Mar 31, 2010 by Krysta
Mar 28, 2010 by Krysta
While I was on a 14 hour flight bound for Melbourne, Australia, my good friends Ran and Angie become parents to a beautiful baby boy named Riley! I'm so excited and happy for them, and I can't wait for the chance to visit home and meet him and bring him cute little souvenirs from around the world! Congratulations, you'll make amazing parents!
After what seemed to be a never-ending flight, we finally arrived in Melbourne. I was fighting serious fatigue as I checked into my hotel room, and debated taking a short nap. I decided against it, well aware of the fact that a 2 hour nap would turn into sleeping for the entire day and missing out on exploring a brand new city. Instead, I showered, got dressed, and ventured into the city. I found a coffee shop and grabbed my first of many espressos that day. I wandered through downtown Melbourne, taking in China Town, the Greek area, and watching trams drive by. I picked up snacks and coffee as I happily strolled through the city. After a few hours of aimless wandering, I decided that I'd head back to my hotel before I collapsed from exhaustion on the street. For a moment I wondered if I was asleep and dreaming when I spotted a Lindt Chocolate Cafe across the street. I pinched myself to confirm that I was in fact awake and marched inside. Walking by wasn't even an option... it was LINDT! My favorite! I ordered a delicious mocha... half espresso, half Lindt chocolate... pure amazing. Back at the hotel I fell asleep almost immediately. I woke up at 5 am the next day to prepare for my flight to Auckland. For those of you who remember, I was meant to go to Auckland last month but the flight was cancelled. I secretly wondered if I'd ever make it or if I was cursed to never see New Zealand. I was even more convinced after I found a note under my door informing me that the flight was delayed. Much to my surprise, the flight was not cancelled and we arrived in Auckland later that afternoon. On the way to the hotel I was thrilled to pass by "Canada Street" and to see a Wendy's for the first time since leaving home. I knew where I was headed for lunch! I quickly checked into my room and then headed for a junior bacon cheeseburger. Much to my surprise and happiness, it tasted just like home! Greasy, crispy, BACON! With a map of Auckland in one hand and a camera in the other, I set out to explore. Unfortunately, I didn't have much time before the sun went down and it got dark. I managed to make it to the harbor and see the water filled with tons of sailboats. Apparently Auckland calls itself "the city of sails". There was so much to see and do in New Zealand, but 24 isn't nearly enough to see Auckland, let alone the entire country. I hope to come back one day for longer, preferably with my adventure loving boyfriend. New Zealand is an adrenaline junkie's paradise... right outside of my hotel was bungy jumping, and you can jump from the Sky Tower as well! Back to my hotel I headed, another early night for me. The next morning I woke up and since I'd already ate terrible the entire layover, I figured there was no sense in trying to be healthy now. Off I went to McDonald's for a good old Americanized breakfast. Mmm. I had a few hours to kill before my flight, so I decided to go up to the top of the Sky Tower. I stood nervously holding onto the railing as the elevator traveled to the viewing deck. Glass floors in elevators?? What a crazy idea!! The elevator operator got a good laugh out the fact that I was a flight attendant, mildly afraid of heights. I stepped onto the viewing deck and went snap happy, taking pictures of the view. I could see the ocean and the mountains and despite the dreary clouds that hung over the city, it was beautiful. It reminded me of Vancouver, and I stayed up there for quite awhile before heading back to the hotel to get ready for my flight. It was the 3rd flight of our layover and by the time we'd boarded the passengers we were all feeling the effects of jet lag. We arrived at our hotel in Melbourne around 10 pm, and I was ready to fall into my bed for many hours. Instead, I got changed and headed downstairs to meet my friends Maz and Simone. I'd met them when the 3 of us worked on Fraser Island 2 years ago. We helped each other to cope with the boredom and insanity that come with living on a remote island made of sand. We reunited in the lobby of my hotel before hopping into Simone's car to go do what we do best... overdose on unhealthy food. They giggled at my accent, which is apparently much stronger now than it was after I'd lived in Australia for 8 months. Exhaustion was beginning to overcome me, and I felt terrible that I was nearly dozing off as we sat at a table catching up after 2 years. It was a short visit, but I was glad that I was able to see them while I was in their city! Unable to stay awake any longer, I returned to my room and called it a night. The next day was my last before the long flight back home to Dubai. I was determined to stock up on Aussie essentials... makeup, hair spray, nylons... and of course Top Deck chocolate and Tim Tams. Once my shopping was complete, I took in as much of Melbourne as I could in the short time that I had left. There was a Greek festival going on, so I wandered through the markets and listened to the music, wishing that I hadn't just ate lunch... the food looked and smelled amazing. I wanted to get a bit of sleep in before my flight, so I reluctantly headed back to the hotel. On the way, I strolled through the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens, admiring the trees and green and nature, as I always do when I escape Dubai. I walked past 5 weddings! Yes, 5! The photographers worked their magic and made me think of Ryan. He takes great wedding photos. You should hire him. I made it to my room, slept a couple of hours, and it was time to go. After an extremely long flight and 6 days away, I was finally home in Dubai!
