Just a quick one to let you know I've uploaded another 10 or 12 pages of photos from Lebanon and Dubai.
An update is gonna have to wait cause it just took me hours to add the photos and I'm knackered!
Goodnight my loved ones
Location: Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Just an update on the 'event of the year' - it was a magical, luxurious dream! The Atlantis hotel was in Jumeirah Palm (yes - one of THE world famous palm islands - and I went there!!!!!! I can't believe it!!!!!) and it was stunning - well, you'd hope so for a 7 star hotel! There was a huge aquarium inside - I didn't get to visit it, but it was visible from the balcony in the room.
So I was shit scared for days leading up to the event, but on the day I was surprisingly cool, calm and collected - I was a true lady! I accepted the fact that there would be permanent cameras in place for the night and happily posed - I was SO PROUD to be sitting alongside my boys - and so honoured.
We all got a wee bit drunk and had a lot of laughs, and at the end we giggled all the way to the room, changed and headed out for shisha...I didn't want the night to end. Every second was just so special - I still can't believe I was lucky enough to be part of it. No matter what I say about the night, I can't do it justice. You had to see it to believe it.
The rest of my days are spent smoking shisha, sitting in the sun and eating top quality meals. Tomorrow we head back to Ras Al Khaimah - my last couple of days, spent poolside and sunbaking...I really don't want to leave this dreamlike place - the lifestyle here suits me so much!!! (haha - I think it would suit most people!). I just wish I could take the sun with me - it's almost winter and it's still 28 degrees in the middle of the night! Sigh....
That's about it for now...
Now if you'll excuse me, my ride is nearly here to pick me up and take me to Dubai to see Roger before he heads to China tomorrow
love you long time
P.s. check out the few photos I've posted (just remember to scroll down when you open the page - the site is being retarded)
Location: Dubai/Sharjah/Paradise..., United Arab Emirates
Where am I? Dubai...otherwise known as paradise as far as I'm concerned! What's not to love about this place?? Well, ok, there's a couple of things but they are so small and insignificant it doesn't count!
The weather is average 35 degrees a day (meaning I have constant sun-kissed skin), everything is new and clean and luxurious, it's safe everywhere you go, the food is top quality (has to be for all the high class people that live here) and most importantly - I get to be with 4 absolutely amazing people who spoil me much more than they should and much more than I deserve. They truly are special beyond words. I feel really at home here while at the same time feeling completely out of place!! It's very classy and upmarket - things which I am not (well, I am only by association).
Before I forget - gotta tell you I touched a snake today - first time ever (they are surprisingly smooth), wasn't game enough to hold it. Also wasn't game enough to hold the tarantula - no chance of that happening in any of my lifetimes!!
Also, was swimming early evening couple of nights ago and what happens? A baby lizard decided to jump in the pool and swim up to me and on my head! Chances of that happening - oh about a BILLION to one. Only me...always firsts here...
Anyway, another news flash (and another first)...this Friday I'm attending a very lavish soiree (never used those words before and probably never will again!). My amazing cousins are the founders and organisers of a huge event called 'Celebrate Lebanon' - 1000 tickets, many a VIP, 2 famous singers from Lebanon, held at the Atlantis hotel (7 stars thank you very much) - and 47 media. And me - sitting at the main table with the organisers - TOTALLY OUT OF MY ELEMENT - in a total panic! I have to dress like a proper lady (lot of effort) and get my hair and make up done by professionals. I can't imagine what it will be like.........so this is happening 3 days before I leave the country (I joke about it being my farewell party)...
And where did I decide to go you ask?? London...back to my second home to finish my visa. I'm sure you're all used to not having me around by now that you won't mind another few months...
I'm just not finished living out my dream yet (will I ever be?!)
Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Right now I'm in an internet cafe somewhere in Beirut...(love that I can say that!). Have been on the net 3 times since I arrived - sorry for the gap in updates. Photos are going to have to wait unfortunately (I have HEAPS!)
