Flying High Flying Low

Flying high is something I enjoy to the fullest -both in life and at work. Is there a better feeling than being so high up in the sky it seems impossible I’m just a mere human being and not some kind of a goddess-like creature? And flying low … well flying low makes me appreciate the small wonderful things in life and in the world that I sometimes overlook. See- when I fly high over the tops of the highest mountains and all I can see is the vast endless blue sky it’s so easy to forget about the world down below and how much beauty it holds.

Most of you already know me as a person that strives to be happy. Always. And I’m doing a pretty good job. But sometimes I have to come down from the heights of Mount Bliss and fly low for a while. Because that’s life isn’t it? And one of those whiles lasted a bit longer than I intended a couple of weeks back. And I realised that to get back up I was gonna need some new fresh fuel. In the shape of my sweetest sister. And so I played the carefree “drop everything you are doing and come to Dubai at once” card and went all in. And it paid off. We have spent a wonderful week full of laughter, food and shishas and by the time she left I was feeling invincible again. She is a true blessing of my life !

And here is the more or less edited Story of our Sisterly Shenanigans :

She is here !

She is here !

Nela is not what I ‘d call a frequent flyer. She is more of what I’d call a nervous flyer. So to make sure the flight was as comfortable as possible I let the operating crew know what treasure they were about to carry that day. And they made me proud. As I picked her up she was giddy – not only from the first class champagne she was treated to but also from all the caring attention she was given. And once again I was feeling grateful for all the opportunities my job gives me to make the people I love happy. And we have only just started !

I took her home and let her rest for a couple of hours before I whisked her off to the pool to start off our homeliday (holiday at home:) with a swim under the watchful eye of the Burj Khalifa. She was happy enough to paddle there for the rest of the day but I had an agenda we absolutely had to adhere to. And so we had a massive breakfast in the public extension of my living room – Le PQ and off we were to the beach. I didn’t think Nela was quite ready to experience the public one so we ventured all the way to the Marina to chill out at Barasti. And chill we did. So much and so hard we nearly missed the birkam yoga that was next on the list. My poor little sister ! She had already taken in more heat in the past 12 hours than she had in the entire past 12 months. By the end of the 90 min session she was as worn out as pair of athlete’s socks. But the day was far from over ! My sis couldn’t have stayed oblivious to the fact that I live in a walking distance from the world’s biggest mall. And so that’s where I took her. And that’s where she – having seen it in all it’s might and glory – had fallen in love with the Burj. Ever since then everywhere we went she I had to point her to the direction of it (in case she wasn’t able to see it herself). We watched the fountain show, we ate, we watched some more fountain shows and then when we could barely walk any longer we headed home.

Lift selfie.. first one of many

Lift selfie.. first one of many

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L<3 ve vole

L<3ve 

Next day after the obligatory morning swim it was time for some more beach living – we put our swag on, slipped into the roller skates and left the SZR behind once again. The beautiful thing about Dubai is that nobody skates around here. And so – this early in the morning we had the roads to ourselves. We skated for hours, we dodged a few jellyfish, we burnt in the sun … and then we still had most of the day to spend smoking shisha, eating and endlessly chatting. Oh how beautiful life can be !

LIfe with you is so dope

LIfe with you is so dope

Sistas on da beach

Sistas on da beach

 

What else did we do ? We rented bikes and cycled around the Marina. We sweated our asses off in the Miracle Gardens of Dubai. We went to the Palm to see world’s most crowded aquarium. We ate like crazy. We smoked more shisha. We tanned some more. We went to my favourite park in the entire world. And we had so much fun! It was amazing being able to share some of my everyday life with one the most important person to me. I wish I could have kept her here forever but the week just flew by and before we knew it was time for her to go back. Luckily enough I have been rostered Prague three times in May and one of them is tomorrow!!!

renting a bike they said. easy they said

renting a bike they said. easy they said

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Zaroobabes

Zaroobabes

UR so beautiful

UR so beautiful

I'm skilled at taking selfies   doing whatever

I’m skilled at taking selfies doing whatever

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Another lift selfie? Just shoot me already

Another lift selfie? Just shoot me already

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Al Safa

Al Safa

Last Dinnah

Last Dinnah

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Gimme that meat !

Gimme that meat !