Mar 20, 2010 by Krysta
Mar 19, 2010 by Krysta
Mar 16, 2010 by Krysta
Mar 15, 2010 by Krysta
Mar 12, 2010 by Krysta
Mar 6, 2010 by Krysta
Mar 5, 2010 by Krysta
Mar 4, 2010 by Krysta
- The lack of nature. Okay, I get it, it's the desert. This isn't going to change. I just miss trees and green grass and flowers that aren't planted by the city and drowned in water in an attempt to make them grow... in sand. I'm from western Canada, a land of forests and fields and things that are alive. It's only natural that I'm experiencing withdrawal.
- The STARING. Seriously. Without fail, every single man stares when a girl walks by. After spending time with girls from a variety of cultures, I've noticed that it is worst for the Australians, Canadians, and English... those of us with white skin, clearly the visible minorities. It's not that I wear even remotely revealing clothing. I always ensure that my shoulders and knees are covered when I leave my apartment, but I can't even walk to the grocery store without being stared at by every single male that I walk by. It's creepy, it's uncomfortable, and they don't even try to be subtle about it. Tonight I was over at Priya's house. We had ordered food, and when it arrived she answered the door. I came around the corner and the delivery man immediately stared at me, and in a creepy tone of voice said "Hi", with a stupid smirk, still staring intently. I quickly rushed away from the door, disgusted. Come on, you live in a city that is made up of 80% foreigners, don't act as though you've never seen anybody who is not from the same culture as you. I pity my mom with her blond hair when she comes to visit. Maybe throw a wig in the suitcase.
- The taxis. Getting into a taxi in Dubai is never a pleasant experience. It seems that taxi drivers are exempt from the rules of wearing deodorant. Each ride is a near death experience, and half of the time you have to direct the driver, as they don't seem to know where anything is. The same goes for delivery drivers. For the time spent on the phone describing every shop and street in the vicinity, you may as well go to pick up your meal yourself.
- The lack of pork, and alcohol. I'm not a big pork fan, with the exception of bacon. The fact is, I can't have bacon because this is a Muslim country. Pigs are not to be eaten, which is heartbreaking to bacon lovers across the city. Fair enough, I'm living in their country, I should respect their religion. I just miss it, that's all. As for alcohol, I'm not a big drinker either. That said, it would be nice to have a glass of wine once in awhile, and I'd do anything for a pina colada. To drink in Dubai you must do one of 2 things: Go to a ridiculously overpriced nightclub, or, obtain a liquor license. Yes, a license. Doing so costs 160 dirhams, hardly worth the rare pina colada that I'd drink, so I'm alcohol free, for the past 3 months. I likely wouldn't have drank during that time anyways, but the fact that I'm not allowed makes it so much more annoying.
- Lack of PDA. Not that it matters, seeing as how my boyfriend lives on the other side of the world and I don't generally support public displays of affection unless moderate... but that's not the point. I met him at the airport after a month apart and I couldn't even kiss him. We had a bit of a nervous hug... wanting to embrace in each other's arms for far longer, but fearful of the consequences. We spent hours walking through the mall unable to hold hands. Meanwhile, the locals who made the rules are walking hand in hand. There are double standards for everything here.