Falling in Love With a City

A Globetrotter’s habit

When you travel for a living, you start developing a preference for certain destinations. Particularly if you travel to the same destinations multiple times. You start doing things that you normally do in your everyday life, in a worldwide scale.

You’ll do some groceries shopping in Italy, buy your beer in Germany and visit you favorite restaurant and coffee shop in Auckland. You just start doing it unconsciously, ask any frequent flyer or flight attendant. I’m sure they all admit doing it.

My Secret Love of Auckland

A couple of days ago I didn’t know what to cook for dinner. As any of you would certainly do I went onto a recipe site, trying to find some inspiration. Suddenly I came across a recipe that caught my attention, bringing flashbacks of my past life as a flight attendant to mind.

I saw a recipe for Belgian mussels soup. I’m sure you’re thinking what do Belgian mussels have to do with New Zealand? In most cases they have nothing in common. But in this story of mine they are deeply connected. But…

First a little context

The system in Emirates had a counter which registered how many times each crew member had flown to every destination. Mine was particularly high for two destinations: Brisbane and Auckland. By the day I left the company my Brisbane counter displayed about 40 visits and my Auckland one about 20.

View of Auckland New Zealand

I do have family in that part of the world but not in Brisbane and Auckland, so that was not the reason for my continuous trips there. To be totally honest with you, the first time I flew this route it was casually assigned to me, but from there onwards I tried going as often as possible. Auckland is one of the furthest places you can travel from Dubai. It was so far away and so different.

But Why?

Dubai is sandy hot and very artificial. New Zealand is green cool and had a cathartic effect on my mind and body. We only had a 24 hour stay but with so many visits I had developed my own routine of things to do.

And one of those things has to do with the mussels I was talking about before. Our inbound flight used to arrive just after lunch time New Zealand time, by the time we reached the hotel it would be around just after 3 PM. This gave all of us enough time to freshen up and get ready to go out.

I used to love the walk from the hotel (The Pullman) down to the city, already anticipating in my mind my usual Auckland dinner. Almost every single layover I had dinner at the same place, “The Occidental Belgian Beer Cafe'”, every single time I had the same dish steamed mussels in a celery, onion and garlic souce.

What About You?

What about you are you a flight attendant or a frequent flyer? Do you have a places around the world where you do things as anyone else would in their own home city? Let me know in the comments I’d love to hear your story.


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