A couple of days ago I got back from Beijing! It was a relatively short flight on the way there, only 6 and a half hours, but it was a bit longer on the way back, just over 8 hours! I had heard some rumours about the flight and I can say they were definitely true…I think 99% of the passengers took their shoes off so lets just say the smell was not the most pleasant! Most of them didn’t speak a word of English either so there was a lot of pointing and guessing going on, but I survived (just)!

Once we got to the hotel, one of the girls and I decided to go to the market to do a bit of shopping! Can’t go to Beijing and not buy anything, so I picked up a new handbag. A girl can never have too many bags! 😉

The next day 6 of us had arranged for a mini bus to come and collect us and take us to the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City. We met downstairs bright and early and drove a couple of hours to the Great Wall. We got really lucky with the weather, the sun was shining and it was an absolutely beautiful day! Once we got there, we bought our tickets and got on a chairlift to go up!

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First view of the Wall!

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We spent about an hour or so walking along the Wall, going up and down a lot of steps! Of course we stopped every few minutes to take pictures as well 😀

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There were lots of beautiful blossoming trees all along the wall!

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Coming down a Chinese family stopped us to ask if they could have a picture with us, so of course we took one on my camera as well! 😀

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To come down we had to go on a kind of toboggan, which was great fun! Unfortunately there was a woman in front of us who was going really slowly so we had to keep stopping so as not to crash into her!

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Once we had come down our driver came and picked us up and we drove to the Forbidden City. It was quite a long drive and as we had all been up so early we all slept on the way! He dropped us off at the side and we walked around to the main entrance under lots of willow trees and next to a river, it was very pretty!

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We had a nice stroll around, but it was a public holiday in China so it was extremely busy! We were all feeling quite hot and tired so decided to head back to the hotel for a few hours sleep before the flight home.

Now I’ve got one more flight to Zurich before 10 days leave! After that I’ve got another 5 day Singapore Melbourne trip which I can’t wait for and I’ll also be flying to Lagos, Nigeria at the end of the month!

The last time I posted (was that really 10 days ago already?!) my friends had just left Dubai and I had a flight to London. That was pretty uneventful; it’s an easy night flight and the hotel beds are to die for! I made the obligatory trip to Primark and stocked up on a few maxi skirts and dresses (essential in Dubai!) and of course, plenty of work tights.

Back in Dubai I had 2 days off, and to be honest I can’t remember what I did – probably lots of sunbathing and eating! That seems to be what I do best at the moment! 😀

After that I was back to Kuala Lumpur for the second time this month. We arrive at the hotel just in time for the start of happy hour, so of course a few of us made out way down to the pool and tried a couple of the buy one get free cocktails in the sun before dinner. A group of us took the metro two stops to the street restaurant area and all shared lots of delicious food!

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After dinner a couple of us stopped off at the market area and I got a new watch for work. The next morning a few of the girls were going to the caves and I had originally planned to go with them but I ended up sleeping in and then going to gym. Before the wake up call in the afternoon I decided to go to the Petronas Towers and have a browse around in the shopping mall inside. I also got some chicken satay for lunch overlooking some lovely fountains!

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After KL I had 2 days off again and then another trip to London. I was flying with Jess, one of my batch mates, which was great 🙂 Once we arrived at the hotel we decided to go straight out and go to Primark and also go for a big food shop at Asda! I stocked up on lots of bacon, sausages, crumpets, English muffins and wine! 😀

Once I arrived back in Dubai in the evening I got the bus home, showered and got ready as quick as I could and headed straight out to the Shangri La to meet all of the girls! I think this was the first time since training college that all of us were together! We had a really great evening and it was so lovely catching up with everyone together!

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On Sunday my friend Bruno invited me and a couple of his friends round for dinner – roast pork! It was so delicious and definitely just what I needed, washed down with a few glasses of wine and some cocktails!

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Yesterday Sally and I spent the day relaxing at Emirates Towers pool (free entrance for FACE card users, yes!) and getting a bit of sun. Even though it wasn’t the hottest day ever in Dubai, it was a refreshing change to have a bit of a breeze and some clouds! I still managed to top up my tan slightly!

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Thursday early morning I’m back off to Kuala Lumpur again, and then the May roster will have come out, which is very exciting, I can’t wait to find out which new destinations I’ll be going to! 🙂

It’s been way too long since I managed to post anything on here, but I have a very good excuse…my friends Maria, Simone and Georg from home came to visit! They stayed for a week and we had an awesome time!

I went to pick them up from the airport on the Wednesday evening and then took them to the hotel which was just across the road opposite my apartment. A few hours later I had to go to work, so I left them with lots of information about where to go and what to do in the 2 days that I would be away. I flew to Kuala Lumpur (seems like I am there this whole month!) and then on Friday evening I was back.

They had been to Al Mamzar beach on both days as it is only a few minutes drive from where I live, and they all managed to get slightly (very) sunburnt! We started off the Saturday by going to the Dubai Mall for a look around, and the girls had big plans to shop as well!

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We had lunch at a nice Italian restaurant overlooking the water, however we didn’t realise that the fountain show doesn’t start til 6pm! After watching the Burj Khalifa’s windows being cleaned by about 50 men dangling from long ropes, we headed back inside to do some hardcore shopping. In the evening after we had all spent too much money (thanks 20% discount at Sephora!) we went outside to watch the fountain show, which was lovely as always! (However, it is very difficult to take a good picture!)

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After we had finished we all got a taxi back to the mine to drop things off. As we were driving home a huge sandstorm started up! I’ve never seen anything like it, I think it has only rained once since I moved here. The automatic doors to my apartment building wouldn’t even open! We had to cross the road to get to the hotel and just as we walked outside it started pouring with rain and then thunder and lightening started as well! Luckily we didn’t have far to go, but our plans to go out that evening were very much cancelled!

