Thursday, 18 December 2008

Disappearing Chicken

Something VERY strange happened here a few weeks ago and I'm still kind of scratching my head about it.

Let me set the scene - I live in a 53 storey building that has an 8 floor carpark. That carpark is frequented by indian workers and homeless cats. Both stare balefully at us whenever we leave the building and it's more often the cats that call out to us for food.

The two cats that have adopted our building are rather manky looking. There is Tinkerbell and the unnamed female. I called the boy Tinkerbell before I noticed his MASSIVE cat balls. He's got patches of skin missing, chunks out of his ears and I think he was white once upon a time. The girl cat would be kind of cute if she didn't have a gammy leg, a lopsided swollen mouth and a terribly annoying yowl. She's also frequently pregnant or nursing babies (that I've never caught a glimpse of), courtesy of Tinkerbell.

Every now and then I'll buy them a sachet of cat food from the nearby grocery store and they inhale it like they've never been allowed food before.

Since joining the gym and being put on my "brown rice is good for you" diet, I've turned into Little Miss Domestic - always cooking and buying wayyyy too many groceries. A few weeks ago, I bought a massive pack of chicken breast, planning on a chicken palooza in the kitchen. I shoved it onto my crammed shelf in the fridge, piled more stuff on top of it and promptly forgot it was there until I re-discovered it about a week later after returning from a long trip. It was way past the very optimistic expiry date on the packet, which was about a week longer than I'd give chicken to live in my fridge. We waste so much food on board that unnecessarily wasting food at home really upsets me.

Ashelgith said unnamed female cat was meowing pitifully outside the building when she came in that morning, so I got the chicken out and cooked it up. It smelt absolutely rancid and I was really worried that she'd get sick if I gave it to her to eat but figured that beggars can't be choosy and that if she lives in the desert and eats out of bins, my slightly off cooked up chicken really wouldn't do too much damage to her stomach lining.

So, armed with three massive cooked chicken breasts that'd been cooked and diced up (and still smelt hideous), my packed gym bag and I headed downstairs. I'd folded up some foil to make a bowl for the chicken, and I put it near the entrance of the carpark elevators. There was an Indian man lurking there watching me, but he wasn't a worker. He was wearing the standard Indian man outfit/uniform: plaid shirt, trousers of indescript colour and sandals. Man sandals.

I put the chicken down and smiled at a businessman who came out of the building and looked oddly at me for feeding the cat. Some people just don't understand niceness. The cat however, was nowhere to be seen. I felt good about doing a good deed and skipped off to the gym, only to be tortured beyond belief by Jimmy.

When I came home I was hoping to see the foil bowl empty or at least almost empty. Instead, I was shocked to see it was gone. Not just empty and perhaps pushed about by the wind, but GONE. Finito. Removed. I was sure that even though the cat is starving, not even she could eat that much chicken in just over an hour. I scouted around the car park, behind the poles and under the surrounding cars as unobviously as I could but had no luck. Then I thought perhaps the foil was thrown into the bin by a passerby who saw it was empty.

Feeling rather homeless myself, I went over to the bin, opened the lid and looked inside. Still nothing. I then realised that someone had taken it. Now this may sound like a stretch but this IS Dubai. People do all sorts of weird stuff here and while a great many of them are crew, this reeked of homelessness. Not even the most conceited of cabin crew would throw out a cat's dinner and a unnamed female cat most certianly DID NOT get up on two legs (one of them very gammy), teeter over to the bin, open it and place the foil inside. There was also no spilt chicken on the floor around the bowl, telling me that unnamed female cat never even saw the meal.

I came upstairs and told Ash and while we had a giggle that someone had stolen the chicken, I then realised that that person would be in a world of pain after eating it. It was so off it didn't even smell edible once it was cooked. For someone to be so hungry and poor that they need to steal food that someone gave to a cat is just so sobering. I really help that's not the case.

Does anyone else have a plausible explanation for the disappearance of my thougthfully cooked chicken??

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Top 40 most asked....

Tonight I found this questionaire on a cool blog called Another Passport Stamp and thought I'd do it too. For some reason I don't read a lot of other blogs, so I'm probably the last blogging flight attendants out there to fill it out and post it Apparently it's a short list of the most commonly asked questions flight attendants get from the general public.

