Tag Archives: food

Travelling in STYLE…..or so I thought…….

Air France has been awesome to me so far, their twitter has helped me book flights, cancel them, change them and even check in online and just help me in general. Also amazing flights..but I was so disappointed to have to write that its all changed, my opinion on AirFrance and the customer service online and at the help desks havent but the inflight experience I am about to share with you is something I hoped I would never write. This all sounds a bit dramatic but you guys know me by now so I feel I can be myself which is DRAMATIC! 

I am back in Douala after a break in London, which was amazing, stayed in some awesome hotels and saw some awesome things, I dont miss living in London after being back I realize the hustle and bustle is just too much for me and how the Londoners cope with the traffic and travel KUDOS! But I do miss Western food and I did have my fill…..anyways I am going to crack on with writing about AirFrance…

Remember guys I am doing Sober for October in aid of Cancer Research so please please donate, I know it is cheeky using my blog for help but its charity and think about how awesome your karma is going to be once you donate even a few quid o r dollars etc….so in advance I thank you so much here is the link!

https://gosober.org.uk/profile/kirstenmackay 

Just click and instructions are on the page! 

 

AIR FRANCE

 

Air France if you are reading this I apologize for having to do this, but I wouldnt be much of a travel blogger if I didnt…..

To Whom It May Concern
I am a International Singer/ Songwriter which means I travel an awful lot around the world, I am currently working out of West Africa, I also run a highly read travel blog about my adventures from working and exploring around the world.
After running for our Flight on October 5th and being stopped and searched by security causing us to miss our flight to Paris, hence miss our connection to Douala…we are now eventually home after Sky Priority changed our flights no questions asked and with a fast no charge service. What could possibly go wrong? The flight was pretty packed so we would be sitting seperatly not bad at all right, and probably some nice business man would switch with us.
We headed to yet another hotel, we had had an amazing time in London but again it does knock it out of you living in hotels, we were tired. You forget how much the hustle and bustle of Central London takes its toll, especially when you are used to West Africa.
The alarm buzzed in our ears at 5.00am the following morning and we hastily showered and walked through the tunnel linking the Hilton and Heathrow Terminal Four to check in for our flights. That was simple enough, we were told that both flights were at full capacity so we were unable to change our seats. Again no problem.
We eased through security with no issues unlike yesterday and boarded the *flight number and time* to Paris. It was boarded quickly and we were reversing away from Heathrow bang on time, with exception from a large man snoring next to D the flight was plesant. Until landing, we came in and heard the roar of the landing gear attempting to come down. About 4 metres from the ground the plane accelerated and swooped up back in to the dark skies of early morning Paris, and a bustle of activity sounded around the cabin as people looked around confused and dazed asking whats happened…after circling for about 30 mins we eventually landed. It was an aborted landing, which was exciting but it had also given us only 20 minutes to change terminals and rush to our flight, we did have time for a quick munch in the lounge before rushing to the gate, to be told it had been delayed, we walked away and kept a close eye on the screens which said it was not boarding untill 11.10, it was 10.30 we had plenty of time, or so we thought turns out they hadnt bothered to change the screens, only the one above the gate which lucky D noticed which stated it was Boarding…lucky us! This could of been more serious, we could of missed another flight due to a fault not of our own, screens need to be kept up to date.

