Read here about my other trips to Jakarta: Spirituality and Nightlife in Jakarta / About Destiny in Jakarta

April 23rd 2016, almost midnight, somewhere in Jakarta, Indonesia at 15th floor

With God’s will we’ve landed in Jakarta.

Why with God’s will?

Because without it there would be nothing.

Indonesian people are so nice – they remind me of people used to be. Patient, kind, smiling, pure, joyful for small things.

Getting used to South-Eastern Asia, to its crazy, hectic traffic. What I like in Indonesia is the hijab women wear. It’s most of the times very colorful and it creates a peaceful state of mind. It’s not disturbing.

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Two old ladies dressed all in white and covered in white cotton lace blessed me as the disembarked the plane. I have never seen those gestures, but I knew right away.

Thinking of some childhood psychological reasons for some of the ways that I act after a recent conversation with a stranger.

[…]

I want to own hotels and I know I will! Until then – I live in them.

Wondering in this year of flying how many nights I slept in hotels and how few at home, how many I did not sleep at all…

In front of me, on the bar of the lounge I have the list of destinations I’ve been to in ONE YEAR. The first year.

It’s hard to believe even for me, who has lived this crazy hopping around the greatest cities of the world and the most desired destinations, hanging out in lofty hotels, sipping huge colorful cocktails by the pool in the shade of palm tree leaves.

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…and as I write this, somewhere in Jakarta, where I’m at for the fourth time now, the schedule for next month is out and I run away from life a bit more or towards it and it’s 01:01…

Miami, Jakarta again (5th time), Seoul with mom (after meeting her in Rome this month) and some surprises to be unlocked soon.

At the “office”, in Jakarta, after a 9 hour flight, writing – by hand, in pencil – for the blog. So I do have an office job after all, but it comes with welcome drinks in lobby bars and upgrades.

1:40 AM: Yes, put it on the room. Good night!

 

April 24th 2016, Jakarta, Indonesia

You are the kind of person that does not fear of anything and if they know they are doing the right thing they will not hesitate. I read this on the screen of the shop, where one of the guys working here has been trying to translate it with the help of Google translate since I entered the store. I leave with a smile on my face and some “Made in Indonesia” items.

16 days. 5 countries. 66058 km. 85 hours and 40 minutes flying time. From Bali to Beirut to Ho Chi Min to Osaka to Kyoto to Perth. Back home in Doha in the desert where … it is raining. Life is so beautiful and full of surprises. Traveling is living, but don’t think it is easy. And yes, this is my job.

The full stories are coming once I’m back from Berlin.

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Tegallalang Rice Terraces, Bali, Indonesia

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Let me tell you about Beirut – my urban soul destination, Lebanon

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Eating fried oysters with peanuts, shrimp by kilo, frog and other local delicacies in Ho Chi Min, Vietnam

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Wearing a beautiful kimono on the lovely traditional streets of Kyoto, not far from Osaka, Japan

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At Caversham Wildlife Park in Perth, Australia, visiting the koala bears (sleeping 20 hours out of 24) and the kangoroos – roo roo kan-go-rooo!

 

 

 

 

 

February (read about all my destinations) has been amazing so far: Bangkok – my favorite, Maldives for the first time, Milan. Then getting ready for Saigon in Vietnam and Osaka at the end of the month. As if it was not enough, I just booked for Beirut – another soul destination – and I received a flight to…Bali. Present from the company to celebrate one year since I started working.

February 19th, 2016, 1AM

Exactly one year since my old soul met its destiny, became aligned with its nomadic heritage and discovered its deep people loving nature. Read my story here.

I’m thinking of the life flight attendants have (only from the bright side, because it is the only one I see)- traveling the world, staying in the best hotels, welcome drinks, fruit and flowers, upgrades, VIP treatment in some locations, access to 5 star lounges. I know there’s a lot of working by night and then by day and going from -15 to 30 degrees twice in a week, changing climate, difficult passengers, but traveling is priceless. Oh well, depends what you see and how you see it.

Off to Bali, where I am travelling for the very first time. The sunrise is dazzling as I move fast towards the airport. I follow the sunrise until late through the aircraft window and the colors are glaring, bright red and black, deep black. The contrast, astonishing.

