Listen To Your…

…body. If not then at least listen to your best friend. They usually know what’s best for your body. How do I know that? Well that’s a funny story. If you wanna know more – then just sit back and read on.

So I flew to Kuala Lumpur again a couple of days back. You may remember that my first layover in KL wasn’t all that exciting. Well – the second one has definitely made up for it. That one singular trip has given me enough excitement for months of flying. The flight over has not gone as well as I would have wished but I guess after a year of successful flights I was bound to have a… ehhm how to best put it .. let’s say a “challenging” one. I landed and all I could think of was a nice cold drink and a good company. A good company has thankfully been already taken care of as one of my best friends was operating with me that day. And a cold drink was at hand as soon as we reached our hotel. Ok – I may have had a few more than just one. But in my defence… I really had one helluva day that day.

I woke up next morning feeling a little under the weather but nothing a little more sleep couldn’t fix. So yes – I spent yet another KL layover in bed but not entirely. I also pulled myself out to enjoy a beautiful lunch by the pool and even forced myself to do a very minor workout at the gym.

Then I went up to my room and got ready for a long journey back home- and it indeed was a VERY long way back to my apartment. The flight was a busy one. It was somewhere half way thru when I started feeling bad. At first I was blaming the lack of sleep and that one extra drink I probably shouldn’t have had the night before. However as the time and the pain in my lower abdomen progressed I was starting to think this was more than just an indigestion or a mild hangover. But it wasn’t until I nearly fainted that I knew something was amiss. By the time we were landing I was in so much pain I couldn’t sit or stand- both was equally uncomfortable. It took my all to remain smiling for the sake of the passengers. My friend saw my suffering and kept on asking if I needed medical help. That’s when my childhood and my mother’s Spartan upbringing kicked in. See – I was a bit of an attention seeker as a kid and I may have played the “sickness” card way too many times for my mum’s liking. She ended up never believing I was seriously ill until I either vomited or was on the verge of dying in front of her. Once she said she would also believe an open fracture but (thankfully?) I never had one. So when Edel suggested an emergency room I mentally reviewed my state (“Have I vomited?” “No.” “Open fracture?” “No.” “Verge of dying?” “Well…”) and I told him I wasn’t gonna make a big deal out of it.

Well my body decided otherwise. By the time we got to disembark the aircraft and collect our luggage I cared very little for smiling and could hardly walk without whimpering in pain.

“Ok- that’s it” Edel said “I’m taking you to the hospital and I don’t care what you think.”

“Thank God” is what I thought but I didn’t say it because the pain was growing by the second and I wasn’t gonna waste energy talking.

We got to the Emergency room around 6am still wearing our uniforms and carrying our crew bags, which strictly speaking is possibly not allowed but honestly at that point I didn’t care much. It didn’t take much for the nurse to understand my condition and I was hooked on the drips before I even knew it. Wow – I don’t know what it was they pumped into me but I wouldn’t mind having a top up of that stuff! Not only did it make the pain go away – it also gave my memories a nice shiny glow … 😛

I’m not gonna make this any more dramatic than I already have. As you may have guessed it was a suspected appendicitis but thankfully it wasn’t. It took the doctors about 9 hours and a whole list of tests to decide on that but in the end I wasn’t gonna have to go under the knife and they just let me off with some very strong painkillers and other goodies to keep my guts in control.

I'm only smiling coz I'm high

I’m only smiling coz I’m high

They have also put my on a very strict diet of no alcohol (drag!), no coffee (my life is over!!), no tea (uff) and no milk(oh well I’m lactose intolerant anyway). Hence the extensive blogging today. Thanks to the painkillers I spent a whole day sleeping and am now full of energy that needs venting!

The point of the story has however not been made yet. I have come to realise that I haven’t fully appreciate the treasure I have in my life – Edel ! The amazing person who got off a 7-hour flight, dragged me to a hospital and remained fully awake by my bedside the entire time. He wouldn’t leave even when I kept sending him home. It wasn’t until later when I realised how much his support meant for me. Spending a day in a hospital not knowing what’s wrong with you is not the kind of time you want to be alone. And I wasn’t…

Thank you so much boo … You are a true friend!

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…

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.

