Where did I go?

Like some long sequence, some drawn out affair, meant I lost myself. What happened to song, to dance, to fun? If you’re with someone do you bury a personality chunk? I just want simple things. Like an intoxicating adventure. I already know I’m too old to be writing in a diary-blog such as things. I almost forgot about it entirely. A huge amount has happened since my last post in May. And we’re still having problems. Does that incur something?

The thing we’re fighting about now, hysterically, is how to spend New Year’s. I just feel.. sedated about it. We don’t exactly party together. Maybe many couples are like that? But we don’t go out nuts-awesome-crazy-ecstatic together. There’s always a little bit of weirdness (jealously, insecurity..) involved. 

I had a Christmas Eve dinner with pilots in a mediocre hotel near Geneva airport. And I’m wondering seriously, what happened here? Last year it was much the same, but I still had the gutso to go out and meet people in a Soviet-era inspired bar in Riga. Tomorrow – Christmas Day – we fly from here to Riyadh. How supremely lame. 

This festive morale and seasonal frantic joy implanted itself in me, I was trying to be a part of it. I called my Mum and sister (didn’t connect/no answer) and sent a message to my brother. They barely count as ‘family’, I don’t know why I even bothered? 

And what the fuck am I doing in Scotland? I never liked the UK culture. I never liked small cities or towns. What a mess. At this point (rose-induced contemplation) I’m not entirely sure I’m capable of loving anyone fully or properly. I’m resentful of the aging process and of the expectation of the hallmarks of life, of children, and partnership. 

I remember being a pessimist as a teenager. I think I haven’t strayed far from that now, in my mid-twenties. So I should be expecting to carry that attitude for pretty much the remainder of it, right? That really… sucks. I already feel morbidly ancient at 25. I think I will need to heavily self-medicate for the rest of my life. Happy haze? Other people have religion, and the fantasy (?) of love. I can placate my world with SSRIs then, surely. 

The odd, odd thing is, that I’m 25, with the open option to try to organize some awesome European road trip with a wonderful, gorgeous guy. Something in France, Italy, wherever. But there’s something missing. New Year’s is the time, if there’s any, to invite madness in. And I just don’t see that happening. I see a domestic, comfort-emphasized life with him, but nothing raw or real.



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It’s 9pm and still daylight outside. I’m in the south of Moscow, hovering somewhere on the city outskirts at a hotel called Katarina Park. There’s a free snack mini bar, kid’s murals on some of the walls, and and thin curtains of dubious quality that all the pilots love to complain about. The malls and markets nearby are boring (we went on an unsuccessful cheap smartphone manhunt), but it’s green, and fresh, and clear. There are three (!) of our  aircraft parked on the Vnokovo apron (we have five aircraft in operation at the moment), so we have nine crew members here. Have been grazing on food all day so I skipped dinner with the group.

My last post was around six months ago. Felt like I needed to try to write, if only a bit. Then all I want to do is shower and sleep! We will be in Munich by tomorrow afternoon. My schedule is always completely uncertain but I will maybe spend around a week there at the office. I asked Romain to come – he needs a break from Dubai, from work.

After applying to ERAU over two months ago I’m still waiting for the application to come together, what a mess that was. I don’t expect to get in. But one has to try, right? Really hope an answer comes in over the next few weeks.

Work is good, I’m pretty content with it. This rotation we’ve stayed in Istanbul, Nice (was especially lovely, I got a lot of happiness out of one night there), Paris, Moscow, and Jeddah. Summer in Europe – you never want to let go of it.

The past few weeks at home before I left were pretty awful. Lots of arguing. We were both unhappy. It seemed to be ok by the time I left, but it doesn’t stop me being afraid. Being in another country together should work better, as it was our day-to-day  life in Dubai that was a big part of the issue(s).



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I’m staying in a hotel across a bridge from the old city of Riga. This is no longer a novelty, the walking back and forth (there’s nothing at all on this side so the strolling is born out of necessity). My room is lovely at least, royal blue carpet and pink patterned bathroom wallpaper. I saw fireworks a few nights ago from my window. Yesterday three women dressed as coloured mushrooms were performing a novel Xmas Eve number, dancing and singing on a little stage in the town square. The population in Riga is less that 800,000 – a perfect size for a festive-minded Baltic-style layover, non?