1. Which airline is lucky enough to employ you? One that requires me to wear a red hat with a white scarf that continually gets stuck to my hooker red lippy.

2. What city(ies) are you based in? Delightful Dubai.

3. If you could choose any city, what would be your dream base? New York baby, NEW YORK!!!

4. How long would you like to be based there? For the rest of my days...

5. Have you ever done the nasty with a passenger you met on a plane? Nope. The one I gave my number to never called...

Have you ever wanted to? That's why I gave him my number.

What is your favorite city thus far to layover in? Not necessarily in order of love: New York (always number 1), Melbourne, Brisbane, Paris, Rome and Hamburg.

Have you had famous people as passengers? Yes, but not as many as I'd like to have had after 3 long years of devotion to the skies. The only famous people in the cabin I worked in were some old crusty Arabic crooner from Morocco and the only unmarried princess left in Morocco. I've directly spoken to Ronan Keating but was working in economy when he travelled business. Also on my aircraft at some stage have been Ernie Dingo (Aussie celeb), Alexander Downer (Aussie politician), some Indian rock star (unpronouncable name) and one of the Schumacher brothers. Not very impressive.

If so, who was your favorite? Ronan. He's really quite cute in person and very polite.

Who was your least favorite? Schumacher - he held up the aircraft, was the last to board and pretty much looked through me like I was something stuck to his shoe when I welcomed him on board and told him where his seat was.

Who would you love to have on your flight? Brad Pitt, George Clooney....any nice eye candy really.

Are you a language speaker for your airline? I speak Australian, but for some reason am discouraged to annouce that in the P.A.

13. What is your least favorite flight to work? Any flight that doesn't have a layover at the end of it.

Do you have a flight you actually enjoy working? Any Aussie flight is usually fun and fuss free. The passengers all board quickly, find their seats by themselves, stow their luggage, sit down, buckle up and only ask you for drinks. They like to have a chat, understand sexual harrassment laws (well most do), and generally don't bother you with stupid requests at top of descent.

15. Have you ever done the nasty with a crew member? Not on the aircraft.

What do you watch on TV when you are getting ready for work on a layover? Tv while I'm getting ready distracts me so I pop on my ipod instead. However, a few times I've found myself running late because I was dancing around the hotel room in my knickers and had to sternly tell myself that my hair and face needs attention pronto.

Have you ever dropped a passenger meal and served it? No, that's really gross. If I wouldn't eat it, I wouldn't serve it. This doesn't include the 5 second rule, because whoever eats it needs to observe the surface it fell on before deciding if the rule applies. I've seen a senior put a bread roll back on a tray when it fell on the economy galley floor - pretty wrong if you asked me. I took it off the tray and told her I felt it was better to serve it without the roll.

18. Do you prefer working coach, business class or first class? Is this a trick question?

19. What is your favorite airplane to work? 777-200 ulr! It's new, it's sleek, it's got a cool social area AND there are only 8 suites in first class!

Do you know what crop-dusting inflight is? Is there anyone out there who DOESN'T know what this is? Sometimes unavoidable and the ultimate revenge on pissy passengers.

Do you prefer working early flights or late ones? I don't like responding to alarms and getting up early, but I HATE working through the night. At the end of the day, I'd rather have already worked and be looking into a nice glass of red wine than be preparing to work an all-nighter when I've not slept yet.

22. Do you like the uniform your airline gives you? I'm of the opinion that it's revolting but some crew like it. I don't look good in beige and would consider becoming a purser simply because they wear navy blue. Our new uniform is currently being worn by our very, very special A380 crew (cough cough) and will be "rolled out" (direct quote from management) across the entire fleet by the end of the first quarter of 2009. I think it's an improvement on the current potato sack and I look forward to wearing it. However, I'm concerned about where I'll buy red shoe polish from. Does anyone know where I can get some?

23. Do you take your laptop on a layover? Depends if there's free internet and if I think the crew will all be duds and I'll need to amuse myself. If I've been to the destination a million times or there's absolutely nothing to do there, then definitely.