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Welcome to Bali, Indonesia announcement and soon I am in the opened lobby of the hotel in Dusa Nua. I love that we have our own area (floor) of the hotel just for us. It’s quite late and I have already booked a driver (Firdi, I strongly recommend him to anyone. firdi.m88@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6285738254999. He’s very punctual, serious, clean with spotless car, drives you wherever you want, very smart and knows everything about the island from clubs to temples to fanciest bars to places to surf and it is very cheap – around 30 dollars for 8 hours, you can bargain, but please don’t) for tomorrow to take me around at the recommendation of my Turkish friend. I remember my Dutch friend from Maldives driving me nuts about nasi goreng. I had no clue what he’s talking about, so I asked around 10 times the names, driving him nuts, too (yey!). He says he’s used to it – sharing his home with 3 girls and their mother.

So, I orderd some nasi (rice) goreng and I found it to be a steak with rice, but nonetheless it was tasty, and a Bitang Beer – Indonesian. Not because I love beer, I’m more of a wine person, but someone gave me this bug of trying beers worldwide and since I’m traveling so much…

 

February 20th, Bali, Indonesia

After the Indonesian style breakfast by the two story pool, listening to a local dressed in national clothes playing a sort of bamboo xylophone, we met with Firdi. Meanwhile, I invited I. from Serbia to join me as she shall spend one month in Bali in May to practice yoga and she wants to see the place. Together we decided K. from India is good company and he really is.

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We are lucky to see some celebration today and we find out from Firdi that today it is holiday here in Bali. It is Kuningan Day, the last day of the Galungan Holiday, celebrating the triumph of dharma over the adharma, a time when ancestral spirits visit the Earth. Hmm…and as I read this, maybe I was not there by chance at that time. Let’s get back to what I said. As you might have guessed dharma (righteousness, right way of living, moral force that orders the universe, purpose in life) is the antonym of adharma (you can guess, yes, evil) and they are Sanskrit words.

As I write this, about one month later, I just listened to my horoscope telling me I will get aligned to my destiny in life, purpose in life. As I always knew, nothing is by chance. Information is given to you when you have to get it and above all, when you are ready…

Unbelievable!
K. tells me he practices Surya namaskarSun Salutation. I just realize the place I go to next was called…Surya.

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All the streets are embellished, the monuments are dressed to give them a human sense, everyone is in national costume and taking gifts to the divinity. In front of every house gate there are gifts to the gods, in the middle of the way, down on the cement, women carry boxes and baskets in their hands, on their heads and on some motorcycles there are 3 or 4 people heading to a sacred place. Reality is that every second place here is a temple and although a very touristic place, especially after the Hollywood blockbuster Eat.Pray.Love, the island seems down to earth still. Indeed, we kept out trail concentrated on the main attractions – rice terraces, main temples –  and less on beach bars and clubs. As a matter of fact, every hose has it’s own temple.

By the way, Bali is a huge island. We’re going to the Tegalalang Rice Terraces first and from Nusa Dua it takes around 2 hour drive, depending on traffic, of course. On the way I love to hear about Hinduism and the local habits and the conversation between K. and Firdi regarding religions and how they blended, entangled, modified etc. Quite unique for someone like me who only knows about monotheist religions – and feels confused about them, too.

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Most of the Balinese are Hindu, but apparently Hinduism is not pure here. It is a different culture, that’s for sure. Sacrifice is given to gods three times a day, prayer to the spirit of the field keeper is made, the belief that every place has a meaning is spread, clothes are attached to the things to give them life. Bali is a mystical land of gods offerings and life philosophy.

We drive past some impressive building with three huge faces reigning the place, some pigs statues and Indonesian girls statues that represent a dance. I find out it is UC Silver Gold, a place where luxury handmade jewelry is made.

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Seeing how people are joyful and how they manifest on their holidays is a great glee.

We’re at the Tegalalang Rice Terraces and they look exactly how I have imagined. If I ever imagined I would arrive here. They look like a valley, with the road on one side and shops, meditation places, small chic cafes on one side and the rice terraces on the other side, which make them ease to be admired. Through the Indonesian items of the stores on one side I see the palm trees and the rice plants on the other side.

We climb down the road side of the terraces to reach the other side, where the terraces are. This side is muddy, slippery, abrupt and not very simple to move through, so if you’re ever here, avoid flip flops and have at least some ballerinas. Each palm tree has some quotes and there are huge letters welcoming you to Bali, reading I love Bali.