Once on the flight *Date flight number and time* to Douala, we were seated quickly and served champange or juice, whatever you decided.
After trying in vain online and tweeting, to change our dishes from fish as for some reason AirFrance LOVE serving fish, nothing against them but they should give more options for starters. We found a stewardess who was very friendly when we told her that we dont want fish and cant eat it, then the steward came along asked if we were brother and sister, quite offended as we are husband and wife and also none of his business as it doesnt affect our appetite i found it quite rude as if we were being judged for not wanting fish like we had to give an excuse or reason.
We settled down and got comfy reading the inflight magazines and deciding what to buy from duty free. At 11am the orginal time the flight was to take off our glasses were cleared and we prepared for take off. However little did we know we were no where close to leaving Paris. D asked for another drink and we were refused being told everything was shut down in prep for take off, we assumed we would be leaving with in five ten minutes. Two and half hours later, not even a bottle of water or some light snacks, with only ocassional apologly from the Pilot and some attendants, we pushed back. However im sure the AirFrance flight attentdants enjoyed the delay as they had time to ignore the customers and giggle and gossip in the galley, only occasionally moving out your way if you needed the bathroom to which they audibly sighed as if YOU were inconviencing them!
The flight eventually pushed back and we soared to the skies starting our journey to West Africa, I was tired after the early rise and was looking forward to my full flat bed seat and a good sleep after my meal, little did I know this was going be the WORST flight I have ever had in Business Class in my whole lucky life of travelling in this style.
I kept my head phones on as the drink and food trolley approached I smiled at the stewardess as she placed a tray infront of me, with Salmon and Scallops! I leaned over to her and stated I dont eat fish, politley I reminded her that I had told the staff this earlier , she then looking annoyed took the tray back, whipped off the two plates and slammed the tray infront of me offering me bread. Now remember I had already alerted two cabin members of mine and D’s food preferences. Is there no communication? I asked for an extra bread roll and settled down waiting for my main, on the other side of me Dave was having the same argument with the Steward who had taken our complaint at the start of the flight, did no one listen to the customer? we were pretty miffed and stressed as we tucked into our bread and butter, as there were no other options for the starters except fish. Our main came which I have to say was a loevly chicken dish, I have no complaints I cleared my plate.
After the tray was cleared away I had a quick Earl Grey Tea and tried to recline my seat as I needed a good sleep so I was fresh for landing. I pressed the dial that puts your bed out full it made a sound and started going back until it made three clicking noises and started to rise back up. Great, I looked over at D and he was reclining, I was so jelaous, I asked to be moved but as the flight was so busy they couldnt, there was no more they could help, again I felt like I was the one in the wrong. So i settled in for the most uncomfortable 4 hours of my business class travels. D being a gentleman he is stayed at the same level as me, meaning we both had no sleep, the reason you pay extra for business class is so you have a peaceful comfy flight and get waited on in polite nice standard. Both D and I left the flight with very sore backs and very very tired.
I did all that I could do to make myself comfy and watched countless movies, while the other passengers slept as I shifted constantly as parts of me got pins and needles and became numb, the lights of the cabin eventually came on and they brought round snacks and offered tea and coffee, I ordered a tea and selected a cookie. I waited for half an hour as other customers got their hot beverages and snacks, still nothing. I looked down to the galley and all the stewards and stewardesses were there having a gossip and a giggle. At this point I was angry fed up and was not up for another argument. So buzzed the button reminded them about my tea and asked for a pen for my landing card, both requests were taken on and IGNORED, the staff just went back to the galley, so they didnt miss the gossip. I probably would of got better service in economy.
The only good thing I can say is our luggage arrived, being a world traveller I understand that when you have a tight connection sometimes your luggage doesnt arrive. But I was plesantly suprised after the disastereous flight that our luggage came through in one peice. So AirFrance I thank you for that! If you could address these issues above as I am a very good customer as is my husband, we would be very grateful. This was the worst flight ever, I would even go as far to say we will choose another airline to fly back with if this is not addressed as I will not pay to go through that again.
I am not one to complain, so I thank you in advance as your company has been nothing but helpful and well amazing up until this point…I am disappointed I have had to write this.

 

Until later guys x K

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Clubbing, Horse RIding and Music….

Well guys it has been an eventful 10 days for me and I do apologize that I have been behind in sharing it with you all, I keep getting invited out and then I see loads of things, and I promise myself I am going to blog about it. So here I am 10 days later, excluding the picture post. 

 

There is a wee boy at the top of my cul de sac, he stands on the corner everyday with his mum and dad, dressed in an oversized shirt, probably about 2 or 3. He just stands there, no toys, nothing. But he doesnt know any different, he watches the cars wizz by on the busy main road and smiles and waves at passengers in the big trucks and cars. His mum and dad run a corn stall, they sit and pick fresh corn and roast it on a mini open fire with a bent grill over the top, its smells amazing. I havent tried one yet as I usually am in a hurry to get home or been out to eat. But this week I am going to try it. 

I went out with a friend the other day just on a quick stop tour around the hot points of Douala, as me being ill I havent had a chance to experience the important parts of day to day living here in Cameroon. So firstly I went to get my hair done in her salon, it is an expat salon with massage services, waxing and much more. 

After being pampered and feeling beautiful I was ready to explore the city and find out the important things, like maybe…horse riding…okay I know thats not important but I like horse riding, so we headed down to the port, past the markets and the muddy stalls lined together like soldiers selling artifacts from all over Cameroon and might I add some lovely shoes and dresses. The fruit and veg stalls here are amazing, it hits you like an explosion of color, freshly picked that morning, and it is all massive. I think the mushrooms are the size of an average onion. Yes I KNOW! I was told that you have to be confident when you buy from the stalls and dont let them try and take you for a ride, so my advice is that you have an idea of prices in your head, by asking the locals first before going to a street vendor, it also helps if you have someone from Douala with you to help. 

D is in love with Soya which is a fatty meat on a stick roasted over an open fire served with onions and a spicy salsa, it is cooked on the street and smells amazing, I dont eat red meat but D being my guinea pig I feel I can write about it. This is an African traditional meal but it is sometimes made with liver so…be aware….