. What is your LEAST favorite part of every flight? While I look forward to disembarking because it means the flight is over with, I hate having to stand there and wish everyone a nice day. I do genuinely hope they have a nice day, but my face aches after saying it 400 times. Half of them don't even look at me or respond AND they run over my toes with their oversized & completely unnecessary carry-ons!

. What is the BEST hotel you have ever had a layover at? Believe it or not, the hotel in Calcutta (the name escapes me) is the bomb! It's got gorgeous rooms, epic bathrooms, great bars and restaurants and a really nice gym and pool area. I love the Sofitel in Brisbane, the Novotel in Singapore, the Meridian in Hamburg and the Arabella in Munich isn't too shabby either.

Where did you interview for your job? At the Holiday Inn in Brisbane.

What other cities have you been based in? Only Dubdub - all of our crew are based here and this is my first flying job.

Favorite base? N/A

Why did you become a flight attendant? I was bored with life in Brisbane and wanted to see the world. I figured this was my chance for free travel before I got into a serious job that wouldn't allow frequent trips away from my 9-5 desk.

Did you apply at other airlines that didn't want you? Nope - beginner's luck.

Do you like the airline you work for? to answer this question without getting into trouble or putting off potential recruits. Just kidding! Most of the time I do, but like any large company, there are shortfalls that irritate the hell out of most of the employees. This company gives us a pretty good deal, so I really can't complain THAT much. A yearly bonus also isn't to be sneezed at!!

Have you ever had the CEO of your airline onboard as a passenger? I've not yet had the pleasure.

Have you ever dated a passenger you met? Nah, but have kept in touch with a few.

Have you ever gotten into a disagreement with a fellow crew member? While I have a wild imagination and carry on all sorts of disagreement conversations in my head that I'd NEVER say aloud, I've only come to have harsh words with a few. The one that really sticks out in my memory was an arguement that came about because another girl opened my duty free container. This wasn't a big deal, because I said we could just swap - hers were unopened and therefore the contents weren't compromised. However, I was new to duty free, it was top of descent and I wasn't actually planning on opening mine until 5 minutes after she did it for me - I HATE last minute orders. I didn't know where HER container was located and she refused to help me find it. On top of that, she shoved her orders at me because she didn't want to sell because she wouldn't make commission!! I flew into a rage, yelled at her and she yelled back. It didn't come to fisticuffs but I will say I was really close to telling her that her fake eyelashes were really obvious.

Has a pilot ever hit on you? I don't think there is a flight attendant out there who hasn't been hit on by a pilot. That's not to say that all pilots hit on crew - some of them are true gentlemen and their occupation shouldn't brand them as sleazy. Nor should mine brand me as an easy floozy.

Do you dislike passengers or pilots more? Depends on their antics - I'll take everyone at face value until they piss me off.

Passengers ask annoying questions when they see you in uniform. What is your least favorite question? Oh there are many that are just no-brainers but one that really takes the cake was a silly American women who shared a lift with me in Rome. After looking me up and down and making the familiar American statement regarding my uniform "Oh I just LOVE yourrrrrrrrrr uniforrrrrrrrm, what airrrrrrline do you worrrrrrk forrrrrr?'', I thanked her and answered and she followed with "where are YOU from?". I answered Australian, to which she came back with a confused frown and "do you speak English there??". Come on lady, we just had half a conversation - what language do YOU speak? I also hate being asked which terminal flights leave from, where the toilets/lounge/check-in desk/duty free shop/exit/smoking area/souvenir shop/excess baggage collection point/shop that sells edible food/gate or transfer desks are located. While I might be required to know exactly where all the oxygen bottles and fire extinguishers are located on all the different aircraft types I fly on, I certainly haven't been trained on the locations of the above in all of the world's airports. That said, the minute I don't know where I am and need to find something, I'll ask a person in uniform but even before I had this job I knew not to ask flight attendants. I usually look like I don't know where I'm doing because I DON'T know where I'm going, so I don't know why they ask me. Mostly I hate having to admit I don't know the answer because I know I'll cop that ''you must be real stupid'' look they throw at you.