As usual, the smaller writing attracts my attention, such as on this palm tree:

“Love is like an Ocean,/It goes dawn (sic) so deep,/Love is like a rose, whose beauty,/You want to keep.”

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In the muddy, wet rice fields I spot clover. With four leaves. It is said to bring luck and it is quite rare, but this one I’m looking at is all four leaf. Banana, impressive, red, pointy flowers. It’s hot and very humid. Very hot and very humid.

Some say I have an issue, but I love to photograph my feet as I walk, the whole picture, with the shoes, a little bit of the skirt or pants, whatever I’m wearing. The terrain I’m stepping on, the light, the pace, the movement itself.

At the lowest point of the valley between the rice terraces there is a narrow water, so there’s a wood bridge to cross, adorned with hibiscus red flowers, some red and green leaf plants and ferns. On the handle of the bridge there is a small bright orange wood box, painted in red, green and pink motifs filled with gifts for gods. Bali is a magical land. On the side of a rice step I see a bamboo pole with two baskets at each end of it, for balance. It looks so interesting, as I’ve seen in the movies of rice croppers with the pointy hats having their feet in water until ankle level.

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Our eyes never see the same thing, although we are looking at the same place. Our thoughts do not take the express to the same place. For example, rice fields remind me of the handmade arras we had in the living room depicting around 3 or 4 women bending to crop the rice. But I’m sure I. and K. have something else in mind.

At some point you are asked for money to pass through an area of the rice terraces, but I did not give. I am the first to give extra, but no if I feel I’m being scammed.

Even the cars have a small gift to gods on the hood of the car and most of the small businesses are closed. So was Surya, an opened café where you can admire the terraces. Simple style, white walls towards the hill, black graphics – Dali behind the bar, two boys on a bicycle.

I love the hats/turbans the men wear.

Monkeys are walking on the streets with such a normality. Seeing them next to the temples, seems taken out of the movies, but of the animation movies. I feel beamed to a magical realm. Firdi tells us in Uluwatu monkeys are very naughty and steal your glasses, camera, food.

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Next stop is Bali Pulina, the place where I would love to drink my coffee every morning. Not any coffee, of course. Indonesian coffee, famous worldwide. The specific here is that you can try the world renowned, extremely controversial, loved and hated Kopi Luwak.
What is Kopi Luwak? Well, it depends what you want to start with. It is considered the most expensive coffee in the world and yes, the coffee cherries have been through an animal’s digestion process (image of the digested coffee cherries above). The animal is called toddy cat and it is quite endangered by the Kopi Luwak’s production.

Actually, the it is not a sort of coffee in particular, but a sort of processing it. Obviously! And it costs around $700/kg.

At Bali Pulina you will have a great time, no matter if you try the coffee or not. But if you do, other 8 types of coffee and tea are included for you and your friends to taste, coming in an exquisite presentation and with a stupendous view. The place overlooks a green valley, thick vegetation and besides it is half wild half built, but everything in a wonderful harmony between man-made and nature.

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Small tables made of wood form a terrace under the wood bar – jungle hut, all opened, looking at the ocean of green. There is also a terrace in leaf shape suspended over the forest and one Jack Fruit tree is actually growing through this terrace, making it quite dangerous.

Besides the spectacular view, I could not ignore the attention to details: nothing is extra, everything is either earth brown of green, except for the flowers and the beautiful traditional dresses of the ones serving, even the tissue box is camouflaged in rock and on each table grass is growing in a coconut shell.

Coffee grows right next to your table and everything is in harmony with the nature. Somewhere far, you can spot some rice terraces, which, by the way, are everywhere on the island. Benches are made of old dried tree trunks, having an ultra-luxurious look.

What’s in the 8 cups that come in a meter long wood support? Lemon tea, Ginseng coffee, Chocolate coffee – tasty, Chocolate, Vanilla coffee – light and pleasant, Bali Coffee, Ginger Coffee – my favorite and Ginger Tea – amazing!

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For less than $4 you can taste the famous coffee Kopi Luwak, that did not thrill me at all. Not because it is actually cat poop, because the process is very elaborate, but because I found it too light for me, who either prefers a double espresso or, even better, instant coffee made so strong that the spoon stays still like in a yogurt.

So: Let’s do this shit!

