flightmum











{March 24, 2013}   Ho ho ho and a bottle of rum

I flew to the Caribbeans yesterday. After we landed, we had time to go into the terminal and do some shopping before turning around and flying back home. I am not a big shopper,  so normally I don’t bother browsing the stores. But, yesterday,  I did.  
There was a lot of touristy things to buy. I bypassed those shops and headed straight to the alcohol store.  Good choice. I bought a bottle of Cruzan coconut rum for $9. And that is with my 10% off employee discount. Gotta love getting an airline discount on liquor sales! I was on a high the whole flight home due to my bargain find. Which got me thinking about how overpriced booze is at home. I can buy the same bottle at my local store for about $25. That’s more than double. Why is it marked up so much? Is it the duty, local taxes, greed? It certainly does not cost $25 to make and bottle rum. Somebody is making a tidy little profit, and it’s not me.  I will definitely be browsing the shops of far away lands from now on. 

I always declare my purchases to the customs officer when I land. It’s not worth losing my job over lying about a bottle of rum. Fortunately,  the agents are pretty lenient with crew when we buy alcohol  even when we are not entitled to duty free purchases as we were not out of the country for a long enough duration. They might raise an eyebrow, of course, if you buy too many bottles of drink. Like the time I flew to Santiago and brought home 8 bottles of wine. I had to pay extra taxes upon arrival but it was so worth it.

I wasn’t the only one of my crew to pick up bargains at the airport. Two other flight attendants bought a bottle and the first officer bought a huge wheel of Gouda cheese for $60. Normally,  at home,  it would cost double that. He too imported his cheese into the country without a visit to secondary customs. 

It’s like Christmas with all these great finds. Ho ho ho.

Advertisements


{March 4, 2013}   Gift cards – good or bad?

My children were lucky enough to get a few gift cards as presents over the holiday season. We just spent them recently. 

I love watching my kids making the very important decision of what to buy. If it’s MY money,  they want everything in the store. “Please, Mummy, can you buy it. I LOVE IT!” But, when it is THEIR money,  they are a lot more choosier.  They will pick something up that they are considering purchasing and I ask them if they think they really will use/play/read it. They usually put it back down. Then they browse for a long time before they finally choose something.  My daughter usually chooses her prized possession  pretty quickly.  I guess as a four year old,  she satisfies easily.  My sons take longer. They have lived through the disappointment of a shiny new toy that only holds their excitement for a few days before it is quietly discarded into the basement, never to be played with again. They want to BELIEVE that there is something in the toy/book store that they can buy and love forever. I want to believe it too. Maybe, just maybe, this item will be played with over and over again. But, unfortunately, it’s usually not the case.  Regardless,  they take their shopping challenge very seriously. It teaches them to make a good decision about what they really want. If in a week’s time, they don’t like it, they only have themselves to blame. It also teaches them about taxes. I tell them that even though they have $25 to spend, they need to choose something a little cheaper as they have to save a few dollars for taxes, which launches me into a short discussion about sales taxes and the government and finishes off with bumpy roads and welfare.  I think they got it. 

I grew up indoctrinated NOT to give gift certificates (as they used to be called) as presents because that is the lazy person’s  gift and not very thoughtful or creative. So, I’ve rarely given them in the past. But, I LOVE receiving them! I think if you read between the lines of that life lesson, it is more about you not wanting the other person to know EXACTLY how much you spent on their gift. What if it wasn’t enough,  and you look too cheap? Or, if it was TOO much,  and now you’ve raised the bar. You can’t win. 

I think gift cards ARE thoughtful. I like to pair it with a small chosen gift to combat the life lessons of my formative years. Everybody wins! I say, bring it on!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some more toys to bring down to the basement. 

 

 



After my flight, I came home and declared to my husband that I have to burn my favourite beige and white sweater.  He didn’t seem too concerned. Or surprised.  Apparently, he didn’t even like that sweater. 

See, what happened was that on my Florida flight that day, a woman in her 70’s walked onto the airplane wearing MY sweater.  And, it even looked good on her as she paired it with a white blouse underneath it. Up until that moment,  it was my go to sweater that I wore often because it was SO comfortable. And I thought it looked good, too. But, after seeing the granny in it, the love affair with my cotton /polyester blend garment  was over. I can’t, in good conscious, ever wear it again. Sigh.

In my defense,  I did buy it at The Gap. I am not going to lie and tell you that it was at the cutting edge of fashion. But, I also didn’t think that it was the ‘it’ sweater to have at the retirement village. Sigh.

I used to be dress relatively trendy back in the day bk (before kids). I wasn’t a trendsetter, per se, but I did follow trends pretty carefully.  And then, I got married,  had babies, and forgot how to put an outfit together.  Sorry,  apparently I know how to put an outfit together for a grandmother. Hmm… I have been looking for a side business.  Perhaps I can call it “Outfits for hip Grannies”.

I remember when I was a teenager, my beloved grandma who was about 6 inches shorter than me and 30 pounds lighter than me, would offer me the clothes off her back. To be nice, I’d say,”Grandma, you look nice today. I like your shirt” She would reply, “Here. You can have it.” I’d remind her that I like it on HER and besides, it would never fit me!  Perhaps even then, she saw the grandma dressing style in me. Sigh.

She used to ride the city bus and try to give me fashion advice. She would say about a certain style, it’s what ‘all the young ladies are wearing these days’. I wish my grandmother was still alive today. I desperately need her fashion savyness. Sigh.



{February 27, 2013}   I am not a thief.

Friends of mine just had their second baby girl.  I love buying baby gifts. But, it’s difficult to buy a special gift for that same gendered baby.  I want it to be meaningful and/or practical.  So, off I go shopping with a couple of ideas in my head.

I went to several stores,  but nothing grabbed me. Finally,  I went into a specialty baby store, hoping to hit the perfect baby gift jackpot. I nodded hello to the only sales clerk in the shop and proceeded to browse  with my four year old daughter.  She was about to put her dirty boots on a kid sized chair when both myself and the sales guy reacted at the same time.  Disaster averted. 

Every time I took two steps to look at something new, the sales rep took two steps towards me. He had his eyes on me the whole time. Finally I walked the length of the store and continued up the other side.  Sales dude stayed on ‘his’ side of the store, but again, every time I took a step, he did too. It was weirding me out.  Finally, I couldn’t help myself and I said: Do you think I am going to steal something?  He replied ‘No’ but continued his behaviour.

 Even if I had LOVED something in the store, I wouldn’t have bought it because of him.

I wasn’t dressed like a total hobo! Does he do THIS to everyone?

Anyways, off to find the perfect gift… More specifically,  to BUY the perfect present. 



et cetera