Seeing her off

Seeing her off

The last evening's selfie

The last evening’s selfie

Fly high , fly low, be happy and let life go. It always seems to know the right way !

x

G.

 

 

Sistas In Paris

sistas in Paris

sistas in Paris

You can’t always get what you want. But sometimes -when you’ve been real real REAL good- you get so much more than what you could have ever asked for. Like myself this Christmas just passed for example.

My Airline has decided to sent to Paris. Paris of all places – one of the few European capitols I haven’t been to. Paris- so wonderfully romantic and oh-so-french. I was just chilling (and possibly drinking) at my sister’s place in Prague when I found out and the conversation went something like this : (oh please do excuse my “french” hahaha- see what I did there?)

Me: “Holy cow! They gave me Paris for Christmas. SOooo excited – I have never been!”

Nela(my sis): ” Sooo jealous! I have never been either…”

Me:” OMG! You should totally come!”

Nela:“Like seriously?”

It took us about three seconds to put the plan together and then it was real and happening. Nela was coming to Paris to meet me for Christmas. How very puurrrfect!

Our flights landed almost at the same time and I was just about to check in when she entered the hotel lobby. We did our usual greeting dance (as much of it as my image standards allowed me to do anyways) and proceeded to the room where we cracked open a bottle of the french finest (or as we choose to believe) and let the festivities begun.947286_10202165020278915_1692349299_n

Next morning was an early start – we had a lot to do and a very little time. We got to the Champs Elysees at the crack of a dawn and managed to walk swiftly over to the Eiffel Tower to watch the sunrise. After the compulsory photo shoot we found ourselves a cosy cafe and had a very french breakfast- or that’s at least what a croissant and a glass of white wine is in my eyes… 532140_10202008158737851_882802164_n1525126_10202165024759027_718432646_n

…and then we walked. For miles and hours. We saw a lot but we definitely haven’t seen enough.There is so much more we have to come back for. Like Montmartre we haven’t managed to get to, Or Notre Dame we only glimpsed at. Or Louvre we saw from the outside but had no time to explore inside. Or the French kiss we never got… Too early  it was time to get back and catch both of our flights back to Prague and Dubai before we even knew it. We left the rainy city with its Christmas markets and onions soups and Louvre and Seine and all the street sellers behind and went back to the hotel.1532061_10202008166258039_1447705318_n 1476043_10202008168698100_351115196_n IMG_6942947274_10202008167218063_1105599895_n

we love monuments

we love monuments

Just in time for Nela to finish the wine from the previous night which I watched with endless envy, bid me a teary good-bye, wish Merry Xmas and go. I don my uniform and red lipstick and got ready for a very full, very long and very bumpy flight.

I landed back home in Dubai feeling torn between very lonely and very happy. I was very happy because I got to give my sister the best present I could have ever come up with. And I was very lonely because those 24-hours were a poor taster of the family I wanted to be with so badly. But alas- I guess it’s better to have a family to miss than none at all. And I’m blessed with a very big one! And I have hopefully also started a tradition of spending my European layovers with my siblings and parents or whoever is willing to make the journey to meet me… Life is a bliss after all !

Love

x

G.

Lost But Not Forgotten Vol II. -German F-Laying

So it’s official. I must be on the top of my Airline’s list of German speakers. At least one would think so by looking at my summer flying diary. Frankfurt. Zurich. Dusseldorf. Hamburg. And Frankfurt again… I know all of my German announcements backwards by now. As reserved and unimpressed as I was by frequent visits to Pretzel& Beerland to start with I have learned to really like them. I have started seeing them as my monthly grocery shopping trips. Honestly – living in the middle of a desert really teaches you to appreciate the beauty and taste of fresh produce and quality meat. Not to mention anything organic.

I don’t believe I have mentioned my first visit to Frankfurt yet – probably because there wasn’t much to talk about. The highlight of my layover there was (beside a 20-odd-hour sleep) making a friend behind the lobby bar in our crew hotel. I impressed him with my language skills and he impressed me with his knowledge of a good beer. And also with his cutting of my final bills to a ridiculous 10 %. We bid our farewells after an evening well spent chatting about life and love and I promised to look him up next time I was visiting. Little did I know that would happen in less than a month.