This is my last rotation for the year. I’m proceeding home on Wednesday, and then flying to Paris for New Year’s. I cringe just a little at that (seems trite).Then, because I cringe, I also feel like something’s off. There’s more apprehension than excitement?

I called my grandma earlier this week. It was her 88th birthday. Couldn’t remember the last time I spoke to her. The conversation lasted no more than 3 minutes, she was pretty eager to get off the line. I’ll try this family phone call thing again in a few days, my brother’s 40th. And yes, I called Mum too. She’s due for a visit towards the end of 2012. I expect (?) to still be in Dubai, so we need her there when the weather is tolerable.

It’s Christmas Day, and the only person I’ve seen is the chambermaid, barging into my room. I’ll go for a drink later maybe, either tea at the Christmas tavern-y markets or at a bar, alone, like the old me. Best to avoid the mulled wine – last time I had that it was not, eh, a pretty outcome. Wish I could say that, aside from the Latvian McDonalds and the rose lokum and the pear cider, I’ve made full use of the time by bob-sledding and partying and having riotus dinners with great colleagues. Unfortuntely this is not the case. What have I really been doing? Shopping (mostly the window variety), walking, watching Modern Family, learning French, sleeping in. Tis the season of subdued action. The pilots are nice enough, but I haven’t seen them since we last checked-in and don’t particularly want to.

I’m proud of the things I tried for the first time this year. Fun activity, adventurous stuff. Nothing huge. But it’s enough for me. Of course I’ll have a fresh list in the back of my 2012 planner, nothing that different really. The thing that gets me is that it’s all short-term, dumb-dumb simple, single-focus. I absolutely do not have the softest whimper of long-term, major, complex goals. Not even a echoed whisper of some concrete aspirations, raw ambition. The thought is so awful, second only in its awfulness by the thought of aging (the cliché fear of every female). What a bummer.

I had an interview a few Sundays ago (I blew it). I was gleeful and fitful and got ahead of myself after the first day. At the following meeting I was brought back to earth. This was imperceptibly, just barely paralysing. It was a double-slap rejection because I wouldn’t have taken it anyway, not after I understood their counter-offer. On my side I asked for too much money and I was too honest about my current ‘package’ (if you could even call it that). On their side, they had a brand-new ACJ318 (good) based in Dubai (good) with a 12k basic (good) but wanted the FAs to clean the cabin alone (are you fucking high?) and be on permanent standby (ooof) and fly probably most often to, from and around the African continent (..)

R and I have dating for 6 months now. And you know for me that’s an obscene stretch of time. There’s a kind of plan to live together when he finds a new apartment in January. The house-hunting didn’t really happen in November or December, because of the trips we took (Vietnam and Houston) and then the holidays. I’m too proud, too shy, to talk about him, about what’s happened. The best I’ve been able to say is that I have ‘unhealthy feelings’ for him (argh). He’s taught me a lot. It’s remarkable how he has no faults at all. I really mean this, it’s nothing short of astonishing. Any slight issue that’s come up has been brought on by me. And I get spooked easily.. everything I know about relationships is through the observation of friends and their boyfriends or.. the (gasp!) media. If anything is unhealthy, it’s gotta be that.

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Organ Registry?

There’s no such thing as an international organ donation registry? How do the laws work, say if you die in another country, for example? I can’t register in Australia because I don’t live there, and probably it wouldn’t matter? Say I’d be elsewhere in the world, would the hospital be able to take tissues or organs?

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I’ve been watching so much Californication my eyesight has deteriorated. Hope it’s temporary 🙂 Have had a super lazy week. Got a few things done at home though. Still – staying put to watch Hank Moody fuck his way through life, that isn’t acceptable. Last night was a dnb thing and I was invited out by Romain’s group though he’s not even here (I really ought to be going no matter what a la Jim Carrey in The Yes Man).

Quite regressive. But.. I’m angry. Angry that I’ve pulled out money from my savings. Angry that the heat blasts out any motivation to run outdoors. Angry with my shitty self. One can’t partying carrying a black mood like that.