Have been in Lebanon for 5 weeks and only have about 5 days to go, then I'm off to Dubai....WOOOHOOOOO!!
So I know I once said Dubai was one of the most fascinating places I've ever been - and it is, but Lebanon tops it! TOTALLY bizzare country. Really. Everything about it - scenery (stunning), driving (CRAAAAAAZY), people (either extremely lovely or extremely judgmental/superficial), beliefs (don't dare tell them you don't go to church!), fashion (URGH!), food (NEVER ENDING and oh so good - but not good for the belly cause you can't stop!)...all of it and more! I would highly recommend it to anyone.
Meeting my family - there are no words to explain. I feel like I've known them my whole life. They've taken great care of me. I love them a lot! And seeing dad - now that was special - for so many reasons. I'm so glad I got to see Lebanon with him - especially since this is his first time back in 35 years. I don't want to let him go (he's staying with me in Dubai for a week then heading back to Oz)
TOTALLY OVER SAYING GOODBYE! I've had 17 months of it (ohmigod 17 months away from home!) and no matter what I can't get used to it - how can you?!
Leaving London was one of the hardest things I've had to do. It was such a special farewell. I used to joke about my last day at the hostel and how I wanted it to be. I used to say I wanted everyone standing in reception hugging and crying - and with a song playing in the backgroung - 'I've had the time of my life'. Well, this is how much I'm loved - they did it for me! It was so many things at once - hilarious, happy, sad, depressing...I can't explain how much I came to think of them as 'family' and that hostel my home....
...and now I have a big decision to make. After Dubai I have to decide where I want to go....home to Oz or back to London to finish my Visa....hhmmm...I wish someone could decide for me! Right now the plan is to return to London - but anything could happen between now and then.
As for all of you amazing people at home, know I love you and the longer I'm away the more I miss you, but I'm just not ready to end this amazing adventure yet.
Bit teary...I cry so easily now! (actually I think I always did!) Please don't forget me!!!
Love you all from the bottom of my heart
Location: London, UK
Sorry for the lack of updates - I'm only hours away from leaving London and am FREAKING OUT COMPLETELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I don't have a clue what to expect in Lebanon, but if I have easy access to the net I will be making more of an effort. Right now every minute spent on the net is time I could be spending with the AMAZING people I have met. Every second is valuable.
Just know I think about ALL of you and talk very regularly about all my loved ones - cause I REALLY miss everyone at home! I wish I could figure out how to be everywhere at once...
While feeling unbelievably heavy-hearted at the thought that I'm actually leaving this place, I'm still EXTREMELY EXCITED about what lays ahead (and incredibly nervous!)
Bring on more great times!!!
Location: Krakow, Poland
Lots of stuff I am still to update you all about - I promise I will get to it soon!
But for now, I just wanted to tell you all that right now I'm sitting in Kamil and Aggie's family home in Krakow, Poland...still can't believe it!
(P.S. I got everyone's birthday messages - THANK YOU ALL!!!! Sorry I haven't replied yet. I shed a few tears...I really am lucky to have so many amazing people in my life)
Location: London, UK
More exciting news - my dad has arrived in Lebanon today! He's reunited with his brother for the first time in 35 years, as well as the rest of the family.
I'm so excited for him and oh so teary!!
I miss my daddy
Location: London, UK
I will write about Prague soon, but wanted to share some exciting news first...
My gorgeous sweet Kamil and Cristina (2 of my favouritest people at Globies) bought me a ticket to Poland for my birthday!
I - of course - cried like a baby (am getting way emotional in my old age).
I feel so well loved....
Love you all!
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Just thought I'd let you all know where I am right now....
Gotta love my life, really
Location: London, UK
I AM GOING TO SEE GEORGE MICHAEL!!!!!!!!! LIVE!!!!!! IN CONCERT!!!! AND MY SISTER IS NOT COMING WITH ME!!!!! (REVENGE FOR NOT TAKING ME WITH YOU TO SEE WHAM LYD!)