But before this unique experience, there is a tour going through a tropical garden, where a nice local tour – all people are so nice and kind and humble – shows you the whole process, the cats (on the cages it says stay away, aggressive animals – I would be aggressive too if I had to poop coffee all day, not drink it. Oh well, I’m aggressive anyways), the drying, the grinding.

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A new plant I saw is torch ginger, looking more like a bamboo bunch. As we sit and drink the liquors made of cat poop, a storm starts and it’s a moment I want to remember. Hot storm in Bali in a green oasis.

In this Balinese rain, I’m thinking again of twin flames and how it could’ve been if it was meant to be. To be one again.

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Should be time for lunch and Firdi promises to take us to a good duck restaurant. And he really did. The place is called Bebek Tepi Sawah and it’s in Ubud. The place could pass as a temple, or a functions venue. Normally I like duck because it is fat, but the local duck dishes are mainly roasted/very dry. Actually, you get half duck, crispy. It’s tasty, though and it’s worth trying. I should not mention this anymore, because from my point of view, everything is worth trying.

Two young locals dressed in tight scarfs and with intense colorful make up dance in the middle of the restaurant and we follow amazed while we wait for the food.

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If you’re there, try a local drink called Larutan, Cap Kaki Tiga. It’s canned and I think it comes in more flavors. Oh, and Larutan Penyegar. One of them is good for hangover, as the shop attendant told me.

Also, try arak, a popular drink in Bali, rice wine. Yet, be careful, not long ago 25 tourists drank a poisonous batch, so it’s better if you know a local who can provide it for you.

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We’re heading towards Tegenungan Waterfall, somewhere close to Ubud. There are some shacks with drinks and souvenirs before the stairs taking you down to the water. Since I’m here, I bought one traditional hat hand painted and a scarf to wear in Balinese style. The fall is quite tall and you can swim under it. Don’t worry, be sexy says on a wood plaque hanging on a stick, but I like more the small spring on the side where it says holy water making you feel young.

Rationale’s Something for Nothing plays while we’re on our way back and it’s pouring again. On the side of the highway there are mangroves and actually even the road we drive on used to be part of it. I finally find out from Firdi the answers killing me for months, the name of one tree and he has it – Beringin (Ficus benjamina, the one whose trunk seems to be overtaken by other smaller trunks growing one over another and the name of the white flower that I sometimes wear behind my ear – Frangipani.
Bali is a good place to gather your thoughts, to find some peace and maybe it’s not a bad idea to come here alone. I will, for sure, come back and I’m thinking about either an astrology or personal evolution camp. One of those that does not provide air conditioning or hot water, makes you sleep on a rug, you have a strict program of learning etc.

Still, I’m also looking forward to trying Karma Bar, Finn’s Beach Club, Woobar at the W, Potato Head Beach Club Bali, Rock Bar in the Ayana Resort, Sky Bar at Mulia Resort, shopping a traditional costume in Ubud Market, sunrise at Sanur Sunrise Villas, try gadu gadu, chicken tootoo, seeing Garuda – the tallest statue in the world, partying in Kuta, watching the surfers in Seminyak at the W and visiting Ubud Hanging Garden, going by ferry to Lembongan Island.

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Read here about my other trips to Jakarta: About Destiny in Jakarta / Midnight Thoughts in Jakarta

 

January 4th 2016, Jakarta

There’s something about this year. Maybe the upcoming Mercury Retrograde. Misunderstanding, delay, out of ordinary small things. I’m agitated and impatient, almost like last year or worse. Maybe I need to start yoga and meditation, but I’m like a lion in a cage. Finally off to Jakarta. Seated for turbulence and handwriting this. Dissipated thoughts.

[…]

When the schedule for January was issued, right before Christmas, I knew it’s going to be a great start of the year – Jakarta, 8 day holiday, Dhaka, Milan again, Phuket and Beijing right at the end of January.

After a more agitated flight than I used to remember it – it’s my third time in Jakarta – we are finally here, in the 30 degrees barely breathable air. I would lie if I said I don’t like it, but in the uniform it feels like a sauna.

It makes me remember my first experience with this kind of weather in my first month of flying in Thailand when I almost though that’s something wrong with me. It even makes me laugh how attentive to all the details and the vegetation, the scenery of each city I would go to. Now it’s (almost!) routine.

