Tag Archives: travel

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

Catching up….

Stepping out my front door this morning, everything was so different, today is when Douala comes back to life. Or so I am told from the countless amounts of people returning to the city and filling their shopping baskets with goodies and trinkets for the kids to take back to School in their lunch boxes. Its not muggy anymore and its not damp, it smells different and feels different, infact as I am writing this the sun is trying to break through the clouds that have shrouded over us for months. 

Its like watching a makeover show now, every street you drive down, someone is building something or rebuilding a pavement, cleaning out the overused rain drains or painting the front of the villas and flats, repairing the damage the long rainy season has put the buildings and streets through… The vendors have doubled on the street, making you eyes catch colours you didnt think you would see again, I know it sounds dramatic and I am from Scotland, so you may think why AM I complaining about the rain? Well this is the first time it has been the same weather, dampness and rain for as long as I can remember, but it is rainy season so thats what you get. 

Driving down the road this morning on the way to get morning messages and visit some people, I noticed all the restaurants, bars and shops open with all the new selections out and people bustling down the street on the way to something important, it was a nice site as up until now you did struggle to see anything but a few vendors and some workers covering their faces from the downpour whilst jumping over the ever growing muddy puddles and moss. 

All the EXPATS are back and it is now so different, its like the whole atmosphere has changed and Douala has become busy and thriving. I am so excited now to get out and explore all the different areas that have been closed off for months. 

Anyway I had to get that off my chest, I know I haven’t been writing in a while as I have been super busy planning some super stuff,  and also well of course living day to day life here and exploring…So I do apologize for not writing, but I have a list as long as my arm to start telling you about so I am sure I will make up for it….I hope…

So as some of you know, I started to drive over here, and have decided it isnt for me, being a new driver as it is, I am not as confident and here you have to be the best. Imagine driving a tanker in Central New York or London, you have to hustle and bustle pass the blurs of rusting taxi cabs, who dont mind what happens to you as they get the pay out, the other hundred cars, plus avoiding the bikes and mopeds speeding both sides of you not looking out for themselves, of course you are dodging the looks of the people selling stuff or begging on the street, because AGAIN if you hit them…well its not good. As you can imagine. Also the horror stories D has been getting into when he has just popped out to the supermarket are enough to put me off…What I have discovered here is that your horn is your best friend, if you dont use that horn you will not be seen or noticed and you can sit at a junction all day if the traffic doesnt let up, and if you are backing out on to the street, they wont stop you just have to play dodgems. It is a real talent in itself to drive here, and the many people that do it, please give me some lessons in being more bolder, I end up looking like a deer caught in a head light and panick. Wow way to make myself sound brave and adventurous . So thats my exciting news about driving, I got my license and I CAN DRIVE, but i wont be until maybe i get the slightest bit more clue to where I am heading to, so right now it makes a lovely ornament on my living room table.

If you are wanting to know where to get the best and I mean probably one of the best take out pizzas in the area that I have found so far, head to Le Meridien hotel, although order it an hour in advance they take crazy long, I havent actually tried other fast food joints yet, but now its summer there are so many open. The pizza in Merdien is woodstone oven and the toppings are fresh, it is proper Italian pizza, I have found around here that some of them dont use real cheese or they use sweet dough which isnt as nice. You can also sit in at the hotel by the pool side where they have a BBQ restaurant… its lovely and very relaxing…

I am going to pop out and have some coffee and write more….stay tuned and thank you guys for carrying on reading my blog…

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

 

‘On The Road Again….”

So as you know from the blogs below I was just visiting Cameroon, so we returned to Scotland and said goodbye to family and friends and bought loads of stuff for our new house in Douala. I wont go into the details as I am sure you lovely readers want to read about Cameroon as that is what this blog is about. So from now on in I am writing about my experiences in West Africa as I have now been here two weeks, but unfortunately due to the change in climate and all the travelling me and D have done, my body gave in and I became very ill, so I was house bound with a severe chest infection and it being the rainy season the mugginess did not help! The second week here has been amazing and thats where I will start, in such a short time I have experienced so so much and I cannot wait to share it with you.

x K