MMXII

Dear 2012,

Now that we are about to enter the time of your sweet and well-deserved retirement I would like to express my gratitude and thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have surely been one hell of a year. Full of ups and downs you will be the one I will most certainly never forget about.

I have to say I wasn’t too impressed to welcome you as a newborn baby in January. Following the amazing 2011 –the year of Gabri’s travels- I thought you were bound to be a bit of a disappointment. And as you slowly unfolded you seemed to only want to confirm that assumption as you saw me working my a** off and getting really sick (of it). Still we both know that no January can be too bad since it’s my birthday month. Spending two weeks in my lovely snowy country with Huggie and circled by friends& family- skiing, eating, chilling and celebrating our numerous birthdays and name days was simply perfect! Oh – and let’s not forget about my poor snowboarding attempts which shall never be repeated.

Snowtubbing

Snowtubbing

The February blues hit us pretty hard didn’t they? Not even that little break in the Lakes did much help. On the contrary –it made the whole month of working late weekends so much harder!

March, however, was the month of remedy. More skiing, more family time and the beautiful Austrian Alps. Life was good once again.

April was devoted to preparations for an epic Hen do party, then partying and then attending a wonderful wedding.

In May Geoffrey came into our lives. Good old Geoffrey. Geoffrey- the only serious competition I have in the contest for number one place in Huggie’s heart. It’s shameful to admit it but I think I may have lost in May. Even more so considering Geoffrey is a car. “He” even went on holiday with us. Rambling road trip to Cornwall, where I decided that camping on the beach might be a great idea -everywhere else but in cold Blighty.

Geoffrey The Golf

Geoffrey The Golf

Now –let’s be honest. June/ July period was your all time low. Or shall I say mine? Let’s just leave those two months where they belong- in the past, buried under great memories of my mum’s visit in August. My mum! No words will ever be enough to describe her. Let the picture talk instead:

Here comes the trouble

Here comes the trouble

August was also the official start to my Cabin Crew dream. September/ October – that’s just a blur in my memory filled with all things flying. November– auch- was the month of injections. And gymming. And shopping. November was gooooooooodl!!

And here we are now – me ready to jump head first into 2013 and you nearing the end or your service. You did me good 2012, you taught me that if life gives you lemons you make a lemonade and drink it chilled with friends. Shaken, not stirred.

I just hope you are not going to come to a premature end this Friday. Let’s suck it up till the very end. Till the 31st !

 

x

 

G.

Words and space

I have once briefly mentioned that I got finally approved for the Cabin Crew job. I feel like I haven’t really dedicated that big news enough words or space on my blog. So here it comes :  

words , words and happy words and more happy words and also happy space and happy face

No- seriously – I am very excited as you can imagine! All the obstacles have been overcome and I’ standing on the very last step of a long imaginary staircase ready to open the imaginary door and embark on what is probably going to be the biggest adventure of my life. There is no denying it now- I am actually going to Dubai in four weeks. There is no more ” I might not get thru” “I might not get the GC” “I might not pass my Medicals” there is just “I might have to start packing.”

This half a year has gone by so quick- from the first moment I thought of even applying for the job. It was on a crappy day last summer as I was feeling super sorry for myself because I haven’t seen sunshine for about three months running and had to keep on talking to people at work about their flying on holiday to or via Dubai that I suddenly decided I can’t live in England anymore. And out of a blue I thought – “I know what would be a great idea! To live in a desert ! There is always sun in a desert !”.  In the frenzy of imagining myself soaking up all the sun and feeling warm I applied for the first job that crossed my mind. Cabin Crew.

It wasn’t until I received the invitation for my AD (as an employee of the same airline I didn’t have to attend an OD) that I fully realised what I did. And what I was about to do. At this point I still haven’t told anyone. It was my little secret that I would think of when I felt down. A bit like ” You talk to me like I am a piece of s***t but I am going to be a Cabin Crew and flying places and stuff and you are not – hehehe I win” type of secret. It wasn’t the easiest news to break to people but I was surprised how supportive everyone around me was. I felt and am still feeling so loved! There truly is nothing better than supportive friends and family!