What is the stupidest request a passenger has made of you? Besides the pointless and never-granted requests for a free upgrade, my favourite is: "Can you maybe get me a chicken/beef/fish/lamb that comes with something else?" Like, do you want me to go and grow the vegies out the back and steam the up for you???

Is being a hostess with the mostess your only job? Yes. My company forbids having side jobs. That said if I could find something under the radar that pays me enough to sacrifice my downtime I'd do it.

Have you ever gotten any long lasting relationships out of your job? Negative on the romantic front - I find that flying doesn't play well with relationships. I tend to do lots of long flights because I don't overly care for the country I live in. Being here for only 8 days a month isn't really conducive to being a ''girlfriend''. I have however made some of the most wonderful friends a girl could ever ask for - namely my two flatmates. Over the last 3 years, they've become more like sisters than friends and I just love love LOVE them.

This is us on our most recent night out, celebrating Jena's ascention to first class!

My name's Lauren and I have an addiction...

It was November 22 when this draft was written and I'd only managed to Xmas shop for 1.5 cousins and 0.5 of a flatmate. That's horrendously shocking for a shopaholic.

I blame my recent lapse in concentrated shopping attemps on my newfound gym addiction.

That's right readers, no need to rub your eyes in disbelief or assume that was one huge typo - I have the beginnings of a problem. Albeit a good one, but this is unchartered territory for me.

Having decided earlier this year (5 months ago) that I might resign in February and go home to the land where freedom of speech, women's rights, sexual harrassmant laws and worker's unions are abundant, I realised that it was time to shake the 3 year bulge...which set in 2.5 years ago. It's just taken me that long to A) realise I hate those 5 extra kgs with a passion and B) have the engery or motivation to do anything about it.

Hearing fantastic rumours that a Fitness First opened 10 minutes down the road from my apartment I whooped with joy. I'd previously been a member at home in Aus and loved their group exercise classes. I was a pilates addict, going so far as to drag a tight-hamstring afflicted male friend along with me every week.

By the time I took this job, I was a size 10, had 2 jobs, was going to uni & doing pilates religiously - to put it mildly I was in far greater shape that I am now.

With all the guts I could muster, I made the phone call, went in and met a membership consultant and signed my hard-earned dizzas away. For a similar price to home I now have access to all equipment and all classes. Another Fitness First branch 10-15 mins drive from my place has a pool, so if I feel a burning desire to do laps like an olympian I can. My membership involved a non-negotiable, non-avoidable and completely mandatory fitness assessment + triple pack of sessions with a personal trainer. The necessity of these sessions is two-fold:

1. To make sure I'm not a heart attack in the making who's planning to sue the gym's pants off


2. That I'll be impressed with the PT sessions and buy more.

I'm a typically terrible impulse shopper and managed to be strong in Aus and not go beyond the included triple pack. This time however, my african arse and I decided to employ the power of a personal trainer and all his wisdom.

Wisdom = almost tear-inducing sweat sessions that result in me struggling to walk for days, almost crying when I sneeze and being taunted with my surname like I'm one of the boys while I'm being smashed aroung the gym like a human tennis ball.

I'm your slightly above average girly girl. I hate sweat, I hate pain and while I'm not averse to it for great results, I dont'really like gut-busting exercise. My trainer Jimmy is from Scotland and I was right to worry about a language barrier. Usually people in Dubai have trouble understanding ME but his accent is something else. Having lived in England for something like 10 years, he's lost the Scottish lilt and has developed a hybrid accent that's so hard to understand sometimes it's like trying to crack a code from the Pentagon. I'm sure he thinks I have speech difficulties because I'm always asking him to repeat himself. I started out being polite and saying "pardon?" but that quickly grew old. He's always saying ''huh'' or ''what'' when I talk, so they're the words that make up most of our conversations.

Because I'm fundamentally a big sook, I don't like and am secretly terrified of pain. I'll do anything to avoid it, but there's no fooling him with chatting to try to get extended rest time. The latest trend is that every time I say ''huh'' or ''what'' in the middle of a set, I owe him 10 situps, push ups, squats or whatever cruel action he sees fit. I don't even know Iím saying it half the time until I see his eyes light up and he'll announce the new total. During our last session I racked up a debt of 50 stomach crunches.