My second time around in FRA was much more exciting. Flight-wise, crew-wise, layover-wise. I was assigned a much better-timed flight which brought me to Germany fresh and ready to have some FUN. Yes- with a capital F and U and N. I happened to have flown with a few of the people in my crew before and knew them to NOT be the ones to skip on a party and even the rest has turned out to be just the right kind of people you wanna have around when you feel like a couple of bruskies. To my surprise my friend behind the lobby bar was working that night too! What a great reunion ! I decided on the spot to leave my sensible self locked in the heavy duty suitcase and let my party self loose. To cut a long story short – I ended up closing the bar that night. And boy what a night that was ! It wouldn’t be far from the truth saying that the only people flying to Dubai without a hangover the next day were the passengers.

Couple of weeks later I found myself Germany-bound once again. This time to Hamburg. I was just in the middle of my no-drinking no-junk-food-eating working-out-a-lot phase and Hamburg has turned out to be just the place! The hotel was situated right next to a beautiful lake surrounded by a park that just invites you for a run. And I never turn down an invitation this tempting. It was a brisk late summer morning and I and half of the Hamburg population decided to go jogging. Honestly I must have met about 200 people running my usual 5k. But I didn’t mind. The lake park (as I like to call it) was obviously designed with sport enthusiasts in mind. Or by one. Or both. It even had little workout stops where one could stretch and do work on the rock-hard (hahaha) abs:

Don't Twerk- Work out !

Don’t Twerk- Work out !
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Hamburg in general strikes me as a very health-concious place. They have massive stores with organic products, organic cafes on every corner and plenty of fair trade shops. I have enjoyed my time there so much that upon leaving I couldn’t remember for the hell of it – WHY exactly did I NOT want to come ? I’m definitely gonna try and go back – this time to have a proper browse in all the cool little boutiques I have only managed to see from the outside so far…

The Tale of Two Girls (and many Cities)

15 days, 4 countries, 3 airlines and many MANY many bottles of wine later and I’m finally back from my summer vacation.

There is so much – perhaps even too much- two young girls travelling around Europe can jampack into two weeks of holidays- but fortunately for you my dear readers I have just ordered a large soya cappuccino and have all the time in the world to describe everything Dolly and I got up to during our girly trip to Croatia. So why don’t just sit back, relax and enjoy the read ?:)

Chapter One – The Most Wonderful and Horrible Thing…

… that can happen to you when travelling stand-by is to miss or not get on the connecting flight you were hoping for. Like it did to us. We happily boarded the A380 bound for Munich and spent the few hours it takes to fly from Dubai to Europe watching films, drinking miniatures ( or as we liked to call it “sampling for future reference”) and chatting to our former batchmate who happened to be the operating crew on our flight.
We (still happily) disembarked and made our way to the check-in counter of our connection. And that’s when the fun started. I’m not gonna bother with the details and wonders of stand-by travelling. The important thing was that some 40-minutes later we found ourselves mentally exhausted and without a flight to board that day. The miniatures we haven’t managed to finish on board came in handy at that moment. We were stranded in Munich for 24-hours. It was horrible because thanks to the Octoberfest all the hotels were fully booked and there was no way we could find a last-minute accommodation. And it was wonderful because out of all places I’d have wanted to be stranded in Europe- Munich during the Octoberfest was the best of them all! We put our heads together and figured there was no harm in asking our batchmate if she would mind terribly letting us crash in her crew-hotel room for the night. Which she didn’t. The holiday had started right there and then. IMG_4253

Chapter Two – Octoberfest…

… is not your typical festival as you would imagine. I have always wanted to go. Just like everybody else I guess. I expected it to be crowded, chaotic and commercial. To my surprise it was none of the above. For such a massive event the whole place felt very intimate and so so soooOOO super friendly! It had everything – massive pretzels, foot-long sausages, roasted sugar coated almonds, music, drindls and leder hosen, amusement rides and THE BEER of course! And we tried all of it. If you ever considered going then DO IT ! It’s an unforgettable experience !IMG_4268 IMG_4279 IMG_4317 IMG_4327

Chapter Three – Dubrovnik …

… has very nearly taken over the Number One City spot in my heart that has been so far occupied by Prague. Well- when I say nearly I mean I still haven’t decided. It is a true germ – so stunning it makes you wanna weep. I scored a window seat on the way there and got the chance to enjoy the most beautiful approach and landing in my life (yes -and I have landed into Maledives before).

