Call me a Post-Grad

The last week or so has been an absolute whirlwind- since having posted about my recent Malta and Zurich trips I had quite literally no time to spare -not even to check on my little baby-blog.

So what has been going on that kept me so busy are you wondering??!

Well- first of all – I have graduated. As of a few days ago I’m no longer my airline’s  Ab-initio. I’m now a fully qualified employee. Gone are the days of wearing red t-shirts to the college. Gone are the days of batting my eyelashes and making up an excuse for my lack of knowledge. No-no I have been flying on either real or not-so-real planes for over 6 months now and am starting to meet colleagues on board that are much more junior than I.

Having passed my probation means I can start choosing the flights I wanna do and get rid of those that might not be my favourite ones. It also means I can start travelling my own out of the UAE on my days off. And most importantly of course – I can make a full use of the discounted tickets that are now to my avail. That pretty much sums up why I was so eager for the Big day to come. What I wasn’t expecting at all was how nice the actual Graduation day was going to turn out.

It was the first day of Ramadan and we had to get up real early (well- there isn’t really such thing as “real early” in our line of job), get ready and meet up in full uniform to sign in for the ground duty. It was quite emotional seeing everyone from my batch again – we have shared so much in last couple of months and the Graduation day definitely marks an end of an era for all of us. The day has started off with all of us telling flying stories and evaluating the overall experience. We have met couple of important people from the company and the day has slowly progressed towards the main event – the Graduation ceremony.

Each one of us has received a certificate and a hand-shake from our Manager. We have watched a video that was made about our batch, listened to what our customers on board had to say about us and took thousands-possibly even millions- of pictures. Then we had a cake and a cuppa tea and went home to get ready for the not-s0-official graduation of our own that has taken place later that evening in various venues across Dubai.

We are big girls now...

We are big (fly) girls now…

2194

2194

x

G.

Hobbits, Starbucks and Sleep deprivation

Salam Aleikum everyone !

If you are wondering what has taken me so long to write this post… well Dubai. Dubai has taken me. Over. Completely! Ever since I landed last week I got swallowed by this amazing world that’s nothing like I what expected it to be.

One of the main reasons I wasn’t able to post is that I have to wait for my residential visa to get a broadband. Which is in 4 weeks. Until then I have to use the free Starbucks wi-fi that’s located next to our reception. I have been there every night since my arrival to check my emails and Facebook- and everyone there is so friendly I already know all the staff by name 🙂 I’m hoping it’s gonna score me a few free lattes as I’m going to spend a small fortune here in the next few weeks:)

But let me take it from the top.

When the day of my departure finally arrived I felt weirdly numb. I expected tears and doubts but instead I felt nothing. Until I sat in front of the gate and started a mild anxiety attack. I was extremely tired because I got hardly any any sleep my last few nights in England (and I came to regret that  but I will get to that later on) and whilst watching people around me I realised I was the only one travelling alone. Everyone else had a family or friends or some kind of company or so it seemed to me in my emotional state of mind. I managed to hold the tears back I forced myself to board the plane. I swear this was the quickest flight of my life. I still don’t understand where did those seven and a half hours go. I remember trying to watch The Dark Knight Rises and then watching it again because I couldn’t concentrate. Yet- if you asked me I’m not sure whether or not that film was any good. I don’t even know who was in it besides Christian Bale. When the captain announced, that we were on approach I was convinced he was joking! I haven’t even managed to open the bag with my blanket !

Feeling the terra firma under my feet got me my stability back and I started to enjoy myself at last. I have to say I was very impressed by the immaculate organisation of my arrival formalities. A lady with a plate with my name on it pulled my out of the crowd of arriving people (she even knew what I looked like!) and took me thru the immigration with the speed of light. My bags were already collected and waiting for me with my personal driver who took me to my accommodation. The receptionist knew exactly who I was, handed me the keys and I was done. The whole process from initial disembarking to me jumping onto my new bed took less than 50 minutes.

Now to everyone joining sooner or later – I would highly recommend trying to find out if there is a Facebook group or a forum portal of people joining around the same date. Thanks to that I haven’t spent my first day in Dubai alone but among new friends. Of course we went to the Mall because that seems to attract everyone on their first day. Be it a sim card, sunglasses, coffee or simply having people around you are looking for you will definitely find it there. I did anyway. Plus I got to see the water fountain shows which was the best “welcome to Dubai” I could have ever wished for.

