donderdag 5 juli 2018

Last days in Dubai

Wow, more than 4 years ago I wrote my first blog on my first day in Dubai and today I am writing my last 'Dubai' blog. Don't worry I will keep writing and stories will continue on this blog. The last few weeks I got a lot of questions, but the main one was 'why are you leaving'? My answer is most of the time, well there's a time of coming and going, and now it is my time to go back home. My last month of flying was amazing, had some of the best crew on flights and they made my flight rememberable. However, I am sure all of you are dying to know how my last Cairo flight was.... To be honest, the way going was good, amazing passengers, very busy but nice busy. But the way back was a very different story, it made me realize again why I am leaving, and that was the basically the only reason why I did that flight, I needed that little reminder. I told myself, Merel, you had an amazing 4 years and 4 months, but now it's time to say goodbye, pack your bags and go back to your family and friends.

This last week has been a rollercoaster of emotions and a lot of alcohol involved as well. It all started on Monday. I got back very early morning from my Cairo flight, I went to bed and woke up 4 hours later, wide awake, so I thought, I will just go to Headquarters to hand in my passport (since they have to cancel your VISA and that takes a few days). Then I came back had a nap, started packing and got another box from the supermarket across the street. That night we were going to Monday Madness, which is an evening brunch kinda thing, again unlimited food and drinks for 3 hours, but this time from 8pm till 11pm, and the food is AMAZING! So as you can imagine Wouter and I very more excited about the food then the drinks. We had a big table with 12 people I think, and afterwards we went to Lucky Voice and play karaoke for 2 hours, I am always surprised that some people actually can sing as well, not me of course haha. Wouter started singing some hindi song and we were all in shock, and we all got a bit tipsy (just a little bit.....).
Then on Tuesday I went to my favorite asian restaurant in the marina with some girls. It was nice to have a quiet night with again, amazing food.
People have been asking me, what are the last things you want to do in Dubai? My answer; eat PF Changs, Wagamama, Cheesecake factory, Asia Asia, Tangerine, Paul's and some other restaurants. How do you mean obsessed with food... :D

Wednesday was PARTY DAY! Wouter came earlier to help with the decorations and try to prepare everything. The theme was you have to come either as something that starts with a M or L (Merel Loomans, hehe). And EVERYBODY put so much effort in their outfits, it was amazing! There was a Mario, Lara Croft x 3, Monks, Maffia, MARIE ANTOINETTE, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Muslim (aka Mohammed, of course this was Wouters outfit haha),Mermaid,  I was Marilyn Monroe and got the original wig and dress, big eyeliner and I even looked a bit like her as well. The party started very civilized but a Merel party would be a Merel party if my friends didn't again throw chocolate cake in my face, got all over the floor this time en that in combination with popping a champagne bottle where half of it also dropped on the floor we had a great slippery combination. So sliding on my knees over the floor was the next step, it was amazing and so much fun. The whole night was so much fun, and I even got very thoughtful presents as well, and a beautiful Michael Kors bag!

Woehoeeeee I have the best friends ever! Got to bed at 5am, in the hope I would sleep a long time, but no, woke up at 9am. It was time to collect my passport and last salary, change that into euros, meet up with my friend Ruth in headquarters, and hand in all my passes. Once I got back home I could have a little 1.5 hour nap before Valerie was picking me up to bring my cargo to Emirates Cargo Village. I was wrecked and so tired the entire day, but it was good Valerie was helping me, so sweet of her. But at 8pm that night it was me and my hardened chocolate/champagne floor, it was a MESS. Took me a good 2 hours to make everything back to normal again, and that night I finally slept 8 hours!

I have had the whole week just naps of 4/5 hours, so you can imagine I was very happy when I woke up after 8 hours. My friend Gido and his girlfriend woke me up. They just came from Salalah and had a stopover in Dubai of a few hours, so we went for breakfast. I had to go back home after breakfast to have another nap before I was going to Emma's leaving brunch.

Emma is a girl I flew a few times with and we always had a good time, she was also on my last Brisbane flight that we could fly back as passengers, and Emma is leaving the same day I am as well.

We basically did the whole process together, and if I wasn't sure about things I would message Emma and other way around as well. Her leaving brunch was a bit more teary for her and her friends. And me still, no tears. Massive stomach pain though. For Emma's things were a bit different though, she wouldn't know when she would see her friends next, where in my case, most of my friends I see either in Amsterdam this month or at Tomorrowland at the end of this month again. Maybe that was the thing that kept me going. That night when I went to bed I realized that the next day was going to be my last day in Dubai. My last day in 3604, and my last day with my dear Paula.

Saturday was Paula and Merel day, she booked the afternoon tea at the Burj al Arab for us! Isn't she the sweetest EVER! We put our nice clothes on, a lot of makeup, took some selfies and then my friend Koen who came to see me that morning went to drop us off at the Burj al Arab!

We got asked a few times how old we are, and then told us, take it as a compliment, well we didn't really take it as a compliment after the second time again, I'am bloody 26 years old now haha! We had a table next to the window and then we started with a shrimp cocktail, Paula's first trying a shrimp in her life! Second dish was a quiche of spinach, feta and anchovies, if I remember correctly! Then they came with a tier stand with all different sandwiches, and the second tier stand was full of scones and sweet deserts. Oh and before I forget, we got a glass of champagne, first one was included but it tasted so good that we ordered another one, why not, my last day in Dubai, I can have as much champagne as I want. After ALL that we had a big after dinner dip and we were soooo full, that we left, after 3.5 hours, to have a chill on the couch in 3604!

Then it was time to pack my bags, it was a weird feeling, all I could think of was that I would be back one day. It felt like I just went on a very long holiday! That night Abbie came by, Paula was there, Estelle came to have my last takeaway with me, and then Amber came to stay overnight with me and bring me to the airport the next day with Ays and Annelien. Again the girls cried, but Merel no. That night I slept only 5 hours again before waking up, taking a shower and finish packing those bags. Ays came to pick us up when I handed in my keys at security, I had 3 big suitcases and then 1 hand luggage one. There we were at the airport, checked in my bags and it was time to give the girls one last hug and go through customs. Once my friend Ays told me 'take care of yourself okay', I BROKE! Finally, after a week of so many emotions going through my head but no tears I finally broke down. I was human again! To be fair, I don't think my body and mind was ready yet to face all the tears yet, but I caught up on the airport. Going through customs I cried, going through security I cried, when I had my breakfast on the airport I also cried. Then I also received so many nice messages from my friends that didn't help me fight me tears back. But it felt good, I was going to feel very very sorry for the person who sat next to me in the plane.

That was it, my Dubai adventure is over, and wow how much I have learnt from this experience. Moved to Dubai when I was 21 years old and not having a clue what was going to happen to me. I have learnt things about the world, about Dubai, and mostly things about myself that I will always keep with me. I say this all the time and I am sure people are getting a bit like 'okay now we know Merel', but I cannot thank my friends in Dubai enough for being there for me when I didn't even know I needed them the most, they were and always will be my family, and I will cherish them for ever and ever.Thank god most of them I see in Amsterdam in 3 weeks or otherwise at Tomorrowland. Because people, don't you worry, you can't get rid of me anytime soon, and Dubai for you I want to say, thank you for showing me things that I didn't know existed. You made me who I am today!

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