The bar by the pool is not opened yet, it’s just around 8 AM. I order a Long Island in the lounge overlooking the pool and the nearby lake. Then I decide not to bother the waitress twice so I ask for two. She asks me if I had breakfast and I inicently say no. I thought it’s for the bill, then I lay my eyes on the drinks. Oh…don’t worry, for me it’s night already. Oh…you’re from airline. Yes, we just arrived.

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I read about the Middle East Iran-Saudi tensions in the local newspapers. It’s just an ordinary morning/night in a random city of the world in my own world, with a drink – well two in my hand and a plan for exploring new places and feelings.

IMG_0320Jakarta is a traffic champion and I heard in busy days you can spend three hours in the car from the airport to the city center, so I spared around 6 hours – I was thinking for the way.

After all, it’s my third time in Jakarta and I haven’t seen the city, so I said I will see it at all costs. To my surprise we were there in about 45 minutes. The city is impressive, huge and the buildings are massive. It is said to be world‘s second largest city at 10.2 million people.

On my sightseeing list:

The Istiqlal Mosque/ Masjid Istiqlal Mosque

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I’m visiting with I., who converted to Islam. Istiqlal means independence and indeed, the mosque was built to celebrate Indonesia’s Independence from The Netherlands. As our guide tells us, there are many symbols of the independence struggle in the building of the mosque. The cupola above the main prayer room has a diameter of 45 meters, as the independence was obtained in 1945, then there are 12 columns, which is connected to the birth of The Prophet, there are 5 floors to represent the 5 pillars of Islam, another dome has the diameter of 8 meters to symbolize the date of the independence – August 8th.

The Mosque is a good prayer shelter and feels a little more cool than the hot and humid outside. What is interesting about the Mosque is that it was designed by a Christian architect to symbolize the harmony between religions in a country that holds the biggest Muslim community.

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On the other side of the road is The Jakarta Cathedral, built in 1901 in neo-gothic style, with a very interesting and modern appearance.

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We walk towards the Merdeka Square – said to be the biggest in the world. In the middle it’s The National Monument (Monas), built to symbolize the struggle for independence. Speaking of which. Indonesia was ruled by the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, British and occupied by the Japanese.

A walk in the square is pleasant, but the distances are quite large. However, the vegetation is protecting us from the sun and is enchanting. We pass by ministries and legal bodies. Bicycle merchants pass by us selling some weird food which I bought and only tried – it was too spicy and honestly I didn’t know what it was, but the process of serving it was catchy and also caught on camera – cigarettes, small food packages, mainly everything. The people are relaxed and helpful. There are not many people in the wide streets/highways of Jakarta, most of them are security agents of the high glass buildings, smoking in front of their doors.

We’re at the National Museum, which is worth a look.

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By now it’s pouring, but the hundreds of people moving on motorbikes and wearing plastic covers seem to be used to it.

It’s raining so bad that we might expect the water to pour in the taxi we are, heading to The Skye Bar in the BCA Tower, the tallest bar in the city at 56th floor. Jakarta has vibrant nightlife and I am not leaving without taking a sip of it. From this place high in the sky – I just cannot get enough of the skies – you can see the new buildings of Jakarta and also the construction sites of what will be an even more impressive skyline of the city.

At the Sky Bar they also have a restaurant serving gourmet food and fine wine at acceptable prices and with a very pleasant atmosphere and design. Good service, but the ladies at the door are very strict about the dress code, so access to the bar and the opened area is not permitted you are elegant. As a matter of fact it’s a quite posh place and the people in the bar were either wearing suits for men and dresses and high heels for women.

 

January 6th, 2016

As I’m leaving I see one of the most beautiful airplanes I’ve seen, from Batik Air Jakarta based airline, reminding me of traditional Romanian motifs. Aviation is thrilling!

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Flashback to August in the same place…IMG_3023

…one week later there are bomb attacks right in the Starbucks in Thamrin Street where we were drinking coffee not long before. Quite shocking to see videos with the table where you were enjoying Jakarta skyline in a news about bombing.

“Starbucks is really not my favorite place. The truth is that I don’t know what to order because I only drink espresso.
I wrote today about my trip to Jakarta this morning and posted some pictures. I did not know about the bomb.
This is the card I got from the Starbucks in Thamrin Street, Jakarta, right where the attack happened. We were drinking coffee and watching exactly the site of the attacks, just a week before the bombing. Quite shocking to see videos with the table where you were enjoying Jakarta skyline in a news about bombing.”