The next day was my first induction day to the Airline. I can’t stress enough how important it s to get enough sleep. I didn’t. Somehow whenever stressed, excited or sad my brain refused to switch off and go to sleep. I was all of those for the last week so I haven’t slept well for ages. When I had to get up at 5.30 on Sunday I contemplated quitting this whole idea of becoming an air hostess at once. Having no hot water for my morning shower has not helped either ( another tip for all the new starters : when turning off the air-con at night make sure it’s not the hot water switch!). However I have made it to the Headquarters and was once again blown away by the immaculate organisation of the whole thing. I won’t bore you with the details (I’m not allowed to disclose any of the information anyway) but the next couple of days were filled with loads of sitting around, plenty of form signing, more sitting around, corporate induction, health and safety, talking, meeting your batch mates, drinking buckets of coffee (which has been delicious everywhere I tried so far!), even more sitting around and no sleep whatsoever . One whole day was spent on completing the final medicals. Heads up for the new starters : DO NOT bother with any X-rays (dental or chest). It’s not needed and you are gonna waste your precious money that can be spent elsewhere (like in the Dubai Mall:). Only do them if you have a serious doubts there could be something wrong with you. Otherwise just leave it like I did… What you should definitely do is get all your vaccinations done before you come out here. It will be noted if you haven’t got all of them, you will be asked to have them done here and although you won’t have to pay for them in cash money will be deducted from your salary.

Today is Friday which is really a Saturday in the arabic world – meaning it’s my FIRST DAY OFF! I have managed to to finally get some sleep to talk of so I’m feeling energized and ready to explore! I’m meeting couple of friends in a bit and we will see where our fancy takes us. I will make sure to update you on that sooner rather than later 🙂

Our batch went out last night – to the Barasti beach which I believe is where everyone goes on their first night out in Dubai. We had a great time – it was quite nice to see everyone out of their uniform t-shirts with loose hair and no red lippy 🙂 I have not recognised half of them without it!

Anyway here are a few pictures as a little taster before I put together a proper post about this whole experience.

Love you all and keep reading x

x

G.

P.S. Did you know the hobbits in “The Lord of the Rings” are cute hobbits whereas the “Hobbit” hobbits are not cute hobbits? That’s one of the reasons you shouldn’t go and see that film apparently…

Ready for take off

Every time I pictured today aka the day before take off  in my head I saw panic, tears and mayhem. So far so good as none of that has occurred. I’m completely calm and composed. My bags are packed and locked, documents copied, printed and stored, addresses changed – it’s safe to say and  I’m ready for take off.

With a little more than 24 hours before my flight I’m just going over all of my checklists making sure I have not forgotten anything essential. I have to say the Packing List from my dear virtual friend Bakess has helped a lot. I’m also glad to have joined the Facebook group of January starters. Nobody will ever understand your bragging about accommodation, flights, fears and joys better than the people going thru the same! I can’t wait to meet some of them in person in just -oh my gosh- less than 2 days !

See you in the desert peeps x

See you in the desert peeps x

 

I’m just getting ready for my last English jog- and looking outside it is once again going to be a wet one. Being my obsessive self of course I have already researched running groups and routes in the sandpit. I found this : Walking, running and cycling routes in Dubai. One of them seems to be very close to where I’m about to live so I can’t wait to try it out and tell you all about it. I was also glad to find out people do cycle in the UAE. I’m leaving my bike in Huggie’s shed but I guess I can always get or rent one if I manage to use it under the blazing sun.

I have also come across Dubai Desert Boot Camp , Military Boot camp and Fitness02 and I got super excited about it! I have tried boot camps in Prague and here in England and absolutely loved it. If I ever get the time I will definitely try out one of them too !

Since this post is going quite the random direction I’m just gonna go with it… I don’t just work out- I actually spend most of my time sitting around drinking nice coffee or browsing the web. Or doing both at the same time. Here are a few places I could surely be found at in the upcoming months : Dubai Internet Cafes. Or maybe at one these: Infinity pools Dubai ?

Anyway… the next post will be probably from Dubai as I have plenty of goodbyes in store before I go and there will hardly be any time left for blogging.

 

Lots of love

x

G.

The One (day to go) and The Last One (in the office)

Wednesday 2nd January 2013 …

… is the day I returned my headset, emptied my drawers and had my last cup of awful powder cappuccino. Today is the day I bid farewell to the receptionist for the last time and logged off my workspace for- hopefully- ever. Today was my last day at the office.

It was in early 2010 when I got pulled into the vibrant world of an airline and the years has quite literally flown by. I have seen natural disasters, political unrests, rich times and not so rich times. It wasn’t all good but it was far from bad. It is in this place I have found love and friendship and have grown up into a person I truly want to be.

