Tuesday, April 12, 2011
LV = Leave = LOVE!
Finally the day rolled around where that blessed green box appeared on my roster: XX followed by two weeks of 'LV LV LV LV LV'. Woo hoo!!!
I arrived from New York at about 9pm, then right away I started doing my washing and getting my bags ready. Of course, after being so tired on the landing and through to the bus trip back to my apartment, by this time I could not fall asleep. I probably had about 2 or 3 hours of sleep by the time my phone rang to wake me up. I decided to skip getting a taxi to the airport and use the convenient Dubai Metro instead. It was a short walk from my building to a station and then onto the train. It took maybe 15 or 20 minutes to get to the airport. From there it was easy to take my bags and check in. Phew, my bag weighed right on the 30kg limit, lucky!!!
I spent awhile looking around the shops and the airport in general. It's only when on leave that we actually get to see inside the airport; usually we get taken direct to the plane from our crew centre and so miss seeing all the goings on of the airport. I picked up some supplies for the flight (bottled water and some snacks in case I didn't like what was being served) then had myself a quick breakfast before boarding. (See, it's not that hard to do, passengers who tell me you can't buy water in the airport!!!)
I went to the gate as it said boarding, but silly me didn't actually look outside of the window and check if there was even a plane there. (It wasn't there yet). After waiting about 45 minutes, the plane did show up and was cleaned ready for our flight. While waiting, I got talking to a girl sitting by me, as she wanted to plug her iPhone to my laptop to charge it. No problem. It turned out she used to work in a town that one of my previous airlines flew to. We even knew some of the same people. Small world indeed!!!
Once boarding was called for my section I headed onboard, putting the things I needed immediately in the seat pocket (and making sure I didn't block the aisle while I did so). The size of people's carry on luggage still never ceases to amaze me. I had the smallest of small rollaboard bags, others were bringing stupidly large bags plus myriad smaller items, then getting annoyed when there was nowhere to put them. Of course, putting things under the seat in front (in their own legroom) was out of the question. The lady in front of me wanted to put her bags in MY legroom (Um, no thank you was my answer).
Soon everyone was settled and off we went. I was going home!!! Despite being tired, I didn't (or couldn't) sleep. I ate my lunch (which was the fish as they'd run out of the choices) and it wasn't too bad. Of course some people made such a fuss, so when the poor crew got to me, he nearly had to ask me to repeat myself when I said that whatever he was serving is fine. I wasn't using a crew bag so I don't know if he knew I was crew- his reaction said probably not. After the meal was done I watched some movies. "Morning Glory" with Rachel McAdams and "Never Let Me Go" with Carey Mulligan. I quite like her, aside from her cute awards show outfits she has an interesting face.
Anyway, the flight was okay, weird and uncomfortable for me because I'm not used to sitting for so long. Eventually, we arrived and it was nearly time to meet my family. Yay!
After a brief stop in duty free to buy Moet for my sister's birthday, it was out to Arrivals & my family. We got my bags into the car then headed home. Being around 3am by this time, we were all hungry and I requested to make a stop on the way home.
Hungry Jack's!!! For those of you who like Burger King, imagine it but ten times better. I still haven't found any Burger King anywhere in the world that even comes close to Aussie Hungry Jack's- not even in NZ.
Getting home, I dumped my stuff in the foyer and we descended into the lounge to devour our burgers and fries.... man it was sooooooo good!!! All the while watching 'Jersey Shore' (don't ask) re-runs and me answering myriad questions about my life in the Middle East.
I'm not one of those people who can keep a good gift under wraps for long, so of course then the unpacking of bags in the middle of the lounge room floor followed, I like seeing what people think of the presents I got for them. As it was my sister's 30th birthday I splashed out a bit and bought her the new Dior Cannage makeup palette, she said it was exactly what she had been thinking to buy for herself and the cool thing is onc eth emakeup is gone the case can be used as a clutch bag. Cute!!
For my aunt I got an 'I <3 NYC' t-shirt and glass Arabic perfume bottle and for my sister's BF I got him a set of new york shot glasses with the Subway symbols on them which are really cool looking.
The first few days of leave were spent doing boring stuff like Dr's appointments, car service and all that fun stuff. We didn't really do a lot, I hadn't planned much before I left and we just went with the flow.
Most nights we had a dinner together followed by cocktails and watching tv. During the day it was so hot, which resulted in spending lots of time at the local pool or the beach. I loved going to the beach, here are real beaches, not the yuvky rubbish-strewn ones I'd seen in Dubai. I didn't need to worry about creepy guys taking my photo. SOme nights it was so hot that we went to the beach at 10 or 11pm. I'm also kind of ashamed to admit that we did have our fair share of meals at Hungry Jacks or making stops for M&M McFlurries from McDonald's. The last big meal I had in Oz was fish and chips at Peter's by the Sea, in Scarborough. It's been there since my dad was young and was THE hangout by the beach. Happy to say the chips are as good as ever and the fish was really nice, batter golden crispy and piping hot. As always there was lots of chicken salt involved. Yum!!!
This probably makes for a boring post, but just being at home and hanging out with the family was great. While home, I celebrated my 28th birthday, along with my gorgeous nephew who turned 1 on the same day. We had a big BBQ with delicious food and of course, cake- or in our case- cakes :P
The times when my family were working was when I did all those things that one does when on leave- bank stuff, getting my fillings re-done, sorting my boxes which were in storage. That part was kind of fun (despite the heat) and it was almost like shopping as I got to clothes I had wished I'd brought with me when I moved. Now, I have much more choice when it comes to what I wear in Dubai.
Too soon it was time to get on the plane back to Dubai. This time I had to share the row of 3 with a couple, about my age. All through the flight the girl kept going to the bathroom what felt like evry five minutes. She wanted me to trade my aisle seat for the window. Normally, I'd agree but they had been annoying me so much, sticking their elbows into my space, trying to put their bags in my foot space & so on... plus, I hate being in the window as sitting down for that long is hard enough as it is without being trapped. Eventually, I wandered down the cabin and found another seat as she just kept climbing over me without warning, not giving me the chance to move my legs. Win for the inconsiderate passengers! :P
Finally we reached Dubai. I lugged my bags outside the airport but having never come through the arrivals since I moved here, I got lost and couldn't find the way to the Metro (the odd directions from one of the staff didn't help, either). After about half an hour I managed to backtrack & find the right way. Arrived home at the apartment & typically couldn't sleep! It was okay as I had a day before my next flight.
Soon enough it was time to get ready for work again. This time I'd be going back to Bangkok!