The port is the business part of the city with all the imports and exports coming off the huge ships and loaded on to rusty trucks with the longest trailers I have ever seen, they bump along the country roads making their own drum beat as they go, you almost feel nervous that the logs or trees are going to come loose off the back as the tarp strains to hold the heavy trunks beneath it. As I have said previously it is Rainy Season which is our ‘WINTER’ if you will, so the terrain is muddy and the roads get ruined with potholes as the rain works away at the sandy ground, leaving almost a childs game of dodge the puddles when driving down the road, most people have 4×4 here as it is rough terrain and the smaller the car the more risk you have of becoming stuck in a ditch, and believe me I have already seen alot of cars stuck, you would not believe how deep some of the holes are, i think the nose of your car visits Australia. I asked the locals why they dont patch up the roads, they told me that because of the volumes of trucks coming in and out of the port it is impossible to maintain. So as we headed down the rough road avoiding trucks and the three manned  bikes that seem to come out of nowhere, and smiling and waving at the workers eating their lunch and chilling in the muggy heat. We turned down a road and came to an immediate halt, there infront of the small car was a huge lake that had been formed over days of rain and trucks using this as a sneaky route to skip traffic, the only way round was the sides and they looked risky at best, we were going to have to balance the car round the edge. There was a small pink stall and a local man came and told us what to do, my friend who was nervous followed his instructions as I planned waited with baited breath as the car rocked over the murky water as bikes sped round it with ease, why didnt i get a bike and why did i wear sandals today? I didnt know I would possibly be swimming. As we revved out of the last ditch I sighed in relief and smiled, then I saw the rest of the road, it was a guessing game and if you picked the wrong route you were stuck, it was like a really mild game of car russian roulette, one wrong ditch it was abandon…sh….CAR….

We eventually after a bumpy ride, pulled up to the horse riding stables and the green rusty gates opened and I saw 50 stables lined up with the horses heads poking out at the new arrivals, I smiled this was beautiful with training arenas, and main show jumping ground and the tack room and shower area was so clean, one of the cleanest stables I have seen, some of the horses were not keen on being touched, I feel like some of the stable hands dont show them respect which makes it harder for new humans to approach them. Unfortunately due to the ground being so muddy and the arena being damaged by the weather you are not allowed to ride until Summer season. Me and the boyfriend are going to visit so he can see it, as its only round the corner from his work. 

After an amazing day seeing Douala and the Port and learning all the places to buy all the fruit and veg and little tokens….we were going clubbing on Saturday night and I was so excited…..

Until later

x K 

 

Being ill SUCKS!

So as you know from my previous blogs I have been very ill, but it is slowly getting better…thank god for that, as it has been two weeks of hell for me and D who in fairness to him as well as going to work he has been looking after me, cute right? So i haven’t really had a chance to explore. I went out to the Doctors and the hospital yesterday, which I was nervous about as I have obviously just seen hospitals in Africa on the TV. The driver picked me up at 9.30am, I cant drive yet as my new license hasn’t come through, but the good news is EXPATS you can drive out here, and the cars are awesome, there are Range Rover garages, Porsche garages and much more and it is easy to switch your Drivers Licenses over. Anyway I digress, we headed to the hospital, which is near the airport, we are coming out of rainy season now so its great to see the puddles drying and the roads not making muddy patterns on the cars. Also it is nice for the stalls and markets to be able to lift their covers and  enjoy the sunshine! Africa looks so different in the sun, like a different country, the lush green trees and the dusty roads contrast to make a really beautiful picture.  

Anyway back to going to the Doctors, I had a jittery feeling in my stomach, as I hate doctors and I really am stubborn when it comes to going, i prefer rest and letting it get better on its own. Also I had heard some hospitals over in West Africa are quite ‘scary’. We pulled up into a damp looking street with a arched entrance. The nurse and the driver turned to me and said this is the hospital, well it looked amazing, it had ivy running up the walls growing unruly out of the faded sandstone bricks. The lobby was tiled and it smelt like bleach and medicine, we walked through the waiting room to the private practice where I waited to be seen. So far so good, nothing scary, everyone was friendly and helpful.

I was seen quickly by a nurse who took my vitals, they were all so professional talking to me about my home country Scotland asking if I knew the people they knew. I know Scotland is small compared to some of your countries readers, but we do not know everyone in Scotland. I digress again….

The doctor was friendly and professional sourcing my illness straightaway and making sure I was keeping up with my Malaria tablets and my Yellow Fever injection hadn’t given me any difficulties.  We laughed and joked and I immediately hoped that if I got ill again this would be the Doctor to look after me. He prescribed me my medicine and then told me I had to go give blood and some swabs for a test, You all know how that works, but I need to reassure you, it is just like any other hospital, clinical, clean and fast. 

I head to the pharmacy and handed over my doctors note, which I couldnt read, I find myself thinking do ALL doctors get taught to write so NO ONE can read it, so be assured you will feel right at home with the Doctors handwriting as they still scribble over here. haha!

The pharmacies just like normal, you go in hand your paper in and wait, then pay. Nothing different. There are no witch doctors or herbs being thrown at you. I am feeling so much better now and thats all thanks to the medical care here in West Africa, I am so impressed with the medical care and the professionalism of everyone involved, so if you are thinking about travelling to Africa there is nothing to be concerned about, but I would recommend to do purchase some health insurance or private medical care as you could end up waiting a while if not.

So expats and people thinking about travelling DO IT. It is an awesome experience here in Africa and now I have just proven if you do fall ill. NO CONCERNS.

I would just like to thank you all for the recent follows, it means so much to me that there is such a diverse crowd WORLDWIDE ….my mind is blown….reading MY BLOG! If you guys do have any questions about my blog, or want me to explore and check out certain things, dont hesitate to email me with questions….kirstensm23@hotmail.com

or tweet me at @KirstenMackay19 

or follow me for pictures on Instagram @KirstenMackay19

Thanks guys 

 

x K