Annoying false alarm for a flight on Tuesday, getting ready in a crazy flurry for a flight that cancelled again before I left the apartment. It was only to Riyadh again, but I really wanted to go. It’s really not the most amazing time to be in Dubai now.

I am continually checking with Ops and people from the office on Skype about flights. Doesn’t seem like there’s anything scheduled. It’s almost August! What ever has happened to my dreamy European flying work holiday? :/

I don’t feel enthusiastic about this last weekend before Ramadan anymore.

This BSc of Global Social Science, at a campus a few minutes from my place. A private pilot license. Everything is 2-3 years and many, many hours. I can’t trust myself to commit. And everything is expensive. I have trouble considering an annual gym membership even! Who knows where I’ll be or what’ll be happening a year from now right?! 2012, I mean woa. Haven’t even finished this fluffy IATA diploma because the last exam was scheduled exactly when I was changing jobs and countries back in April. It’s all so pathetic.

I’m taking the easy way out? Just like that Westlife song? I’m 25 soon – major ooof. These are the years I’m to spend in the middle east? What of Western or Northern Europe? Soaking up the developed, creative, democratic, gender-balanced social norms of Scandinavia. Many many tall blonde people. Returning to my formative years by the way of cold weather.

I can stay in Dubai for 40 days free on a visitor visa. I appreciate this. I can stay in Europe for 90 days however.

I know with certainty that I’m not going anywhere. I am building something here and there is no way I am letting go. But the wonder, and the puzzle, is always present.

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5 weeks off. Then an overnight stay in Riyadh last Friday, and here I am, back again! What have I been doing to occupy myself all this time? Well.. indoor rockclimbing and cable climb yesterday with Felix (Maria was a spectator) at Adventure HQ. Test drive on a KTM bike. Thai massage at Happy Valley. Bars, clubs, dinners. Jogs. Boyfriend, friends, flatmate. Ripped TV series, movies. Mall trawling.

So – nothing out of the ordinary.

Plan on doing a test flight on a Piper single-engine. Issue is that the papers need to be handed in a few weeks in advance, so I could be waiting a while for whatever approval is required. Chatted with Wolfgang about possibly getting a PPL. Can’t get clarity on my reasons for thinking about it? For bragging rights? Because I need some project to occupy myself? Or I would truly enjoy it?

A friend might be able to ‘hire’ me to get a work permit here (for residency) under his old company that it still operating. For licenses, visas, identification etc, this would certainly be helpful. Too legit to quit!

On the 15th I had the best night. Drum and bass party at Chi. I felt like myself there. It was a rediscovery. And it was fucking awesome. Danced for three hours non-stop, free entry, free drinks. Wanted to hug every girl that showed up in serious (read:flat) shoes, suited to the event.

Friends. Miranda starts a new job on the 1st, something else in Saudi Arabia. My company needs new girls but surprisingly there isn’t really anyone to pull in. Nourhan is in Egypt on leave. Ann is finally shifting to Dubai. Romain is on leave. I think Felix is taking a weekend trip away this weekend or next.

And what’s rolling in come August? Ramadan. I’m hoping the cards fall so that I miss most/all of it and end up in Europe somewhere (anywhere). The oppressive heat and the soon-to-be oppressive religion.. that’s a double whammy that one can only hope to avoid. High expectatiosn for the weekend as everyone draws in their final clubbing breath.

Sweaty is in Abu Dhabi but coming back tomorrow. I wanted to join (trip to a shooting range) but couldn’t rationalize a journey there and back. After the intial night of being really happy to see him again, it plateaued a little, quickly. A feeling that isn’t quite right. I think he’s trying to force a little space, out of respect for recent developments?

I’m on Google+ but.. no one else is utilizing it?

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Russian flight attendants at Hainan Airlines

Picture from China Daily

1. I had no idea Chinese airlines hired laowai FAs!

2. I’m jealous!

Do they speak fluent Mandarin? Are they based in China or their home countries? If just 1% of staff are foreigners, how many is that? Hundreds?

Foreign staff at Chinese airlines – People’s Daily Online (English)

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