The next day we decided to go to the spice and gold souks. We were going to get a water taxi across the creek which I have heard only costs 1 Dirham, but the weather turned against us and it started to pour with rain again! So we got the taxi driver to drop us off just outside the spice souk, and luckily the rain had just stopped. We had a wander round and the girls bought a few different spices to take home. I bought some vanilla pods for baking as they were so cheap! 
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We had a look around the gold souks imagining what we would buy if we were rich Arab women, haha.

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We then headed over to the Pyramids at Wafi for some lunch at a delicious Italian (where I happen to get 40% off – thanks Face Card!) before our plans for the afternoon/evening – a desert safari!

The driver came and picked us up outside the hotel in the afternoon, and we drove about 50 minutes through Sharjah to the desert somewhere – I did ask him where it was but I can’t remember now! We stopped at a little place outside the desert to let some air out of the tyres, ready to go dune bashing.

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Driving over the sand dunes at a ridiculous speed is probably one of the scariest things ever, and at one point even the driver was making fun of our screams! He stopped just before sunset (which coincidentally was probably the first time there wasn’t an amazing red and pink sky because of all the rain) for us to do some sand-boarding!

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After all falling over numerous times, we carried on the drive through the dunes and made a stop at a camel farm! We couldn’t get very close but managed to get a few pictures.

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 Our next stop was to the dinner area, which was a load of tents and buildings (well, more like little shacks really) in the middle of the desert. We got to ride camels, very exciting!

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The last part of the evening was inside the tent area. We got to try on the traditional Arab dress (not sure it suits me!) and then had dinner and watched some dancing.

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Once we got back home, we stayed up until midnight, because it was Maria’s birthday the next day! We would have had some champagne, but unfortunately it’s not very easy to buy alcohol in Dubai, and I forgot to bring any back from Duty Free. The next morning we decided to get up early and go to the Burj Al Arab.

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We had a lovely walk along the beach and took lots of the obligatory tourist pictures. If only we had been able to just go into the Burj for a few drinks!
We then decided to go and have a look around the Marina. It was my first time going to the Walk as well, and it was really beautiful! Lots of boats and cafes along the waterfront. As we were walking along we spotted one with a breakfast board outside, and decided to have some brunch! Us girls all ordered some pancakes (so good!) and Georg got eggs with all the side dishes. After devouring our food and getting baked in the sun, we walked along the Marina Walk admiring the view. 

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The plan for the rest of the day was to sunbathe and get as brown as possible, until it was time to get ready for Maria’s birthday dinner! We went to an amazing steak restaurant on The Palm called West 14th. Amazing views out on to the Marina and the food was incredible! After we headed to the Crowne Plaza for a few more birthday drinks, where we met up with my friend Bruno and had a great evening! 

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The next day Georg and Simone got up early to sunbathe, whilst Maria and I slept the morning away. I had a flight at 2 am the next morning, so I had to get a few hours rest in the afternoon. Their flight was leaving at 1am as well, so they decided to go back to the Dubai Mall for a couple more hours of shopping. 

All in all we had an amazing week, thank you so much Maria, Simone and Georg for coming to visit me!

My most recent flight was to Dublin and back. The fight itself was so so busy, we literally had about 5 minutes to eat on the way there! Let’s just say the Irish like to drink… 😉
I had a really great crew, so we had a lovely time and 6 of us went out to explore the city (it might have had something to do with the fact that I forced everyone to come to Primark/Penny’s!) – the weather was nice, very very cold but lovely and sunny!

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We got back to the hotel in the evening and I climbed straight into bed and slept until the wake-up call the next morning!

So I’ve now been flying for almost 2 months and I am still absolutely loving it, and feel like I am going on holiday every time I go to work! However I have had the chance to notice a couple of things that are slightly irritating on board, and decided to write a blog post about it! So here goes…:

– Don’t bring hundreds of bags onboard! Do you really need a suitcase, laptop case, handbag, neck pillow, duty free shopping, etc etc etc? Save yourself the hassle of lugging 50 bags down the aisle and just check it in!

– Walk quickly! You have a boarding pass in your hand which has your seat number on it, so go directly to that seat and don’t take half an hour to get there! Also, you definitely do not need to stop at every single row on your way!

– Put your stuff away and sit down! The longer you take to put your bags up in the hatracks the longer boarding takes, because everybody is waiting to go past you. So put your bag up and sit down! It’s not going anywhere and whatever it is that you so urgently need, get it out after the seatbelt sign has gone off!

– Please don’t start asking me for things before we have even finished boarding! As you can see we are very busy and the aisle is still full of people, so if you are really that desperate for a drink you should have brought your own bottle of water! We do actually serve food and drinks, and they are free!

– Sit in your assigned seat. You would think this would be a given, but so many people just take a seat wherever they fancy and then I have to sort out swapping people around to make sure everyone is in the right place.

– Keep your children under control! Obviously I am not talking about crying babies, because they don’t understand what is happening and why their ears are hurting, but I mean screaming children who run up and down the aisles and get in our way!

– Last but not least, don’t ask me “How long til we get there?” or “Which country are we flying over?”….do I really look like I have any idea?! Oh yes wait a minute, I’ll just look out of the window and tell you which street we just passed!

That pretty much concludes my few rules on how to be my favourite passenger apart from one last thing….BE NICE! How hard is it to smile and say please and thank you?! 🙂

Next months roster came out a few days ago, and I’m going back to Kuala Lumpur (3 times!), I’ve got 2 London Heathrows and Beijing. And apart from that, about 18 days off!