 

 

Read here about my other trips to Jakarta: Spirituality and Nightlife in Jakarta / Midnight Thoughts in Jakarta

 

About Destiny

This is how I am of no help to the ones who ask me about the interview for my company, the life here, the usual process. I just tell them it’s all about destiny and almost 1 year down the road, I strongly believe the same thing.

October 28th, Doha, waking up after Kigali flight, preparing for Jakarta, writing to a friend curious of my life as cabin crew, intrigued that I gave up a life as a rising lawyer after years of hard work and study:

I started everything very young. I graduated from high-school when I was admitted to the most prestigious Law School in the country, I graduated at 21 (4 years), at 19 I got hired at one of the most reputed law firms in the country where I had a 4 hour schedule, but where I spent 12 hours because I liked it so much, at 22 I passed the Bar exam as the youngest lawyer in the country, I published articles and made presentations at conferences etc.

So, success after success and a lot of work, because nothing is for free. I used to love it. But…I don’t know what happened, there must be a moment in life when…I just did not feel fulfilled anymore, actually I was on the other side, I was unsatisfied always, I could not find my place anymore. And I started realizing that I have to make a change. Good! This is the first step, the identification of the problem. I searched for a few months – PhD in Florence, internship in London. All I knew was that I had to leave. I sat for the Final Bar Exam in December,  because I thought, whatever the future might bring, being fully qualified as lawyer gives you a job and a Plan B for life.

But…as things happen usually, in an unexpected and overwhelming way, three days before the exam I saw an advertisement on the internet, on Facebook, I sent my CV, they invited me for the interview and 2 days before the Bar Exam I was at the interview, a crazy risk to take. They liked me, asked me to go to another final interview 1 day before the exam, I went, I passed, I waited.

Going back to the office after passing the exam – of course I passed with flying colors – was terrible, I did not want anything, I was only dreaming about foreign and far-away places, about adventure, about anything else than what I knew – same office, same coffee mug, same screen.

Because of all this piled up dissatisfaction and frustration of not finding my own place I felt the need to see a psychologist, I think I went for a few months before I finally left. The woman had some faith in God and knew some parapsychology. Knowing that airlines normally make you wait for up to one year until they finally have you flown to their hub and actually they can never call you again although you passed the interview, I applied for an internship in London, at one of the leading bodies of Arbitration in the world, my field of activity. The psychologist told me pray for 23 days or 21 days I cannot remember, to whoever you want, just pray and the 23rd day something special will happen. Oh well, the 23rd day they rejected my application for the London interview. What I did not know at that time was that I already had the Qatari visa issued (I only found out after one month when they sent me the ticket to join) and that they were going to call me in 5 days from the moment when I had sent all the documents necessary for the file.

I can say it was meant to be, that I was pulled here of forces above my control. For me, this job is the passion of my life and my destiny. Part of my destiny, of course. I have never felt I belong so much, never felt so calm inside and fulfilled as here and now. I have never lived the here and now until…now.

Initially I said I will be here for 6 months, then one year, then 1 year from now, but now I simply don’t think about it. As long as I will enjoy it as I do now I will be here. I think I will be here for two more years or so, for a total of 3 years, because there are so many places I want to go to, both with the job and also on my own.

I love it here and I like everything, I’m fulfilled. There is no universal recipe, what works for me might not work for another because we are not built the same and we come from different stories and backgrounds.

If you want, it’s worth trying. The life experience and the opening to the world that a job like this gives you cannot be compared to what you get from any other job. Besides you work on the soft skills, the patience, the warmth, the reading of people the interactions, the reactions, you see what makes them happy, what makes them proud, important, frustrated or curious. It’s a human life book.

It matches my personality very well, I changed so much, form the inside, I feel that I have evolved, that I worked to the less visible aspects of me – human interactions, patience, kindness. It is a whole story. I don’t have a pre-established plan, but I’ll try to make one by the end of the year. I still don’t have one, but it’s not yet the end of the year. J

Having this job your time runs differently than real life. You don’t even realize what date it is and two more months have passed already. You never know what day of the week it is and you go from UK to Thailand to South Africa sometimes in the same week.  You are everywhere and nowhere. This job is not for everyone, you have to be able to work long hours, shifts, resist fatigue, stress, to be patient with people (at the same time!!!) and it is not an easy job although people have the impression cabin crew don’t do much.

