Archive | June 2012

Travelling business class style

Is there anything worse than having to wait in a long queue before you can finally squeeze in your  economy class seat after several days on a bone-wrenching business trip abroad?

Probably.

But still, when you have a chance to avoid the inconvenience you better appreciate it.

It was funny when the flight attendant asked me the other day what I’d like to drink, while holding a tray with a choice of orange juice, apple juice and… champagne. Like, was it really a matter of choice?

I gargled the champagne down and before she could finish serving the lovey-dovey couple behind me I was ready for a refill.

But that’s not all.

What I really like when travelling business class style, is the chance to explore a new business lounge. My favourites? The ones with free access to alcohol -naturally. That is not to say that one should consume as much alcohol as would poison their blood supply or have them vomiting like ignorant university students, but just enough to keep them going through turbulance without a need to be formally restrained.

I mean, what is the point of having a wall mounted bar in a business lounge with a ground-flight attendant gatekeeping it rather than letting travellers help themselves with their drinks? Prevention of alcohol abuse? Perhaps. But does such an action minimise the risk?

And then, once you’ve had a drink or two (but not more) is there anything more fulfilling those few moments of clarity before you fly, than losing your self in the latest edition of the Economist, or the Financial Times, you know, for unbiased and accurate newstelling?

Don’t count on leaving the business lounge with a full stomach though. With the recent economic crisis it seems that airports are becoming stingy -or economically reserved I should say- which translates to poor quality snacks while you’re waiting for your flight.

All in all, the priority, the comfortable seating arrangement on the plane and naturally the prompt service on board are amongst the benefits of travelling business class style.

If you’re footing the bill though, well, it all looks rather pointless from that perspective.

 

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Falling in love with your best friend…

should be avoided. Simply because it can lead to less than desired circumstances.

The other day I was out for drinks with my friends (yes… Lisa and Jean, the usual suspects) and just when I thought I knew everything about their lives, they both managed to surprise me. It is amazing what a little bit of wine can do to an empty stomach.

The confessions made that night were less of the kind you make to your best friend and more of the kind you make in the safety of the confession booth. Behind closed doors and draped windows. So I admit I felt like an old, catholic priest, deprived of earthen joys but rich in heavenly love (yeah-right!).

Best friends are there to cover all courts, to kick-away malevolent peer pressure and to pump up confidence and teamship. Imagine you have a bad hair day… who’s going to speak to you about all the other good stuff that is going on in your life to take your mind off? Or say you’re having trouble at work and you want a fresh pair of ears to hear you and advise you how to deal with it all? There’s no point explaining what best friends do for us because it may mean all sorts of different things. But one thing is always in common: love. The kind of love which is full, unconditional and everlasting. And friendly!

But that’s the thing. Love is a force that cannot be contrained.  And combined with other elements such as physical attraction, spiritual attraction, common ways of thinking, well it won’t be long before friendly love turns to lovers’ love.

And then what? You see your best friend with a different set of eyes. The curtains that kept the side of your lovers heart no where near your best friend, have fallen. And all the vulnerability you never knew existed in you, surfaces.

And so, you still meet your best friend every day or every other day, you do all the things you used to do before but you find yourself seeking an opportunity to get closer to them and proximity gets a whole new meaning physically, spiritually. And when you are about to confess to them the predicament you find yourself in, so that you can free your mind from the constant deep thinking, to ease your esoteric pain and possibly guilt for seeing your best friend under this flesh-gratifying light, you withdraw. You stop. Out fear of the new, the unvisited territory of falling in love with your best friend. You constantly ponder: Will my confessions backfire? Will I end up losing my best friend? Well founded torturing questions which alter the course of your everyday life and your behaviour.

There are only two options here in my view: Either confess and walk through fire or take time off. Walking through fire sure as hell isn’t an easy task. But imagine how you’ll come out of it. Free. Possibly with burnt feet but above all else free. Possibly minus one best friend. But still, free. Freedom cannot be overrated.

Taking time off will ease your pain, only temporarily. Anyone who had to endure seeing their deeply desired best friend day in, day out and pretending to feel only friendly love when in actual fact they want to rip their clothes off, will understand that time off is a good enough option. It won’t set you free or anything but it will help.

Point is, we always have options. Falling in love with our best friend, simply isn’t one of them. In the sense that it is not a decision we choose to make: it either happens or it doesn’t. But when it does, we better equip for a bit of a rocky ride.

Bella Nars.

P.S Here’s to my best friends whose falling in love led only to good things.

P.P. S If it happens to you, don’t use this post as a guide. It is, but all wrong. Really.

Corporate Summer: The ultimate survival guide

Corporate summers are by definition… hot. Scorching. Corporate summer days go by as fast as Nascar vehicles leaving nothing behind than blood, sweat and tears. Buzzing heads and a nervous system on the brink of explosion.

Why, you ask?

Well, because every single client remembers to sell their company shares or yacht or piece of property or complex corporate structure during the three hot summer months. Right when our biological clock tick-tocks in the soothing rythm of sea waves and our body craves to be brushed against the golden sand.

So, what do you do to survive this?

What can you do? is the right response but because I hate answering a question with another question no matter how appropriate it may be on this occasion, have a look at my personal survival guide.

(a) Update the desktop background to a summer picture to cheer you up. A bit like this one.

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(b) Update breakfast to include iced coffee (freddo cappuccino is my favourite) and fresh fruits.

(c) Have a regular supply of organic energy drinks for those long afternoons drenched in legal nonsense. My personal favourites are Little Miracles (especially White Tea with Cherry yum yum)

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(d) Visit the beach regularly. So what if you’re off work at eight o’clock in the evening? A short ride to the beach and a walk on the sand when the sun sets should be enough to pump the brain with fresh cells.

(e) Rent the best summer movies to watch in the evening with a glass of pina colada (paper umbrella included). An ideal list of movies would include, Cocktails & Dreams, Top Gun, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Dirty Dancing, The Beach, Before Sunrise, Independence Day, The Dreamers (with Eva Green) and my all time James Bond favourite: Casino Royale.

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(f) So how to get through the hottest week of the month when you cannot escape office quarters? Wear your swimsuit underneath work-clothes. It should trick the mind enough. Right?

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If all else fails, take a couple of days leave from work, book yourself (and your significant other) a proper holiday at the nearest (or furtherst if distance isn’t an issue) destination and drink your corporate sorrows away with the numerous yummy cocktails that are available this time of the year. I would offer a list but, it would be so long that it wouldn’t do justice to the brief guide I intended to write. But, please, make sure you drink in moderation. There’s always another day for that other cocktail. Even for the most troubled legal souls out there.

Wishing you a sexy summer,

Bella Nars.