We checked into our approx. 100yo little stone-cottage B&B overlooking the Old City of Dubrovnik, downed a shot of something very strong offered to us by our friendly landlord and ventured out to savour the moment of our first Adriatic sunset. There is so much I would like to say about this amazing city starting by describing its white streets full of jewellery shops and ice-creams parlours and beautiful architecture and its morning markets with all kinds of fresh fruit and home-made products and the most fantastic wine bars on the city walls and all the painters and musicians on every corner and all the different smells from local restaurants  and… and… and are you still with me? We have fallen head over heels for this hidden paradise – so hard we decided to extend our stay from the originally planned two nights to full 5 days sacrificing the Venetian part of our trip. Yes- that’s how very awesome Dubrovnik is!

After having spent our first night gorging on seafood and wine we left Dubrovnik for a couple of days and returned for another overnight stay a few days later. This time around we have learned a lot about the history of the settlement and the importance it has had throughout the history of the Medditerranean trading. We have walked on the City walls and visited even more jewellery shops in preparation of making some very hefty purchases. And because we felt like that still wasn’t enough we returned yet another time right at the end of our tour of Croatia and stayed until we really HAD to go in order to return to work on time. But not before we treated ourself to some bling bling shopping and -you know it’s coming – yes even more wine!IMG_4403 IMG_4420

I will never get sick of taking pics of palms... never

I will never get sick of taking pics of palms… never

Morning fruit markets... fresh figs, dried figs, fig salamis, fig jams, fig liquers, fig brandy... but they also had some grapes...:)

Morning fruit markets… fresh figs, dried figs, fig salamis, fig jams, fig liquers, fig brandy… but they also had some grapes…:)

ahhhhhh...

ahhhhhh…

first evening in Dubrovnik - the City Of Stunning

first evening in Dubrovnik – the City Of Stunning

The view from our room

The view from our room

Dubrovnik from above ..and my Croatian ring

Dubrovnik from above ..and my Croatian ring

Just chillin' on the last day of our epic trip

Just chillin’ on the last day of our epic trip

One of many mouth watering dinners we have treated ourself to.. this one featured a lobster...

One of many mouth watering dinners we have treated ourself to.. this one featured a lobster…

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Croatia has it all... sun, wine, seafood, silver... rain

Croatia has it all… sun, wine, seafood, silver… rain

The City Walls and the two of us

The City Walls and the two of us

Ahhhhh

Ahhhhh

Having a glass of vino and watching the sunset on the City Walls.. my life is complete now

Having a glass of vino and watching the sunset on the City Walls.. my life is complete now

another day another breath taking sunset

another day another breath taking sunset

yes... it's happening

yes… it’s happening

and another one

and another one

A Day That Counts

We all have them. The days that seem so pointless it’s like they didn’t even need to happen. The days when the most productive thing you force yourself to do is moving from your bed to the sofa. I call them my “Recharge Days”. I solemnly feel guilty for having one of those every now and then. Because for every Recharge Day there is always a Counter Day. Aka the day that counts as two, as three sometimes even as a whole century of your normal days let along the Recharge Days. I have had many Counter Days in 2013 but I’d like to talk about this one in particular. This is the story of a Counter FriDay 13th September 2013. The day I operated my first ever flight to Prague.

The moment I found out about this duty I decided to make it a surprise and only tell a limited amount of people. One of the hardest decisions I have ever taken because as the date was approaching I found it harder and harder to conceal my excitement when talking to my family and ultimately had to stop talking to them in fear of accidentally dropping a hint.

The night before the flight I hardly slept a wink – I watched the clock slowly move towards my wake up time until I gave up and got ready long before I had to. The 5-hour flight felt like the longest in my life. When we touched down at last I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh- for somebody who has spent the last 7 years globetrotting and trying to move as far away from their homeland as possible feeling so emotional coming back “home” was indeed an experience. Our Captain has observed my pain watching the rest of the crew potter around and taking their sweet time collecting their luggage and what not and has kindly released me to check-in at the hotel well in advance before anybody else. If not for professional image and respect to my uniform I could have kissed him right there.