I told you I AM THE LUCKIEST girl in the whole wide world. I love George Michael - he is my BEST friend! (Sorry - you too Nadi!)
It just keeps getting better and better.......
Location: United Arab Emirates
This is gonna be a very long one...sit back and enjoy
I had the most amazing 2 weeks of my life! I'm in love! The world revolved around me for 2 weeks - and as far as I'm concerned, it's about time someone realised that's how it should be!! (so modest I am)
The reunion with mum at Dubai airport was very sweet - tears and laughter and kisses and hugs and people looking on, smiling (you can imagine how I carried on). I knew I missed her, but didn't realise how much til I saw her.
Meeting my family (I have 3 cousins there) was like a dream. I've met Roger before many years ago and he's just as amazing as ever. He's one of the most intriguing people I know, not to mention sweet as pie, extremely intelligent, generous...
His brother Rony is just a sweetheart, he's my angel. He's also a bit (a LOT) crazy (like me!), very funny, gentlemanly, has a very cute accent (I gave him heaps for his pronunciation), kind, real smart...
Shadi is hilarious! He always made me laugh, he's just lovable. A true gentleman, he took great care of me - he's absolutely adorable! (even if he did pick on my accent - for 'eva')
Joyce (family friend) is so beautiful, and gorgeous and all things nice. We got along so well, she's so familiar (cause she reminds me of Sham so much), I know we'll be friends for a long time to come...
So how did I spend my days....hhmmm...like an absolute princess! (to say the least)
* A safari in the desert! It was AWESOME! Rony, Shadi and I headed out with a group of other 4 wheelers for a couple of hours of 4 wheel driving over the sand dunes...it was magical and exhilarating and all things amazing...a whole heap of nothing for as far as the eye could see...We had a pit stop for a while where I tried to climb the sand dunes - it was too funny. Rony was holding my hand and a 7 year old's hand at the same time helping us both up, me giggling the whole way, struggling.
After the drive, we spent the evening at a campsite place type thingy (see photos) where I got to do all sorts of wonderful things! I rode a camel, held a falcon, got a beautiful henna tattoo, ate beautiful food, smoked crappy shisha, got a souvenir of sand in a bottle with my name (a surprise from Rony). Rony saw a camel spider - but didn't tell me til the end of the night cause he knew I'd freak out (I'm very grateful to him cause they are HUUUGGEEE! I dare you to google them). That day was so much more than I could have ever imagined in a million years - it was by far one of the most amazing days of my life.
* I got to see the boys offices/factory and saw Roger in action (CEO of the year for Quality in 2007 thank you very much) - he exudes power while at the same time being the most soft-spoken person - he's truly awe-inspiring. They've done so well with their businesses, they work SO hard and SO much, I'm so proud of them! Love rush!
* I got a tattoo (dad's not too happy about that), mum was cool with it (I should leave her more often - mum HATES tattoos). I mentioned it in passing in front of Rony - and he went out of his way to make sure it happened. Mind you it's illegal to get it done in Dubai - it's not what you know, it's who you know! I was a lot braver than I gave myself credit for. So I feel like a bit of a rebel, and I feel so cool too! Great souvenir...oh by the way, I got a sun in yellow/orange/red on my back between my shoulders...and it won't be my last (sorry dad!)
* The heat! My god it was sensational to feel the heat again after such a LONG time of being COLD! I went to the beach in the middle of the night and it was 35C!!! HEAVEN!!!!! Average temperature was 35-45C...I LOVE IT!
* Shopping - cheap as! I'm not a huge shopper, but I know I'd never get tired of shopping there (I came back with an extra suitcase of stuff). Also - the indoor ski resort is in Emirates Mall - of course?! (see photos)
* Spent a few days in Ras Al Kheimah - my days consisted of swimming, sunbaking, shisha and snacking...4 of my favorite 's' words.
* MUM'S COOKING!! Everyday. I LOVE YOU MUM!!!!!
