Jul 31, 2010 by Krysta
My vacation was over and it was back to Dubai, and work. After a day of sleep it was time for me to pack for my next trip... one that would send me far away from the sandpit for 8 whole days!! Plagued with homesickness, I was happy to leave the city that constantly stands as a symbol of how far away I am from the people that I love. I packed my suitcase and headed to the flight briefing. First stop... Bangkok, Thailand! It had been almost 3 years since I'd been to the Thai capital, and I had mixed feelings on returning. My mom and I had seen the city as backpackers... we had strolled through the slums and dealt with a fair amount of culture shock. Returning as crew, I saw an entirely different side of Bangkok. Our hotel was beautiful and just a few minutes down the road I actually discovered a Starbucks! It was much different than the initial impression I'd been given. We landed in the evening and I was exhausted, still fighting jet lag from my return from Canada. I skimmed the room service menu before deciding upon Pad Thai. It was delicious and after I'd finished my entire plate I crawled into bed. I awoke the next morning unsure of how to spend my day. I was still feeling pretty run down and a bit emotional, so I debated spending the afternoon lying in bed feeling sorry for myself. Fortunately, the phone rang and another crew member invited me to join him as he went to the mall. We caught a taxi to a massive shopping center. The entire first floor was a food court, much to my excitement. I ordered Pad Thai, yet again. Once we'd finished eating we wandered the mall. It was stuffed full of stores such as Burberry and Louis Vuitton. My meal allowances definitely couldn't cover that. Bored of the high end stores, we caught another taxi and asked the driver to take us to a market. This was the Thailand that I remembered. We walked down the busy aisles crammed full of stalls selling shirts, bags, toys, and every imaginable item. Tourists aggressively bargained for lower prices. I wandered in a daze. There was nothing that I needed to buy, so I saved my energy. It began to rain and I was ready for a nap, so we caught a taxi back to the hotel where I packed my bags and rested for my next flight a few hours later. Next stop, Sydney, Australia! I spent years dreaming of this city. Getting there was one of my biggest goals, and I finally reached it in 2007. It was strange returning 3 years later, and getting paid to be there. It's funny how life works out. I was excited to be in Australia. I consider it my second home, so it was a great layover to follow my vacation. I was still feeling pretty upset about leaving Canada, but Sydney was the next best option if I couldn't be home. After a long overnight flight, we landed in the early hours of the morning. Fighting sleep, I showered and headed out, determined to make the most of my day. I walked the familiar streets, taking photos and reminiscing. It's currently winter in the southern hemisphere, so I wasn't surprised when it began to rain. I didn't mind... I was dressed warmly and just happy to be avoiding the mid-summer Dubai heat. I dined on sushi, bubble tea, and all sorts of yummy treats that just aren't the same in the Middle East.
I spent the day walking around in a daze. I'd recently read that 19 hours of sleep deprivation had the same effect as a blood alcohol level of 0.05%. I'd been awake for well over 30 hours, so it was safe to say that I was stumbling my way through the streets. On the way back to the hotel the light rain turned into a heavy downpour, and I found myself standing beneath a covered area of the sidewalk waiting for it to calm down. I ran into another crew member there, also seeking refuge from the rain. We sleepily stood for 15 minutes before finally agreeing to make a run for it. Back in the comfort of my hotel room I crawled into bed and was fast asleep almost immediately. Early the next morning I woke up to prepare for my next flight. We were off to Christchurch, New Zealand. Sadly, it was a turnaround flight and I wouldn't have the opportunity to explore the city. Knowing that we'd be descending over snow capped mountain, I'd opted to take R5 door for the best view for both take off and landing. I went snap happy, confessing my newfound love for the southern island of New Zealand, despite having only seen it from the plane. It reminded me of flying into Alberta, and I felt a little bit at home. We arrived, re-boarded, and headed back to Sydney. Just as I was about to head out in search of dinner, my phone rang and I happily chatted to Ryan for an hour and a half. It's so nice to be able to talk to him from wherever I am in the world. Once we'd hung up, I headed out. I reached a massive food court where I stocked up on various food items. One of the things that I love about fast food in Australia is the fact that they box up everything and sell it for cheap at the end of the day rather than just disposing of it or saving it for the next day. I grabbed some more sushi, Vietnamese salad rolls, and fresh fruit to have for breakfast the next morning. I spent awhile walking through the city enjoying the cool air, before going back to my hotel to sleep.
