donderdag 28 november 2019

Coincidences one after the other...

Unbelievable, how can Christmas already be next month? Where has the time gone? They say time flies when you're having fun, and I'm definitely having a lot of fun but it scares me as well that the months go by so fast. I wanna do so many things, travel more, see more friends and chill more. Life is busy, a good type of busy don't get me wrong.


This summer was an amazing summer with lots of festivals as mentioned in my previous blog. But in my opinion the party of the year was the gala. Every 5 years the union of the pilots hold a gala, but it's not your typical dance. They have an enormous budget, amazing location and food and drinks are free. Me and my friends heard about this gala a few months before, and me being me, I needed to be there no matter what. However, the only way you can get access if you're a plus 1 of a pilot who's going. Since I was only flying for a few months I didn't know that many pilots yet. So challenge accepted. It took us and the girls about 3/4 weeks before we found ourselves some 'dates', blind dates. Karlien's roommate knows this pilot guy and his friends were looking for dates, so that was settled! Time for some dress shopping, even though I had a deal with Hanneke to not buy clothes for 3 months, but I needed a dress. Besides that, I didn't buy anything else those 3 months.
September 7th was the day, time to get ready for a party! We went for dinner with the guys before, so we actually knew who we were going with as well. We were with 6 guys and 4 girls for dinner before we walked to the Concert Building at Museumsquare. Once we arrived there was a guy playing on a saxophone, and once you entered the building some girls were singing. Tickets got scanned and then we got our first glass of champagne, how lovely. When we entered the ballroom we even saw girls hanging from chandeliers who were pouring more champagne! What kind of party is this?! One, you didn't want to miss for sure. The whole night we could get champagne, gin&tonics and literally any other drink you can think of. The performances during the night were also of a next level. Some famous dutch artists were singing their hearts out for 2000 pilots! I don't blame them haha. I have been to many parties this year but this one is getting into the top 3 of this year. Not to forget the amount of food they handed out, from caviar, oysters, 'bitterballen', hamburgers, tartare, name it and it was there. It was very much a couple party, and then there was us. Just dancing and having a good time. I love men in suits so this was a perfect party. At the end I could not stand on my feet anymore, it was the Louboutins to blame. Yes people I still wear them, quit often actually. They are too expensive just to stand in my closet. After grabbing one last frites it was time to call it a night and head home. What a party, and how fortunate that I could attend it with the girls.

Time to recover before an Europe trip. I have said this before but sometimes you meet colleagues and you just connect, if only falling in love would be this easy. I met a girl on my flight Sara, and from the moment we met we started talking and didn't finish until we were back in Amsterdam 3 days later. It's just so nice to talk to somebody who just understands certain situations, yes talking about men situations. As if it was meant to be we met, very lucky to have this girl in my life now. She even flew with Wouter a few weeks ago!

Then I was on my way to Rio de Janeiro to meet my dear friend Florien. Oh no way, there was a festival in Rio, while I am there? What a coincidence..... NOT! This was so planned. Florien got me tickets for the biggest Rock festival in Brazil, Rock in Rio, how cool. She just moved to Madrid to do a masters degree. There we were, 2 dutch girls in the middle of all these Brazilians, nothing we can't handle. Had such a great time, and again so fortunate to be able to fly around the world to see my friend and make more great memories together.
Rock in Rio 

Exactly one month after that crazy dance it was the birthday of KLM. KLM was celebrating it's 100th birthday, and being the oldest airline in the world still operating under the same name. I had a lovely flight to Lagos that day, and once we arrived at the hotel the staff even got a banner, cake and snacks.
On the airport in Lagos

When it's somebody's birthday we throw a party, even a company as big as KLM. However, the day of the party I had a flight to Barcelona and would land back at 22.00, while the party would last until 22.30... So Houston, we have a problem. However, problems are there to be solved so I called crew control and see if they could swap a flight for one that would bring me back earlier. Somebody up there wanted me to go to this party because it worked, they gave me a short London and around 20.30 I was holding a beer in my hand and celebrate KLM's 100th birthday. Thank you! Even ran into the CEO and got a cheesy photo.
Pieter Elbers, Marissa and me

After the birthday party we had another Kuala Lumpur trip planned with the girls, and same as always it was good fun, we chilled a lot, got some ice coffees, only coffee I ever drink. You could notice that it wasn't summer holidays anymore, otherwise it's more busy during the week if you go out. But we still had a few great nights.
Dinner with the girls

In between flights I also spend some time at home with mom and dad, and not to forget my adorable little nephew. He's the cutest ever, and I am a very proud auntie, and my nephew is the best in the world, obviously.

