As we travel the world, same places more than once, we discover that certain things are cheaper to buy or to do in other countries rather than in Dubai or back home.
So here's a list of things we know, do, buy outstations...
1. FOOD - no one likes food in Dubai, specially fruits and vegetables. Let's face it, it is all imported and by the time it comes to our supermarkets it looks terrible. Even in the fridge it cannot last more than 2 days! Milk tastes so much different so I can't drink it without putting Nesquik in it or fruits making it a milk shake, and I love milk! And about meat I don't even wanna start, I eat meat in Dubai only if I'm dying for Mc'D or KFC! So wherever we go we tend to buy all kinds of food. Germany, mostly Europe actually, and South Africa - meat.
In Germany we buy mostly everything so it would be crazy write every single thing :)
USA, Australia - organic, healthy food, fruits and vegetables. Love to but fresh vegetables in Tanzania as well. Mostly everywhere where you can actually smell the realness in it! :)
Morocco - Argan oil and olives!
Italy - Olive oil, olives, pasta, cheese, prosciutto...
Switzerland - chocolates and cheese! Maybe they are not the cheapest but they are the best :)
Argentina - Dulce de leche - yummy! Something like Nutella in Europe or peanut butter in US but this one is made of caramel :)
Japan - everything you can imagine that contains green tea! Green tea Kit Kat is pretty famous and delicious!
2. DRINKS - as you all know UAE is a Muslim country so buying alcohol is allowed in specific shops which are pretty far from where most of us live and if you don't have a car it's a pain in the ass to go there and buy a few beers or a bottle of vine if you want to have a glass at this very moment. That's why we buy alcohol all over, wherever we can and want to :)
You can buy beer just anywhere but we usually come back with lots of it from...you guess... Ireland!
Vodka as well, you can buy it anywhere but Russia must be the best place :)
With vines we are a little bit more picky so Portugal, France, Italy, South Africa, and California are THE places.
Mauritius is known for a good rum.
Sometimes you wanna try something local and if you like it you end up filling up your suitcase with that specific drink for those lazy nights with your friends in front of the TV or preparing for a crazy night out ;)
That's why I bought Singaporean and Malaysian beer, Japanese sake, and just recently Philippine vine made out of coconut (didn't try it yet but I hope it's nice :)
Rakija is the one we crew from Balkan area bring from home (and everyone is afraid to drink that one haha)
3. CLOTHES - we love that one! :)
Don't even know where to start with where we buy what!
Starting from our uniforms, girls especially have to have hundreds of stockings cause we can break them on every single flight, so you buy and buy all kinds of those until you find the good ones! That's why whenever I go to UK I buy so many Primark stockings it's crazy. But it's also crazy how I always end up without them :)
Speaking of Primark, that's usually the first place where girls go when in UK!
Where girls also loooove to shop is China!
Whatever fake you wanna find you find it there, cheaper but (almost) same looking :)
Underground markets are the most popular places for buying branded bags, clothes, watches, shoes...
Chinese tailors are famous for making whatever you show them on a photo in a day or two, so lots of girls go there to even buy themselves wedding dresses! Prices are crazy low...
If you don't want fake but just cheaper you go to US to buy Guess, Michael Kors, Mac, Abercrombie, Victoria's secret, Nike and so on. To Australia to buy Ugg boots, to Spain to shop in Zara, to Brazil to get Havaianas... This list is endless...
Singapore has a funny street market where I always end up buying some cute shirts and accessorize. In Bangkok there's a big shopping mall with similar stuff as well. In US we are always near some shopping area so guess what happens then! Australia is pretty expensive for shopping and since I don't wear Ugg boots I don't really shop there.
And Europe is...just Europe. Like home for me so if I want I can go crazy there as well but most of the times I choose sightseeing and good food and drinks, rather than spending a day running through shops and malls.
4. BEAUTY TREATMENTS - we flyers all have the same back problems, joint pain, dry/oily skin... Changing hair styles for some is a monthly thing! Our feet hurt after a long flight and our nails look terrible after a busy flight. Some of us want bigger boobs, bigger lips, less cellulite, more tattoos, whiter teeth, you name it! And the best of all is that we can afford it!
It's easy - we fly for free everywhere so in 24hrs layover it's crazy what you can do! For certain surgeries takes time but you can do whatever you want...
Asian countries are the best for almost everything I mentioned above, and much cheaper too!
There's an unspoken rule when you go to Manila, Jakarta or Bangkok you have to go to a beauty salon haha! Mani-pedis, massages, facials, waxing, hair treatments... Everything even three times cheaper than in Dubai! And most of the times you REALLY NEED for someone else to take care of you in that way :))
Kuala Lumpur is apparently great for getting a tattoo.
Beirut and Bangkok are cheap and great for boob jobs and all the other body 'fixing' jobs :)
Probably I forgot to mention so many other stuff people buy around the world, like electronics for example, but hopefully you got a pretty good picture of how does it work with shopping and cabin crew :)) Lifestyle that lots of us are not willing to let go, you get used to it, you spoil yourself and sometimes you cannot imagine your life without these small rituals or benefits, diversities, choices, discounts :D
Coming back home with a suitcase full of goodies from all over is a thing I'll miss for sure when I go back to being a 'normal person' down on Earth... :p