Wednesday, 12 September 2007

The Dhaka Dialogue

Approaching the 26th Bangladeshi fella down the isle trying to get meal service done as efficiently as possible.

Me: "Hi there how are you would you like Fish or Vegetarian today" (in a falsely cheerful tone)

Man #1: Silence. Stares then looking like he wasn't spoken to

Me: " Fish? OK! Here it is, enjoy your meal!"

Moving on...

Me: "What about you Sir, Fish? Vegetarian?" (looks at him pretending I am getting a reply)

Man #2: (mumbles) "... OK... OK."

Me: "Vegetarian? (pause) Fish?" (hoping at least he'll repeat one of those words

Man #2: nod/shake his head, gesturing for me to put something on his table

Me: "Vegetarian for you, Sir. Enjoy your meal!" (stretches my mouth across so it resembles a smile)

400 men. Like Mustafa on Sunday, except packed in a metal tube, each thirsty and hungry. I'm a 'Sister' to everyone demanding water or beer while desperately ordering them with body language to sit down and fasten their seat belts because of obvious turbulence. I have to remember checking on the lavatories to make sure there's not another smoker lighting up in there. I have to rudely tell them to turn off their mobile phones as they ignorantly use the gadgets to capture random images onboard. 9 hours and 56 minutes flight time back and forth.

On other Dhaka flight we crew get a 24hr layover. I've heard how it's a pain to walk out to the streets and witness poverty. One crew, on her first Dhaka layover was inspired to make a difference. Among her successes, Maria Conceicao has set up a sewing and beauty school for Bangladeshi women, a computer training centre and a school for children. She founded and runs The Dhaka Project.

Friday, 7 September 2007

From the Balcony

Above: Highway to Sharjah and beyond that is the Al Khan Lagoon in Sharjah. Yes, Dubai is a huge construction site!

Slightly to the right from the first pic: Amount of sand in Dubai enough to make Singapore green with envy? The little pointed-top (ala Cirque du Soleil ones) roofs are those of Sahara Centre in Sharjah.

Off Days

Since returning from an annoying Amman turnaround on the 5th afternoon, I've been enjoying my well-deserved off days.

Things I did:
- sleeping substantially
- cook meals
- eat, eat, eat
- TV (was doing a recap of Lost's earlier seasons in preparation for season 3 - I'm giving it another go)
- a bit of alcoholic drinks here and there
- snacking in front of TV (chocolates, ice cream, oranges, apples, keropok, etc)
- sleep more
- some reasonable amount of cleaning and laundry
- set up Facebook profile

I went to bed slightly guilty, and woke this morning still lazing in bed I drew a new layout of my bedroom in my head.

So I:
- got up promptly
- ate cereals with raisins and banana, had milk too
- started tearing apart the plugs and cables and moved the furnitures in my room
- vacuumed the floor
- laid star lights on floor and frame up painting of Goddess Aphrodite I acquired from Athens
- put fleece blanket I've been wallowing in into the washing machine
- changed into running gear, went to the gym dowstairs and did a mediocre 2.8km in 25 minutes haha (I did a few pathetic weight lifts too)

Here in Dubai I'd advise against running outdoors - you'll probably end up less fit given the sand, haze and traffic pollution.

I feel good. I feel my muscles working, very soon my body will look better than Madonna's. I like my new room setup. I will make a healthy vegetable soup for dinner and watch some TV, iron the uniforms, sleep early - yeah right - and be fully ready for Kuwait flight tomorrow afternoon.

Did I mention the Krispy Kreme reward after the run? It was heavenly - crispy on the outside with sugar and chocolate coating, smooth cream inside. The best things a flatmate can bring home from Deira City Centre ;)

p.s. the original ones in the background are my favourite too!

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Home Away from Home

Before I retire and call it a day - I cleaned, washed, cooked and watched TV - tough day huh. I decided to put up some photos of my Dubai pad. The company generously provides accommodation for all its crew, all of which looks slightly different from another (ehem, both the apartments and the crew), located in several areas in Dubai.

This is my second home in Dubai. First one was hardly home, it was just a huge room. Friends and family who heard about my grunts on the previous one, knew why I moved (I am still hesitating putting up the nasty photos) but the filthiness of the previous apartment was a blessing in disguise... I wouldn't have moved, it was great location - but glad I did cos I live with really nice people around me now. When I first moved in it was brand new. Having occupied the first room I made a request at the respective department to allocate my Singaporean friend to the other room - haha whether she liked it or not, now I hope she does!

Enjoy the photos. Any suggestions on home decor - not about tidying the room please - will be happily considered!