It's funny how sometimes you go to flights and you think oh this will be a quiet one, I will just pack a sweater and that's it. Well, lesson learned. On our flight to Edmonton in Canada we had Armin van Buuren on the flight, and I don't think this guy needs any introduction. Once I arrived at the table where you shake hands with the pursers, (same senior purser as when I flew to Lagos, mentioned before), she straight away said WE HAVE ARMIN ON BOARD! And he's performing tonight at this Scream festival, we are trying to get tickets! First thing that popped in my head was, I only have a sweater with me, this is not happening. So there I went, 40 minutes before briefing started I was running over Plaza (shopping area at the airport before customs) looking for some sort of shirt I could wear, also got a celebration card for Armin (since he launched his new album the day before) and I got him a chocolate letter (some dutch celebration we do on the 5th of december, will not explain now). During the flight everybody wrote something on the card, including myself. The senior purser said, since I bought everything and made the effort, I was the one who should give it to him. At one point I got a call, Merel come to the front now, he's awake and soon going back to sleep. So I had the honor to say something to him, give his card and then as a surprise give him his chocolate letter. And no joke, he was pleasantly surprised and he even got a bit shy, he said, you got this specially for me? I said, of course!! Then he gave me a high five... I was going for the hug or 3 kisses, but hey a high five is better then nothing! He then said his famous words, if you guys wanna come to the festival tonight I think we can sort something out! Me and my big mouth said, no way, are you sure? I also just bought a new shirt because I only packed a sweater...... Merel, Merel, Merel, WHYYYYYY! Anyway it didn't scare him because that night we went VIP to his party and it was insane! Had the best time. How to think a 'boring' Edmonton can turn out VIP at Armin van Buuren, guess life has its funny ways of making things happen. On the way back we had 85 special meals and 75 wheelchairs, what to say... life has it's funny ways, but it was worth it!
read this first
Scream Festival

While I was packing my bags again for another trip, this time 9 day trip to Singapore with my friend Karlien, I thought, let's check if maybe some cool dj is playing while we are there. Guess what, DJ Chuckie might not be as famous as Armin but it's a dutch DJ. One of the crew on our flight to Singapore happens to know dj Chuckie personally, what a surprise... She got in touch with him and put us on the list, so there we went VIP dj Chuckie in Singapore, why not. Dancing all night long behind the dj table, while somebody was just handing out Veuve Clicquot. I'm an easy drinker so champagne it was.
DJ Chuckie

But, the party is not over yet. After Singapore I had a trip to Fortaleza, which is in Brazil. Didn't know this before either. My friend Marissa was staying there to learn kitesurfing so I managed to get the flight and spend 2 days on the coast to chill and relax. I needed some vitamin sun. Just drinking water out of a coconut and get some tan.

While writing this blog I realize that a lot has happend in the past few months, all good things though so not complaining. Yesterday I was supposed to go to Bangalore in India. I was again flying with somebody I know. However, 3 hours into the flight we had a technical issue that we had to turn back to Amsterdam. Obviously this is not normal so we had to be flexible with the services, trying to calm down the passengers and let everything run as smooth as possible. These things happen, in the airline industry they do not take any risk when it comes to safety. It was a minor technical issue that they couldn't fix short term in Bangalore. All passengers who had to stay the night in Amsterdam got a hotel and they left this morning with another plane to Bangalore. The cabin crew got today and tomorrow off and I'm flying to Lagos on Saturday, but they said I could fly back as a passenger, so we will see! Fingers crossed!

I always end my blog with a bit of self reflection, and even this time I want to share some thoughts. The other day I read a book, yes people I read books, it was called Ichigo-Ichie. It sounds very strange but it's about the Japanese wisdom of how to live in the moment. Be more aware in the moment you live. Everybody knows that in Japan around March you have the cherry blossom season, the japanese take this moment to reflect and appreciate to have yet another cherry blossom season. In the book they describe that every moment is an unique one so we need to make the most out it. It's a very interesting book and it really makes you open your eyes and look around. Smile more at the people around, because you know what they say, from a good deed comes a good deed. Especially with the holidays coming up, be nice to each other and enjoy every moment because you never know what the day might bring!

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