I’d like to thank all of my colleagues and friends for filling the past three years of my work life with laughter and joy! I will miss you dearly and I promise I will make sure every customer calling back after their trip will be a satisfied one !

Thank you for reading and is there anything else I can help you with?

x

G.

3 days (and 4 nights) to go

Monday 31st December 2012

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope that you all will attract AMAZING things into your lives in 2013! Don’t forget you always get exactly what you ask for so my wish to all of you out there is to know how to ask for the right things that will make you happy and content!

Loads of love x

G.

P.S. Instead of the usual NYE message I decided I’d share with you a message of a bigger importance. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did :

4 days to go (this post is on offer 2 for 1)

Sunday 30th December 2012

What do you call a morning that’s better than the best one? Is it “bettestest”? Yeah – that sound about right! So this morning was the bettestest of this week. Without doubt! I woke up to some amazing news – I was placed by the Airline to the exact building I wished for : The 21st Century building (I really ought to use the law of attraction on everything from now on!).

I was over the moon running up and down the stairs trying find somebody to share the big news with. But everybody was asleep! When I finally stumbled upon Huggie’s 11-year -old sister having her breakfast and told her she didn’t look too impressed. Probably because it went down a bit like this:

Me (red faced and sweaty from running):”OMGIjustgotmyaccommodationandimgointolive-         rightontheSheikZayedroadrightinthecitycentreinthisamazingbuilding!!!”

Little sister (chewing her pancake totally unstirred) : “Sheik what?”

I gathered I wasn’t being very coherent and Googled some pictures instead. That seemed to have done more than any words could have.

Little sister (putting the half eaten pancake aside): “Is that where you are going to live in Dubai?”

Me (nodding vigorously): … !!

Little sister (looking quite impressed): “That’s pretty cool!… Is this the best job you’ve ever had?”

I didn’t have to think very hard to answer that. Any job that puts me up in here must be the best job I ever had :

21st_century_tower_a191108_3

I’m sharing this beauty with Tam and Claire from the January Joiners group on FB and countless other lucky people x

Today also marks another week of the six-pack challenge. More on that here.

x

G.

5 days to go (poetry included)

Saturday 29th December 2012

Today left me feeling pampered, spoilt and loved. Since I woke up to my last weekend in the UK I decided to make it a special one and treated myself to a beauty salon visit.

Last night was a long one ending with a fierce Just Dance 3 battle in early morning hours which resulted in me feeling rather under the weather when I woke up. However after hour and a half of being beautified and spa-ad I was back up to my usual standards. Instead of going back home and probably finding Huggie still asleep I opted for a coffee& kindle session in our local cafe which is quickly becoming my favourite indoor activity.

I was playing with the idea of a quick gym visit but when my bestie suggested a home cooked lunch and an afternoon of girly chitchat instead I gladly forgot about it. And I’m glad I did because I got to spend the rest of a very rainy day in a very lovely company of my girl-friends. It involved loads of amazing food, plenty of wedding talk and some nail varnishing. Also a good-bye present which totally kicks butt!!

I got a customised Teddy that has been decorated with good-bye messages and also A POEM! My friend and her husband turned out to be quite the poets, behold and see for yourself :

Dear Gabri,

You are off to Dubai 

for a job in the sky.

Leaving the office,

coz you are flying high.

We will miss your face

and your crazy ways

as you jet set off with Emirates Airways.

But don’t be a stranger,

when you’re back in the UK.

Please bring back some sunshine,

coz our city is so grey !

x

G.

P.S. In case you are wondering – still no updates on the accommodation.

6 days to go (parental advise: not suitable for U12)

Friday 28th December 2012

First of all- no accommodation update yet. Second- as of today I officially  LOVE SHERRY ! Sherry is even better than port which till now would always have been my drink of choice. Unlike port, sherry doesn’t give you that annoying red lip and teeth look that lets everyone immediately  know you have had too much. It also tastes much sweeter which stop you from that second helping of an absolutely amazing apple crumble.

Yes – I admit. I may be a bit tipsy whilst writing this post. And by tipsy I mean drunk. You see I was going to write a really long post about my day today starting with surprising Huggie at the airport this morning when he got back from visiting his family in Germany and having my last jabs done and moving over to Huggie’s house tonight. But then Huggie was like “we should have a drink” and I was like “bring it on”. And now half a bottle of that sweet sweet sherry later I have remembered my resolution to write about every single of my last days in the UK.