I was in and out of my hotel room in less than two minutes and rushed to meet one of the most precious people I have ever known- a friend I have met in high school and who has been a huge part of my life ever since, Rudi <3. We talked and talked and talked some more and drunk about 3 litres of coffee -until my jaw hurt from all the talking and heart beat fast from all the coffee. Time flies when you are having fun and especially when you have so much gossip to go thru and next time I looked at my watch I had to go and run  to the train station to pick up my lil step-brother, who had spent the same amount of time on the train to Prague it has taken me to fly over all the way from Dubai. When I spotted him disembarking the train among all the other travellers I realised my plan was coming together exactly as planned and my chest felt really tight and I was out of breath once again. I guess that’s what a complete happiness is all about.

You simply cannot NOT love this person

You simply cannot NOT love this person

And then it was time for the main event of the day – giving my step-sis the shock of her life. She was expecting to see our brother with his fictional Prague (girl)friend and as she has previously shared with me over an email she wasn’t too keen on that being her Friday night plan. What she wasn’t expecting tho was the (girl)friend was to be me. The expression of sheer amazement and disbelief on her face was worth it all- the entire HR process of getting my job, the long and tiring training to get my licence and the endless waiting to get a Prague flight assigned. I would gladly go thru all this a million times over just to see her precious blue eyes filled with tears once again. It was a surprise moment par excellence ! After the initial 10 minutes of talking over each other and laughing and crying we quickly decided what to do with the rest of my layover. And since this was an occasion and we are Czech- we did exactly what all Czechs do on an occasion – we started celebrating. Because “a little party never killed nobody”.

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And boy was that one heck of a celebration! We sang, we drunk, we danced and talked of all the important things people talk about when the bottles are empty the clock shows way past anybody’s bedtime. I think at one point we also slept but I can’t be too sure because the next thing I remember is rushing back to the hotel and pushing the limits of the speed of light putting my make-up and uniform on.  And then… then it was time to check out, kiss everybody good-bye, wipe the tears and the not-so-water-proof mascara of my cheeks and head to the airport with my crew. I landed back in Dubai totally exhausted but happier than ever. My job is a blessing that brings me happiness and fills me with pleasure every time I fly. But I already knew that. What I didn’t know but learned that day was that it can also make people I love the most happy and content. And that my dear readers is a feeling you won’t get from no paycheque.

x

G.

P.S. This post is dedicated to my lil step-bro as a weird way to say “Happy B-day I love you very much”

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Feeling the Love

So – I’m currently east-bound rushing thru the rural parts of the Czech Republic on the Speed train I was raving about last time I came here. I spent the last two days having the time of my life in Prague with my beloved lil sister and my cousins.

I landed on Monday afternoon after what seemed like a century- I have taken off the night before from Accra,Ghana which has been my last operational flight before my leave, then landed in Dubai after a very busy 8-hour long duty had literally hour and a half to get changed from my uniform, make my way to the Departure Hall, check in my bag and run up to the right gate and catch my flight to Prague. I was so exhausted I fell asleep the moment we took off and only woke up when the seat belt sign came on to announce the start of our descent.

Before I knew it I was sat on my sister’s balcony with a cold beer in my hand enjoying a lovely sunny afternoon. Life was/is a bliss! Some crazy stuff happened that day including a random visit to a tattoo-piercing parlour and meeting some long lost friends. Later in the evening we were joined by my little cousin Babsi who happened to be in Prague too… and things turned blurry at that point. I seem to recall a moment when all of us tried to pronounce the word “otorhinolaryngology” which I somehow did manage to say in English however failed spectaculary trying in Czech (I think it may be because the word is one syllable longer in Czech than in English).

Thanks to the jetlag I woke up nice and early the next morning and went straight to the train station to pick up another cousin of mine- Ondra and his girlfriend- who came to Prague to see me. I took them around the city as I always used do with all my friends when I used to live here. I haven’t actually done the tour of Prague in a couple of years and since it was a very hot summery day I loved every minute of it. We walked all day stopping for the occasional coffee, beer and some traditional Bohemian snacks.

We waited for my sis to finish work and headed straight to the pub for some grub and more beers. When we eventually found our way back home the night was starting to turn into an early morning…  My jetlag kicked in again and I was wide awake at 4 am – just a couple of hours after I went to bed. Looks like all that sleep I was planning for this holiday ain’t gonna happen.

