to show Jeffrey the place I now called home, and to share this new stage of my life with him.

We had a whole array of activities lined up. We went out for dinner with my batch to Nomad at the famous Irish Village. We went clubbing to Rock Bottom with other batch mates. And No Dubai holiday is complete without a Desert Safari, visiting the world renowned Burj Khalifa and the singing fountains at Dubai Mall. The beach day was amazing mid WINTER and we were sun tanning and swimming. The one night we visited Global Village with my flat mate Alice, it’s an interesting place to go if you want to visit the world in one location. We also went Go Karting on Christmas day… I must say out of all these events I would say that Jeffrey enjoyed the Go Karting the most. As boys will be boys he was so good at the Go karting I was shocked! Shopping was also an interesting experience on weekends (Friday and Saturday) the malls are crazy busy and its hard to walk at a constant speed. I can shop with no one other than Jeffrey, he is the only one able to keep up with me and my high speed shopping sprees.

And after an amazing 21 days you know the saying time flies when you having fun…. Well the time went in a blink of an eye.

Saying goodbye was so much harder than I thought it would be. You would think that you get better at saying goodbyes, but its not true.

Happy Anniversary Jeffrey x

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Seoul – South Korea

We arrived in Seoul late in the evening. The crew and I decided we should all go out for the Korea style barbecue. So we all met down in the lobby 30 minutes after arriving. We walked for about 5 minutes to a restaurant just behind the Hotel. It was very Korean the waitrons hardly spoke any English we had to make out what we were ordering by the pictures on the menu. When the food arrived it was raw meat on a plate, you actually had to braai the food on the fireplace in the middle of the table. This style of cuisine is almost like a fondue or racklet.

After dinner we all walked back to the hotel for a well deserved rest. One thing I have noticed since I’ve started flying is that my sleeping patterns are totally absurd. I can only sleep a maximum of 5 hours at a time! Even after a flight that’s been 10 hours long. And if we arrive at the hotel in the dead of night….. I wont be able to sleep for a few hours.

The next morning I woke up bright and early to go shopping. I was told that the shopping in Korea is similar prices to China but the quality is better. After taking a brisk walk to the shopping area I was completely soaked as there was light rainfall. The concierge failed to tell me how far the shops were from the hotel. When I finally got there all the shops were closed still, so I went for a cappuccino at a quaint little coffee shop.

While walking to the under ground shopping area called Gangnam Station I walked past a Gangnam Style stage. Later that day I spoke to a crew who is from Seoul and she said that the song is actually making fun of the people/area of Seoul as it is quite an upmarket area. I find out new things on every trip! The shopping was fun. In Korea the ladies have a very different style of fashion. Most of the young girls wear high heels with long leggings and short skirts and a puffy jacket or a rain coat.  After a few hours of shopping I managed to find a really nice coat. The only problem with the clothes in Korea is that all the sizes are really small. I ended up paying around R900.00 for the coat and I only realized after I got back to the hotel. To make myself feel better I told myself that its a good quality coat and its from Seoul, SOUTH KOREA…..

Before going back to the hotel I ran into one of the other crew Kristine she is from the Philippines and strangely enough she was on my previous flight to Sydney Auckland! Flying with someone more than once is a rare occasion. So we walked back to the hotel and had a nice long rest before the flight back to Dubai.

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The street to Gangnam Station

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Walking back to the Hotel

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Gangnam Stage

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Gangnam Station underground market

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Kristine and I

Sydney Auckland Sydney

One of my favorite destinations! Sydney reminds me so much of home it’s crazy. The flight to Sydney was extremely long, my longest flight yet. Luckily we were given the privilege of crew rest, which is when we change into our PJ’s and have a few hours in the CRC (crew rest compartment).

When we arrived in Sydney I was collecting my suit case when another crew accidentally took my cabin bag with my passport in. A rather stressful time for me as the crew left the airport and went to the bus not knowing she had my bag. Luckily the staff at the airport were very kind to walk me to the bus and the check my passport and papers. (Note never lose sight of your cabin bag) all the bags look the same!

Once we reached the hotel a few girls and I decided to go for lunch at a cafe around the corner from the hotel. After lunch we were all so exhausted from the flight we had to go rest! The jet lag really hits you on the long haul. The good thing about this round trip is that we spend two days in Sydney, so one can afford to rest the first day.

The next morning we went off to Auckland all refreshed for the 2 to 3 hour flight. Once in Auckland everyone was keen and excited to go sight seeing. A few of the girls and I decided to go shopping down the Main Street in the town which is not far from the hotel! On the Main Street I saw a Typo and Jayjays which made it feel even more like home. We made our way to the Harbor and took photos like true tourists. Oh and I absolutely love the hotel it’s old fashion vintage furnishing with pink details. Another thing about this hotel is that there are 2 other emirates flight that also over night at this hotel, so it feels like it’s a university res because about 70% of the hotel is crew! Another thing to rave about is the dinner buffet = AMAZING! The crew all book a table and we all have dinner together. The buffet has endless amounts of seafood, Chinese food, sushi, salads, non-glucose, a chocolate fountain and much more.

After a good nights rest on the comfiest beds I’ve ever slept on, I met a friend from my batch at the pool. I was amazed yet again with the hotel , it has an out door heated swimming pool, an outdoor jacuzzi, a sauna, steam room and a cascading ice chips for the herbal spa treatment! Ekaterina and I enjoyed the spa and then we went down for the breakfast buffet – excellent!

I skyped my parents just to give them an update on how much I loved Auckland as it’s so much like home!! Ekaterina and I then went to see the harbour again and walked down the shopping street. We also went to see the Auckland Harbor Bridge!!!! And then we managed to fit in a quick rest before we traveled back to Sydney.

The flight was nice and short we arrived in the late evening so I decided to rest and then go sight seeing in the morning. I woke up and went straight down to the harbour and I saw the famous Sydney Opera house! I then grabbed a coffee at Starbucks and walked around the harbour watching the street performers and take lots of photos, a very relaxed afternoon.

The flight back to Dubai was long and tiring but the crew were amazing! When we landed it was rather sad having to say goodbye to these people I had spent almost a week with.

A few photos from the trip..

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The girls and Me in Auckland

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AUCKLAND City

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The girls and I

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South African and Romania

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Auckland Harbor

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Auckland Main Street ❤

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Auckland Swimming Pool

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Ekatarina and I

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Me with Auckland Bridge in the background

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Sydney Opera House

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Opera House upclose

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Beautiful Sydney