I'm maintaining that if he didn't speak to me during a set I wouldn't say the magic words. When I'm distracted with trying to shoulder press ridiculous amounts of weight, of course I'm going to say ''huh'' to anything anyone says to me. An adjudicator from Gold Lotto could come along and shout in my ear that I've just won the jackpot and I'd still say the same thing. Perhaps slighly louder + preceeded by ''effing'', but you get my drift.

I've developed an intense dislike for sweat. As a swimmer, you feel warm in the pool but the sweat just pools with everyone else's. Gross. In pilates, sweat isn't very common - everyone just feels very zen. Give me 5 minutes on the treadmill and I'm sweating like a pig. Follow that with an intense weight workout and I'm dripping like Kylie Minogue's super-gyrating backup dancers - I just don't gyrate or have a fabulous costume.

The first time I actually DRIPPED sweat on the floor I was contorted in a stupid position with weights in hand. I felt it get a roll going through my hair, down my forehead and saw it land with a plop on the mat below me. Forgetting the weights, I stood bolt upright, looked at the floor like I'd just seen a surgeon spit-polish a piece or sterile surgical equipment and uttered an exhausted, yet revolted ''ugh''.

Jimmy looked at me with half raised eyebrows, as if I was insane, said ''it's only water'' and proceeded to make me double the total amount he'd given me. The drop of sweat made my easily distractable brain think of a girl I went to high school with. Her older sister accidentally had the sweat gland under one of her arms cut during surgery and her face was always half red at sports events. I briefly considered having both my sweat glands cut but realised that probably wouldn't stop me sweating - my face just wouldn't go so red.

After our first session I was in 8 out of 10 pain for 3.5 days. I could hardly walk, let alone work. The day after our intensive leg session I started a 9 day Singapore/Brisbane trip. My legs still didn't feel normal by the end of that trip. He later announced that session was designed to shock me and to see if I'd continue with the training beyond the inital triple pack. Feeling somewhat proud that my muscles don't scream with agony after EVERY session, just after most, I daresay I'm getting used to it.

Every 18 months we get fitted for a new uniform and in the 6 weeks between my first session and my fitting I'd dropped a dress size and a few pesky kilos. Apparently the body burns fat for 30 hours after a weights session but only 3 or 4 hours after cardio. Most of the 12 sessions I've done have been weights based so I'm getting results. I'm noticing slight but definite changes in my body and while I don't gleefully skip into the gym like some of the roid-heads do, I'm completely addicted to that post-workout shower feeling.

Chocolate cake tastes so much better after a workout too!!!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

AUSTRALIA - the right to leave

I received an interesting email recently from a friend at home. I was saddened to read a few things in it, mostly how the culture of my country is changing. I embrace multiculturalism but sometimes people just take the piss.

After Sydney not wanting to offend other cultures by putting up Christmas lights, and
after hearing that the State of South Australia changed its opinion and let a Muslim woman have her picture on her driver's license with her face covered, this prompted the following editorial to be written by an Australian citizen and published in an Australian newspaper.


"IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It! I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.

However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the 'politically correct' crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others. I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Australia .

However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand.

This idea of Australia being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Australians, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle. This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.

We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, Learn the language!

'In God We Trust' is our National Motto. This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture

If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don't like 'A Fair Go', then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet.

We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from.

This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this.

But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our National Motto, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom,


If you aren't happy here then move on! We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted. Pretty easy really, when you think about it".

Food for thought really.

While some parts do sound harsh, I couldn't have said it better myself. Often a lively debate in Dubai, we're astonished every time we go home and find our way of life as we know it has changed a little more for the worse and that liberties are being taken that certainly wouldn't fly in many other countries around the world. Many have sacrificed their lives and their freedom to give us the lifestyle, country and personal freedoms that we have today and we don't take it for granted. Had our men and women not fought so hard in the last world war, we'd have been taken over by approaching forces and would certainly not be the nation we are today.