As I mentioned I’m now headed to see the rest of my large family that lives outside of Prague. I have so much to look forward to in the next week or so- as much as I adore my life and job in Dubs it does feel incredibly amazing to be back in Czech surrounded by people I love so dearly and who love me back!

Here is a list of essential to-dos when in Prague for 48-hours or less:

Have a beer and some typical Bohemian food such as pickled cheese

Have a beer and some typical Bohemian food such as pickled cheese

Have some more beer ... c'mon you know you want to
Have some more beer … c’mon you know you want to

Have a coffee - preferably at Cafe Kubista which is one of my favourite places of all times...

Have a coffee – preferably at Cafe Kubista which is one of my favourite places of all times…

Get sweetly lost in the amazing streets of the Old Town

Get sweetly lost in the amazing streets of the Old Town

Fall in love with the castle, the bridge, the Small quater... or even a girl

Fall in love with the castle, the bridge, the Small quater… or even a girl

Find a park. Have a walk

Find a park. Have a walk

Lunch or dine in Cafe Louvre. You will never forget

Lunch or dine in Cafe Louvre. You will never forget

Speak your mind -Czechs love that

Speak your mind -Czechs love that

Have some fun x

Have some fun x

The Princess of Boeing

The day of The New Roster has arrived. The most anticipated day of each month that brings so much, sometimes even too much. I had my secret hopes up for more China, especially Shanghai and its amazing shopping, but alas not in May.

The next Roster is taking me to India and back on almost weekly basis, but not only that. After more than 6 years I’m finally gonna make my big Italian comeback and return to the eternal city of love and tramezzinis -Rome. I’m also lucky enough to get the chance to explore a bit more of the old continent of Africa specifically Tanzania and Morocco.

I’m going to be trotting up and down the aisles of Boeing for second month running since my crush- the heart throb Airbus A380- is playing hard to get. Well- you know what they say- all them good things are worth waiting for!

I have a couple of stories up my sleeves and almost ready for you my dear readers and I’m sure there will be many more to come … but you will have to wait until I get back from London, which is where I’m headed tonight !

Have a great weekend wherever you are and whatever you do!

Lots of love

x

G.

That's all I have been seeing of the A380 lately

That’s all I have been seeing of the A380 lately

Long Overdue

Oh hi there and top of the morning to y’all!

Is there anybody still out there? And reading? I have been giving this blog the silent treatment for far too long again however this period of irresponsible blogging is now officially over. As of yesterday morning my training to become a cabin crew has come to a very successful end and I’m free to do whatever I want with my free time again.

Last few weeks in the College were all about napkins, coasters and “what can I tempt you with”s. Yes – I’m indeed talking about the Service Training. As we were told about a million times the primal role of cabin crew is to ensure the safety of their passengers however service is what makes the customers come back for more. Having done my research I wasn’t expecting much fun during this particular training but boy was I wrong! Trying to find my way around the pretend- galley, dealing with pretend-disruptive passengers, greeting the pretend-high valued customers. All of it just makes you wanna go and fly right now and right there. I just can’t wait to see how far/ close to reality all the procedures are…

Hot towel anyone?

Hot towel anyone?

I’m finding it very hard to describe the whole training experience in regards to the bonds one creates with people around them. The closest I have ever come was comparing it to a summer camp… Have you ever been to one? Then you may understand that very personal and intimate feeling that grows within the group as the “summer” progresses. The ups and downs everybody goes thru. The obstacles you have to all overcome as a group of friends and colleagues. The countdown to the final day when everyone goes back home and back to their normal lives and yet when it finally comes nobody wants to be the first one to leave and burst the magical bubble you have all been living in. That’s how it feels to complete the training knowing we are about to start flying to all four corners of the world and not seeing each other day and night ever again. Exciting yet sad at the same time…

On a happier note we have made the last days count for sure. The entire group of batches that joined on the 4th January has decided to learn a bit more about the Arabic culture and we booked a “safari tour” to the desert. Despite the name no animals were involved (or harmed) in the trip. I’m so glad we did that as it was a day full of fun, sand, craziness and great food. We got picked up by massive 7 seater 4×4 and Hummers, made a convoy of about 8 cars and first went dune bashing (aka driving over the dunes like crazy!) we stopped couple of times to take thousands of pictures and videos and then went to a “camp” where we munched on some lovely Arabic food and dates whilst smoking shishas and watching belly dancers.

