Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Do you ever check the labels on H&M, Gap and Old Navy? It always say "Made in Bangladesh" and some in the Philippines of course. I searched for hours what to do and where to find these overrun pieces. As per Lonely Planet ~, "If you’re ready to haggle, then head for Banga Bazar , a block west of Gulistan bus ­station. Although some of the clothes are seconds, with small flaws, most are over-runs. Banga Bazar is usually closed on Friday, but always check." 

Roster came out early in May. I have DAC flight listed. Best about this layover is we get to spend 2 days out of Doha, for a breather. But eventually, my initial plan was nullified. A lot of us were so dead tired, ended up eating at a nearby Korean Restaurant than trying out the best dish this place has to offer. By the way, we get to ride a taxi cab, 6 of us managed to squeeze inside! I'm used to Manila Traffic, so it's no biggie. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Nairobi, Kenya - Culture in a cup

I closed my eyes for a moment. I could only hear footsteps towards me. “Can I ask for some water?”, I immediately opened my eyes and a baby bottle was handed to me by a beautiful African woman around mid-thirties dressed in a very colorful garment or Kanga rather. Headed down to the galley and filled the container with lukewarm water.

I tried to keep my composure a midst of mild aircraft disturbance while holding a tray with a single bottle on it. As I approach the lady sitting in the front row, a man wearing a white button down shirt asked for water. “I’ll get back to you Sir. Would you like to have some coffee or juice instead?”, he replied with, “No”. Just as I hand over the feeding bottle, I offered if she would like to have something, “Water”, she requested. Reason being why I suggest coffee this much is because of this early morning flight. 

I poured in five to six cups of water to make sure I cover whoever wants some. Went back to the galley empty handed. Plane ride sure does get you dehydrated. It’s a fact.

Strapped myself in after cabin duties. Plane is descending. I kept on swallowing to keep my ears from popping. I glanced out the window where thousand acres of coffee beans are cultivated. Welcome to Nairobi!

Twenty-four hour layover just started. It’s a hot, humid Sunday. I only have my Google map as a tracking device. “Nairobi Java House is the best!”, the concierge exclaimed. That’s what I recall. 

Standing adjacent to Mama Ngina Street where I could smell the coffee aroma and heed reggae beats from afar, “It’s here! I just arrived!”, a small voice uttered inside my head. Spotted a vibrant huge menu coffee board wall-mounted inside where different coffee varieties are displayed. My eyes were glued on Iced Mocha concoction. 

I can taste the richness of coffee beans infused with cocoa. Coffee was not so empowering. This blended beverage is just right. I can see through this cup how diverse this country is. Nairobi is a contemporary Sahara. Whereas European and Western urbanity influenced this modish part of Kenya without dismissing its aboriginal African roots.

A couple of minutes passed and my drink just ran out. Spent the last few shillings I had on high-speed internet access for three hours back to the hotel while sipping instant coffee pulled from the aircraft galley!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Algiers, Algeria

Welcome to the Mediterranean! Marked as my 1st official layover after numerous turnaround flights within Middle East. I was very blessed to be accompanied by my Filipina batchmate :-) We did go out close-by the hotel at Sofitel Algiers Hamma Garden to bargain some mementos. I bought a ceramic decor showing a small map of Algeria on it and a grey-striped cotton shawl. Then ate at a nearby pizza/crepe parlor. Their pizza is the best! Check out Pizzeria Formula 1.