Australia is a great land and being granted permission to live there should be something to cherish, not abuse. I live in a Muslim country and as a Catholic, I accept that. I don't wear tarty clothes, whinge that there isn't a church near me, cry that nativity scenes aren't allowed in the school here and I accept that I must have a license to purchase alcohol. Well, I might whinge about the last one because it's a bloody inconvenience! I don't boycott national days, question why the national flag is flown, request that the mosque loudspeakers be turned off because they offend me or don't fit in with my own personal religious beliefs and practices and while I HATE working on holidays that mean something to ME, it's something I must deal with because I don't live in my own country.

I'll take this moment to thank the roster gods for allowing me to have Christmas Day and Boxing Day off this year.

Being a multicultural land, we must expect to encounter some differences, but the way some people carry on like pork chops is rather frustrating.


The contents of this website are solely my own opinions, thoughts, feelings, observations, stories, travels and photographs. They do not in anyway correlate with or represent the company I work for, nor does the company endorse or have any association with this website.

Stories and people mentioned here are real. Some names, places and dates may have been changed. This website takes no responsibility for any actions or injuries resulting from reading this blog.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Munchin on Xmas goodies in Munchen

It's Christmas time !!!!!

I may be 26 years old, but when Christmas rolls around I still get as excited as a little kid. I was slightly dismayed to see Christmas decorations up in the shops as early as October when I was on a trip to Sydney and wanted to boycot Myer on principle that I won't condone or participate in the obvious over-commercialisation of a wonderful holiday.....until December.

I was happy to find that I had a Munich flight on the 1st of this month and eagerly packed my bags for the freezing weather that facebook's weather application predicted. 3 degrees at 8am, with a real feel of -1. Just what I didn't want to have to deal with - mega cold that would cause my eyes to water excessively and my nose to run and go bright red. These conditions don't agree with me and completely ruin the chance of my looking fabulous.

I was so tired from all the flying I've been doing lately I seriously considered calling in sick, but dragged my sorry self in to work and got a lovely surprise in the briefing room.

Let me August I think it was. A blogger called Airboy commented on one of my blog entries many months ago and left a link to his blog for me to check out. I have so much downtime it's ridiculous, so I went straight there and I'm STILL in awe of how awesome his blog is. It's full of crazy pictures, stories and downloadable music. It's also a complete how-to for any prospective Emirates cabin crew, with an A - Z of quesitons and answers. I was pleasantly surprised when Ben (his real name) asked if he could interview me for a series of interviews with other blogging flight attendants, but that didn't compare with how pumped I was to see my interview appear in full on his blog. Sad but true that I was mega excited. Does this mean that I'm now a published writer?

Anyhoo, I happened to bump into Ben at Dubai's mental-as-anything airport on my way to Malta in October with Ash. We tore our bags out of the back of the taxi and were hooting inside when I realised I'd just passed a person who had a very familiar face. I turned around for another look and saw Ben had done the same. In a bit of a double take moment, we both realised who the other was, with the weird familiarity that comes from only having ever seen pictures of the other person.

Also featured on Ben's blog was an interview with a funky young dude called Jarad, or J-Rad as he prefers to be called. He hails from Mississippi, the home of artery-clogging-fried-food-goodness and is just a bundle of cool accent and funky threads. After sucking down a few cups of water before entering the briefing room, sitting down, inspecting my nails and rooting around in my stuffed-to-bursting-with-crap handbag for a yoghurt covered flapjack that I just KNEW was in there, I looked around the room and realised the boy with brown hair looked vaguely familiar. I couldn't place him, but once our voyage reports (sheet of paper with everyone's name, nationality, spoken languages and some other vital flight info like the captain's name listed on it) were handed out, I saw his name and despite my sleep-fogged brain, had a lightbulb moment.

On our way to the bus, I introduced myself and we had a laugh over my reaction to how he commented in his interview that he thought there should be more supermodels working in first class. The flight over was pretty uneventful, apart from the copious testing of the new flavoured tea bags in first class. I hate getting onboard updates because they clog up my mailbox, take up valuable pork-product shopping space in my cabin bag and are generally a massive waste of paper. The only remotely excitable thing on the latest one was the new tea bags - 12 flavours! I nearly retched when I tried the ginger one, and fell instantly in love when I sampled the vanilla. You know how some things taste like other things smell? Well, on a recent trip to Houston (which I'll blog about next - lately I'm allergic to blogging in chronological order) I bought a body moisturiser that smells just like creamed butter and sugar tastes!!! Actually it smells better. Well, this vanilla tea is out of this world.