As of now, I don’t see myself in Romania anymore and I don’t see myself going back to lawyering, but the best part is that this kind of job opens a lot of doors and fields of activities. I walked the beaten path (uni-internship-job-graduation-qualification etc.) and I got bored and now I was to see what surprises my life will bring. For the moment I’m enjoying what I do and I’m thinking that if I do this until I’m 27-28 is not that bad. After that I shall see, I don’t have a certain target, I don’t want something particular and I have no fixed destination. For now, just next month’s schedule – Jakarta, Los Angeles (hopefully), Phuket, Beijing, Dhaka, Milan. Maybe I’ll die tomorrow. This is the way I think. It might not be the healthiest life receipt, but it makes me happy and I’m not the kind who thinks too much.

I never thought like this “Oh my Gosh, I worked so much to become a lawyer and now I gave it all up”. There were enough people who did this for me. Although I worked and studied enormously and I put passion in it, so I did not feel the weight of it all. Therefore, it was easy to let go, although letting go is not the right word.

Here it was more of a normal step. I was drawn into it, like a magnet does, I knew this is my place. And I still feel it. Anyways, among the stories of cabin crew I am a special case, therefore another reason why I am not a model to follow.

There are girls who come here at 34-35! It depends on the job, but this kind of experience can make you become more valuable and, from my point of view, this is the case. Another thing, you don’t need to care what people say because nobody will go to work one single morning for you. Imagine a lifetime. Not even what parents say. My mother was not very happy either at the beginning, although she would not say. Even though she know I was not satisfied at my previous job anymore. Now, after a while si is very happy because she realizes that I love it and that I’m fulfilled and I’m doing what everybody wishes to. Everybody wants to travel. To work, raise money and travel. I took the shortcut and I’m paid to travel. Everybody, believe me. A home, food, these are necessities, but what everyone wants is to see the world. And why not do it when I’m 20, young and beautiful and do it when you have a hip prosthesis (this is one of my bad jokes). Society and the close ones, the family, will always be against such a change initially. And I will tell you why. People love their comfort zones. When you leave your comfort zone, automatically the leave theirs and the cannot understand and cannot accept it and they will be the first who will tell to think again, to tell you examples of epic failures and disasters and atrocities.

If you know, but you have to be sure, that you want: that’s it!

You will see that the transformation will be more that you have ever imagined.

I’ve always been down to earth and very independent, but now I’m bulletproof. I mean, I know that almost anywhere I go in this world, alone, I can handle it, I can interact with anyone, with all society layers and age ranges, I can speak with the eyes and through gestures with the people I cannot speak with, I feel the people, I can read them, anticipate their actions. It’s amazing.

 

October 28th, 2015, Doha, Qatar

I woke up at 6:45 to apply for a visa for my mom. The driver was waiting me outside. One thing I learned here is that people help you and that this feels good. I love my company.

This is how you know a guy is into you – when he offers you his car to drive.

Less than 3 hours later I am on my way to Jakarta – 9 hours flight. Home – uniform – suitcases – ready – get set – go.

Jakarta is one of those destinations that seem very exotic and posh, but somehow disappoint you when you are there (I take my words back and am coming back with a post of my third visit to Jakarta when I actually visited the city). Indeed, I haven’t seen much of it and apparently the most of the things to do there are outside of the city. Like this massage center which is impressive. They have foot massage on ground floor and whole body massage on the top floor – yes, the whole building is a massage center. It looks like an industry, the masseurs are called by public announcement, it is clean, they have tens of huge armchairs for massage, bitter ginger tea and the price is ridiculously low. Must Try!

However, I’ve seen one of the most beautiful sunrises on the lake and I looked at the crazy traffic almost all night long – here it’s always rush hour, I thought of my stuff while looking at the reflections of the palm trees in the pool, I watched my own reflection in huge mirrors and made some choices,

IMG_3223I lied to myself and told some truths to someone else.

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In 2015 I have been in Jakarta twice by now, but to my shame, I chose to spend the layovers by the pool or having dinners, cocktails and massages.

IMG_3002Travelling is tiring, you know…