I woke up the next day set on 2 things.... taking photos and shopping. I had a full day of freedom! I emerged from my hotel, set on making the most of the day. First, however, was breakfast. Despite the cool temperatures, I grabbed a delicious Green Tea Mango Mantra drink from Boost. I got hooked on them while living in Australia. I set out towards Darling Harbour, where after a long debate between colors I found a gorgeous pair of chocolate brown Ugg boots that I had to take home with me. As I was about to pay I realized that I had left my wallet in my hotel room. Perhaps it was a sign, but I was ignoring it. I'd had my heart set on comfy Uggs for a few years now and I was finally going to have my very own pair. I used the small amount of cash that I had with me to purchase an umbrella, as it now pouring rain. On my way back to the hotel my pant legs were absolutely soaked as I waded through deep puddles. My toes were freezing in flip flops, and I looked very out of place amongst the Aussie's bundled up in boots and warm jackets. While waiting to cross the street, a taxi drove through a puddle, drenching me with water. Just lovely. I reached the warmth of my room and attempted to dry my jeans with a hair dryer before heading back out into the miserable weather.... wallet in hand. I returned to the store and forked over my money for my boots. I promptly put them on and my feet were in Heaven. No rain could stop me, I was set on enjoying my day! I sat down to grab some lunch before venturing back into the rain. My wandering took me through the Rocks District... or "Old Sydney". I continued walking on to Circular Quay, bustling with ferries and jam packed with tourists taking the mandatory photos of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. I have so many photos of both, but I snapped a few more despite the ugly grey sky for a backdrop. I decided to return to my hotel to spend awhile drying off. Evening was fast approaching and I had my heart set on taking photos of the Opera House and Bridge at night. Sure, I had taken some a few years back, but now I was equipped with my fancy DSLR camera... and more importantly.. a tripod!! I headed into the dark hauling my tripod and umbrella with my camera safe and dry inside of my bad. The wind had become so strong that my umbrella was turning inside out and rain was pelting down. I debated giving up on my photos, but I'd hauled a tripod in my suitcase all the way to Australia and I was determined to make use of it. I'd made it to Circular Quay once again. The normally crowded walkway to the Opera House was empty, only a few brave tourists dwindling to take photos. I stood in the pouring rain taking as many pictures as I could before my camera started to get wet. My inside-out umbrella was proving to be quite useless. Satisfied, I headed back to my hotel. I cozied up in my robe and slippers as I looked through my photos. Despite the very miserable weather, it had been a great day.
The next morning was my last one in Sydney, so I woke up super early to get out and enjoy the day. Starving, I headed to George Street where I found a great little cafe and dined on the most amazing Eggs Benedict that I've ever tasted. I devoured it, accepting my defeat in the attempt to eat healthy. I walked around the city, strolling by the Opera House one last time. I was going to miss Sydney! A few hours passed and I decided to nap before my flight. I woke up, grabbed some coffee, got ready (my job is so high maintenance!) and checked out. It was a long flight and just past 1 am when we arrived in Bangkok. It was straight to bed for me, as I had plans with my new friend Elaine early the next day. I woke up and headed to the lobby to meet her, but she was nowhere to be found. I waited awhile, but when she didn't show up I assumed that she'd slept in and retreated to my room. I spent awhile chatting online to Ryan, when at 11 am the phone rang. Elaine had just woken up, so we decided to head to MBK... A massive shopping center where we'd be able to find anything and everything. I'd just downed a breakfast of Pad Thai and satay chicken, but Elaine had yet to eat. We headed for Starbucks, grabbing a too-good-to-resist donut on the way. We sipped frappucinos and happily chatted before hopping in a taxi. Once we'd arrived at the massive mall we were overwhelmed by the number of shops. Where would we begin? Elaine needed to have her hair extensions taken out, so we found a salon and she sadly watched as one by one, the extensions were removed and she found herself with short hair after 3 months with long flowing locks. She decided to color her hair as well... such things are far more affordable in Thailand than in Dubai. While waiting, I stared at the displays of hair extensions and thought "What the heck... why not?". My hair is long, but very thin which makes any sort of style fail, especially in the heat and humidity. The stylists lead us to our very own room, complete with computers so that we could surf the web while having our hair done. In no time at all, I had ultra long hair and I loved it! It was so much thicker and just looked pretty. Who knows how long I'll keep it, but for now it's a fun way to change up my look... and it was cheap! With my new long hair and Elaine's shorter, lighter colored hair, we headed for the food court to have some lunch before heading back to the hotel. It was getting late and we wanted to get a few hours of sleep before the flight. I packed my bags and crawled into bed. My wake up call came far too early, as it usually does. It was back to Dubai. The flight was only 5 1/2 hours but as the passengers were all sleeping it felt like 10. We finally arrived in the early hours of the morning and I proceeded to sleep through the entire day.
Being back in Dubai is no fun, and I'm already counting down until the next time I can go home. In other news... I've been accepted to be crew on the beautiful Airbus A380... which many of you know as my "Dream Plane". It's the largest passenger aircraft in the world. It's big, it's beautiful... and it flies to TORONTO. With a regular dose of Tim Horton's, close proximity to grandparents, and even an occasional layover visit from the boy that I love... I might just last a bit longer living in the Middle East.