We landed, made plans to check out the Xmas markets in town, did lightning quick wardrobe changes and were saddened to find out that by the time we journeyed there on the train, the markets would be closed. It was also bloody cold outside, so I was pretty excited to shed a layer and head downstairs to the restaurant where we drank beer and ate pork and veal schnitzel. Hasty plans were made for take 2 of our Xmas market journey. Midday the next day rolled around and true to form, only half the amount of people who said they'd show up did. It was J-Rad, myself and Martine (a totally awesome Aussie girl who coincidentally is on my next trip to Melbourne!).

We set off, marvelled at the efficiency of German public transport, had a few giggles and were there before we knew it. As I knew it would, the cold wind whistled right up my nose, instantly causing faux tears and redness. My gloved fingers were slightly better off than my nose and I was super glad my jacket was long and had a big hood I could hide under. We set off down the street, with J-Rad and Martine snapping happy snaps and me wishing I'd remembered to pack my bloody camera. We came across a stall that sold foot long pork sausages and clustered around to get our hands on them. I'm such a foodie, and was delighted to find the other two were as well. We wandered around, buying anything and everything we could digest, constantly exclaiming aloud that we just love Xmas and all the food and excitement that comes with it.

While us girls stocked up on decorations for the tree, J-Rad was on a determined search for gloves. We all got what we were after, and we settled into a very contented full-belly mood. Apart from the pork sausgages, we sampled fortune-cookie-filled-with-nougat-stuff coated with chocoalte and nuts, hot star-shaped doughnuts and then something so wonderful its description doesn't do it justice: smooshed up pancake mix, topped with plum jam. HEAVEN in a plastic dish!!

I developed serious camera envy on this trip - J-Rad is kitted out with a super cool Canon camera that takes pics so awesome I wanted to cry over having left mine at home. I've decided Santa is giving me one in a few weeks!

I'd been amused when I'd read in J-Rad's interview that he conducts yoga classes with the crew and passengers on some flights and enquired if we'd be treated to a show on the return sector. I was informed that he only holds them on the boeings, there just isn't enough room in the old airbus galleys. He did say he'd make a concerted effort to indugle me though. Sure enough, during some seriously tedious sudoku-filling-out hours later, I got the call to economy. Now, I usually don't venture down to economy - for many reasons including but certianly not limited to the following:

1. The sheer amount of passengers who stare at me when I step through the curtain.
2. The slightly claustrophobic feeling that sets in when all those eyes stare at me.
3. The fact that I trip over feet, legs, heads, pillows and all the other assorted death-and-injury-inducing paraphernalia that litters the aisles.
4. My cabin smells better.
5. My cabin has less passengers in it.
6. My cabin is catered with better food. And more food.
7. I'm certain to have my sleeves or skirt pulled and be asked for such a staggering amount of drinks that I'll never be able to remember what they all were....before I get to the end of the first section of economy.
8. The crew in economy lately have been looking at me like I've got two heads when I DO make the effort to go down there.

This trip however, I was certain I'd find a few things down there:

1. Fun.
2. Food - we had no catering due to a nil passenger load in first class and economy food was better than nothing.

I certainly wasn't disappointed - there was so much laughter amongst all the shenanigans down the back I'm surprised we didn't wake the whole aircraft! I discovered that while it's POSSIBLE to do yoga in the back galley of an airbus, it's not very comfortable or easy. Doing it in the company of others is a bad idea if there is turbulence. And the galley floor really isn't that clean when viewing it up close and personal from the cobra position.

Shame J-Rad has been beckoned to Ghana and can't join Martine and I on our trip to Melbourne tomorrow!

If you haven't already, please check out both Airboy and J-Rad's blogs and pics. All pictures in this post have been kindly provided by J-Rad.

Until next time xoxo