By this time I was back on good terms with England (could have possibly been caused by that one sunny week we had mid-August this year) and wasn’t even that fussed about going to Dubai anymore. I have already made my point to the UK. “You either get your act together about this weather thing or I go.” However I decided to still attend and see how far can I get with this whole thing. This mindset was probably what has made the difference at my AD (for more details on that click here). I wasn’t nervous at all, just really curious what’s this all about. And I got thru. Most of the girls there didn’t and they probably hate me now. Some of them looked like their lives depended on getting that job… well maybe they did.

After I got my Final Interview invitation I thought “Right, am I doing this or what? I better find out what’s going on.” And I started looking a bit deeper into the possibility of completely turning my life around. And that’s when I fell in love with the job. I started wanting it so badly. Who wouldn’t ? I got completely obsessed with forums such as CabinCrew and PPrune. Because I don’t know what the term “half measures” means.

My FI didn’t go as well as planned. For you all out there who think it’s just a chitchat about your past jobs- it is not. It’s pretty in depth examination of your customer service skills and demeanour. Watch out for any gaps in your CV- you are gonna have to explain them well! I made sure I had none but my FI  still took over an hour and afterwards I felt completely spent. I couldn’t talk for the rest of the day because my brain ran out of energy to produce anything more than “bzzzzzzzzzbzzzzzzzzzzz bzzzzzzzzbzzzzzz”. I gave it my all and felt it might have not been enough. And I don’t wish that feeling upon anyone.

And then the waiting started. And after that the Medicals. And after that… The Final Approval. And after that? Who knows … watch this space for more !

x

G.

The “M” word

So my Airline candidate portal opened yesterday. And…

Do you know the tale of Ali Baba and forty thieves? The story of a humble man who is at a very wrong place at a very right time and happens to overhear the magical ” Open Sesame” that  leads him to a hidden cave full of gold and other treasures? I always wondered what it must feel like to find yourself being surrounded and overwhelmed by so much wealth. Something Ali Baba has never encountered before.

Well I know now. Only my “cave” is not full of gold but full of forms and documents. Just waiting there to be filled out by me. With a little nagging ikon next to them saying “Incomplete”.

Oh yes – I’m indeed talking about the next big step. The “M” word – The Medicals.

I don’t know why but up until yesterday I was hoping I could somehow avoid the vaccines. Not only do I hate being pierced by a complete stranger,that seems to weirdly enjoy it, but I also do not agree with the whole vaccination idea. Injecting a part of the virus inside your body voluntarily just to let it build up your immunity ? Doesn’t make much sense to me. But then again I’m not a doctor. Ever since my teenage years I would always avoid any recommended jabs like flu or hepatitis. I just never saw the point. Couple of my friends got injected whenever there was an outbreak and they all got sick eventually. I never did.

However it looks like this time I’m cornered. I won’t get the job unless I get all the required vaccinations prior to flying out to Dubai. So here I am dealing with my dilemma. On one side I appreciate that flying to all the destinations The Airline does puts me in danger of getting infected by some pretty gruesome viruses. On the other hand – have really I spend most of my adult life trying to pursue healthy life style just to get injected with some awful chemicals? I mean – not that I have much choice if I really want the job. So I’m just gonna have to deal with my little issues whilst silently suffering at the travel clinic, draining my valet of  hard earned cash and letting myself look like a sifter.

I just can’t wait…

On the brighter side – apart from the vaccination dealio medicals seem pretty straight forward:

Dental check and OPG (dental x-ray ) need to be completed first. Check.

Smear test and HIV tests(can’t come out positive). Check.

All the other documents are filled in at my own discretion and since I have never been seriously ill or injured (knock knock)- that’s it for me.A friend of mine, who has started her Ab Initio Training in September has been a great help (thank you Rosa, you are an angel!)  and told me that following check ups get done in Dubai so there is no need to bother with it before going :

Haemoglobin count

Chest X ray

TB tests

——————————————————————————————————

That’s literally the line I have drawn behind my medical examinations.

Bye for now

 

A month later : I have to admit I was being a bit dramatic about the vaccines. My travel nurse was a real professional! She knew exactly what I needed and helped set up a vaccination plan that spread all the injections evenly to avoid me getting sick. I only have two more to go (Yellow fever and MMR) and so far I have not been feeling ill, feverish or swollen. I also did not have to pay for any of my vaccines (yet) and the actual injecting was almost painless.

 

x

G.