I’m gonna miss your faces 2194 but as they say : “Where there is a will there is a way!”

Jump&Slide

I know I have been unusually quiet on the blogging front, which is definitely not due to a lack of things to write about or the will to do so, but I assumed I may just get away with it for a bit longer since I spend literally every waking minute of my days either at the Airline college or studying for the college. However when MY DAD (and seemingly my keenest reader, thank you Daddy) complained about not having seen any blog updates of late I have decided to dig myself out of my home assignment books and manuals and post this.

Two weeks ago I was just a regular girl who thought clouds were just puffy pretty things in the sky and now I’m able to talk about them and their differences for more than 10 mins. Two weeks ago turbulences used to give me chills, now I have “demonstrated” that I’m “competent” to deal with any type of turbulence be it a mild one, moderate, severe, anticipated or out-of -a-blue one. Two weeks ago the place you relieve yourself at 30 000 ft used to be a toilet. Now it’s a lavatory. Two weeks ago I had no idea what “crosscheck” in the” prepare all doors and crosscheck” meant. And now I do. I also no longer think cabin crew JUST serve coffee and tea.

It’s unbelievable how unappreciated this job is. I know from my experience that people only tend to see the very glamorous, jet setting side of things. They have no idea how much time, energy and concentration is required at all times doing the simplest thing such as recognising the correct PA. I have to admit to hugely underestimating the whole training thing before starting it. I knew I had to go thru 7 weeks of being taught how to be the perfect air hostess but I can assure you – nothing can prepare you for what you are in store for. Don’t get me wrong – I’m most definitely not complaining. I’m loving every moment of every day. It’s just been a very long time (and thinking about it’s maybe the first time ever) since I had to fully dedicated my entire conscious mind to one cause only-  to perform well and get thru this. Because if I don’t I’ll have to go. And there are thousands of others out there waiting for my spot to be cleared and to take my place.

Let me explain the whole training a bit deeper so you can draw yourself a better picture.

Successfully passing each stage of the training depends on completing three tasks each having the same weight and importance- every single home base assignment (HBA), practical tests (practicals) and a written exam at the end of each topic. HBA get given to us every night (I’m in the evening batch meaning I start at 3.30 pm and finish around 11.30 pm) and need to be returned the next day to be checked. One of them usually covers what has been said in the class that day and the other is to prepare you for the next day (each session only get its allocated time and the trainers expect you to do any additional studies on your own in your own time and won’t go thru the same again just  for your sake). Practicals are completed on the amazing simulators in the college (they move,they shake, they produce fog and screams of frightened people at a mere press of a button-they are simply the best thing on earth!)- you have to demonstrate perfect knowledge of the procedures you have either been taught, shown or had to read upon. You get 4 attempts (including one after-class re-sit). If you do not demonstrate, start looking for a new career. Simultaneously you are being observed at all times. Your punctuality, grooming, posture, professional conduct, teamwork, communication skills among your colleagues. Everything gets noted and evaluated and fed back to you at the end of each day. I can’t stress enough how important punctuality is. It’s the ultimate pillar of the aviation religion. You must ALWAYS BE BEFORE TIME. Not on time. Before time.

Then there is the test of course but there isn’t much I can tell you about that one since I haven’t had one yet. All I know it’s that people usually don’t sleep the night before so I probably won’t either. Not that I get much sleep anyway. I usually study instead.

My new best friends

My new best friends

And even if I do manage to switch off and close my eyes for a couple of hours my dreams are full of evacuations and correct commands.

Yeeeeah we have "demonstrated" !

Yeeeeah we have “demonstrated” !

But I love it. The more I learn about this brand new world the more drawn into it I get. Plus it’s not just me. I have all my batchmates (and amazing friends at the same time ) on the same boat with me. We are all going thru this together, helping each other, supporting each other and having SO MUCH fun! Unfortunately we also had to say goodbye to a couple of them for various reasons. All I can say is :

“Best of luck anywhere you go and with anything you do! We will miss you and it was a great pleasure meeting you! Everything in life happens for a reason although it may not seem so at the time!”

Bend down and stay down everyone 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…