* I had a really nice day with Roger, he took me for a sight seeing drive, and we also went to Souk Madinat (see photos) where we had a gorgeous view of Burj Al Arab (the 7 star hotel) and had a delicious Japanese lunch.
* Dreamland Waterpark (in Umm Al Quwain) - highlight of that day was sitting in the bar pool drinking a Long Island Iced Tea
* We went to Abu Dhabi for a night - Rony was there for work so he organised for us to go, and he booked us into the Sheraton (my first time in a 5 star hotel, another first)
* I rode my first motorbike (or quad) - only the fastest in the world! I rode it by myself - told you I was cool! (Oh wait, you already knew that)
- Mosques aplenty (of course), beautiful buildings and at prayer time you could hear the prayer chants echo over loudspeakers for a distance
- Lizards everywhere!!! So exciting!!
- Sand sand sand...lots and lots of sand
- Extravagant, extraordinary, eccentric buildings everywhere! I've never seen anything like it (and probably never will again)
- The dudes you see dressed all in white are natives (Im sure theyd appreciate being called dudes) apparently only 20% of the population is native and all rich
but hey, everyone is rich there! An over abundance of money, the most common phrases I heard were this is the most expensive this, or most prestigious that, or the biggest this very surreal.
I'm so overwhelmed with the whole 2 weeks...
I really felt truly special while I was there. Im immensely grateful for having been able to finally meet my family while at the same time sad it took so long. I look forward to going back and spending more than 2 weeks with them (NOT enough), and also looking forward to going to Lebanon and meeting all my other amazing family. Im so proud of my culture, and Im sure Ill be seeing things with new eyes after Lebanon.
Am I not the luckiest girl in the whole universe?!?! I do believe I am!!
(p.s. other updates:
1. Ive started as manager at the hostel eek!
2. Im going to be bridesmaid at my aunts wedding in Lebanon eek!
3. Im going to Lebanon for 2 months to see dad (YYYYAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!!!!!) at the start of September
cant think of anything else!)
Essay finished! Phew!
Location: London, UK
OH WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!! WHAT A BEAUTIFUL, STUNNING, SPECTACULAR, DIVINE MORNING!!!!!!
It snowed properly today!!! I thought I was excited when I saw snow on Easter Sunday - but today topped that by lots! (well, yesterday morning now - been working all night and still think it's yesterday).
It started snowing at 7am - we spent 2 hours in the beer garden having snowball fights!!! MY FIRST SNOWBALL FIGHT!!!!! I made a snow angel and everything!!!!! I was saturated by the end of it and my hands were purple and numb, but I didn't care, I was running on adrenalin!!! I spent an hour in the shower just trying to warm up and feel again!!! (still loving the abundance of water and the never ending hot water supply!)
Oh and when we first entered the garden, there was a duck just sitting there (?????) Very random and very cute (Vasy chased it away)
Oh what a brilliant day, one I will never forget in my whole life!
Location: London, UK
Bit of news for you all...
I've made a decision...I'm staying longer....I'll be home towards the end of the year...in time for summer! (from summer to summer...love it)
I think it's pretty obvious how great a time I'm having (I go on about it a fair bit!), and it breaks my heart to think I can't come back to work here again with these amazing people, in this amazing place, in an amazing job, so I'm going to stay as long as I can. Time is going so fast - I've been away for over 10 months (I still can't believe it) - yet it doesn't feel like it's been that long.
I miss you all terribly, much more than you can imagine, but | know this is what I need to do.
I wented to Scotland! Edinburgh in particular (you may have seen the photos already - well, those of you who haven't given up on me and still check this page!!). We stayed at the Globetrotter Inns hostel there and it was just beautiful (the location is perfect). Edinburgh is just so pretty. It was a nice relaxing, lovely 4 day break...aaahhh
Next I'm off to Dubai at the end of April (where I'm meeting mum - YAY!!! WOOOHOOOOOO!!!) and after that...will see what happens! I think Prague might be next, but anything goes...
That's enough from me!
I love you all with all my heart and am sending you big hugs and kisses