I realise as I’m writing this that this one is not going to be my best post ever. But it had to be done. I can’t NOT write once I have promised I would. So …. in short today was pretty average almost on the edge of being pretty s**t until a bottle got open. And once again I realise saying this makes me sound like an alcoholic. Bite me. It’s Christmas time and I’ve just worked all week whilst my family and my boyfriend were miles away from me. And it didn’t matter until tonight when I got a bit drunk and started feeling sorry for myself.

I think I better stop now because this is not going quite the way I’d like it to. I promise everyone  a very sober post tomorrow.

Happy Friday aka The-day-when-it’s-ok-to-get-drunk-before-8pm-day everyone

x

G.

It’s The Final Countdown (7 days to go)

So here it is. The final week. The last seven days before I fly to Dubai. I have a feeling the upcoming days are going to fly by and that’s why I decided to make a note of every each one of them. Just to make sure I remember them right. And to have something to look back to when if I ever feel sad and lonely in the lively sandpit. And to dedicated something to all of you out there, who have gone/ are going/ are going to go thru the same.

So here it is: 

Thursday 27th December 2012

I woke up unnecessarily early as I usually do whenever I’m forced to spend a night at “mine”. Among others my landlady has a strange habit of sleeping with her TV on. On full blast. Nothing a pair of ear plugs can’t fix really, however I tend to subconsciously take them out while sleeping and then get woken up at 5am by BidTV. I spent couple of hours tossing and turning trying to go back to sleep then finally giving up and making my way to the gym. Having been shut for Christmas Eve and Boxing day everyone assumed it would have been closed for today too. That’s probably why I got to enjoy an unprecedented work out in a completely vacant studio. It got refurbished very recently and I’m in love with all the new equipment. I am going to miss this little gym of mine when I go. For sure.

After an hour or so my endorphin levels were running high and I wasted no time and used up all of that “fake” energy on packing. Tomorrow is my last day in the “Kingdom of smoke and loud TV’ and I can honestly tell you- never was I happier to pack my bags and go. Since I went thru the process of moving (out of my beloved smoke-free apartment) less than two months ago there was very little left to do. I was done in two hours. I got ready to work and set off.

And that’s when I got England-ed. What’s that I hear you ask? To get England-ed is what I call that moment when I look out of the window to check the weather. It’s not quite the winter wonderland but it’s bright and fairly dry. I zip up my jacket and get going. Just when I reach the point where it makes no sense to turn back and fetch an umbrella it’s start chucking it down. I don’t even get mad anymore because honestly I should know better by now and carry a small brolly everywhere I go. But I don’t and that’s why I get England-ed so often.

Work was pretty much awesome. Since I can count the office days I have left on one hand (and I don’t even need all the fingers) I dare to admit that for the first time in nearly three years I finally get away with pretending to work rather than actually working. I don’t feel too guilty about it tho because I’m sure the same company that’s letting me slack off a wee bit now will have me working my a** off in just a couple of weeks 🙂

Today and tomorrow is also my last “deadly combo”. It’s what we call a combination of a late shift followed by an early one. Meaning I finished at work at 8.30 pm tonight and start again tomorrow at 7.30 am. You only have to experience one of these to hate them from the very bottom of your heart.

I’m just about to go to sleep – half expecting that when I wake up tomorrow my Candidate portal would have been updated with the last piece of the jigsaw- the accommodation details. It’s indeed a big deal. You either get put up in one of the “good” buildings in the city centre and live happily ever after or get accommodated in the middle of the desert and have to wait for half a year to get relocated. Needless to say I am hoping for the city centre one. There is a flip side to everything tho – even if I do get the apartment in the desert I have heard it’s pretty much a cabin crew campus full of like-minded people doing the same thing as you are – trying to have the time of their lives- which means a very good chance of forming some strong friendships !

Goodnite everyone, let tomorrow be an amazing start to a long and well-deserved weekend!

x

G.

She’s Got a Ticket to Fly

So Gabs was a bit naughty today. She has decided to skip the waiting part and see for herself whether or not there is a ticket to Dubai with her name of it. And guess what?! THERE IS ONE!!! I FOUND MY TICKET!!!

I suppose one of the many perks of my current job is that I get to see what people are booked on what flights. I was just checking a flight my friend (a girl I met on my initial AD and who also got the job!) is taking tomorrow when it occurred to me I should do the same for myself. It was so exciting to see my name in the booking system! It would have been even more so if it said “business” instead of “economy” but I suppose it will have to do this time 🙂 Hahaha just kidding of course !

Bon Voyage Magdi- I’m a bit gutted I can’t join you tomorrow and start the training in the same batch but I can’t wait to take on all the Dubai shenanigans with such an amazing friend as yourself!

x

G.