I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last post ! But I have been away on holiday – which you may have noticed if you follow my Instagram and since coming back I had hardly any time to spare. I have a few drafts laying around tho and they are about to be published later today !
For several reasons this post is a very special one.
First of all -I’m back from my social media detox. It’s been good- great actually. Just what the doctor ordered. I had taken my time to step back a little and look at all the stuff that needed looking at. Now all is good again. I know I said I’ll be gone for a month. But -truth to be told- I missed you guys too much. And I didn’t see a point in staying away for any longer than necessary. I have been feeling very creative lately and have plenty of drafts to be published so just stay put!
And as for the second.. This is my 100th post on Journey!! Thank you everyone for your continuing support 🙂
I love my long and quiet Chinese flights. I also love all the polite and humble Chinese passengers that never seem to want anything than a little cup of hot water. But most of all- most of all I love China. I love landing in this vast, far away and isolated country that is so different from anything I have seen anywhere else in the world. It’s like falling asleep into one of those strange amazing dreams that you still think about long after waking up. That’s exactly what going to China feels like to me. Like a dream coming true.
I first went to China almost two years ago on holiday to Hong Kong. The city has instantly charmed me with it’s grand buildings and never ceasing street life… and that was before I even discovered the bubble tea (which in my opinion is the best thing since sliced bread!)… Then couple of months ago as a fresh cabin crew I got to go to Shanghai and absolutely loved it. But it wasn’t till my Beijing trip that I realised that the way I feel about China isn’t just casual. There is just something about this place that tantalises me every time I come. Something that makes me want more and more.
I stood outside of the hotel waiting for the taxi to take me to a place I have been wanting to see since I was a little redheaded four-eyed girl – The Great Wall of China. I was shivering in the early morning breeze that reminded me a lot of November days in Europe and clutched my cup of Oolong tea a bit tighter. My breath changed into little white puffs every time it left the lungs. I watched Chinese businessmen rush buy to catch their buses and deadlines (I presume). I listened to the thousands and thousand of cars beep their horns in a pointless attempt to speed up the crazy traffic ahead of them. And once again I felt extremely happy. I was right where I was supposed to be at that moment.
The taxi , unlike my fellow crew, arrived on time. I made myself comfortable for the long ride that took us thru Beijing and its outskirts to The Wall. As our journey progressed it became clear that the day wasn’t going to be a sunny one. Neither was it to be a dry one. The rain got heavier and thicker by the minute. By the time we arrived at the bottom of The Wall the place resembled more of a swimming pool than a car park. I tried to convince my colleagues that the rain was easing off and the skies were becoming clearer. But I wasn’t fooling anyone. In the end I decided to shut my mouth up and ears off. If they enjoyed b*tching about something that was beyond anybody’s power to change well then I decided not to let that spoil the day I was waiting for so eagerly.
And as if someone up there wanted to push my patience and positive thinking to its limit by the time we purchased our tickets a proper thunder storm was upon us. With all its might and glory and heavy rain drops and flashy lightning. The slides and gondolas going up have been stopped for safety reasons. One couldn’t see the end of their own arm. It looked as if the hell has opened. I looked up the skies and screamed :
“C’mon now! I made it all this way and it’s taken me years to come here. Are u seriously not gonna let me go up and see this Wall or what?!”
I want to say that the moment I spoke those words the storm has stopped… but… Oh you know what!? This is my blog and my story so what the heck!! So – the moment I spoke those words (or maybe some 30-40 minutes later) the storm has stopped and the gondolas started running again. And I finally made it up and stood on The Great Wall of China. And not only that. Since the rain has never really ceased lots of people have given up before even reaching the top which resulted in me and my fellow group of serial complainers having the entire Wall to ourselves. There was quite literally nobody else in sight.
The fog was blowing over the ancient stones occasionally revealing one of most amazing views I had in my life. It felt as if I went back in time and I half expected Chinese warriors to appear from the mist and fight us intruders. It was quite literally magical…
I feel like photos only will not do my Great Wall of China story justice… so I did this …hope you enjoy it guys :
So far in March I have visited three different continents, watched a shooting star out of a cockpit window, saw my hometown from 30 thousand feet above and celebrated my name day. And it’s only the 8th…
Is anyone finding it hard to believe when I say I love my job?
AMS- DXB 04/03/2013
My first rostered week has started off with an absolutely amazing flight to Amsterdam. I was a “Supy” on that flight meaning I was there to observe not to work and I was supposed to walk around asking lots of questions in order to learn all the on-job tricks. However I was too excited to be flying a real plane to just sit around and watch. I made myself useful and helped wherever I could. My fellow crew were too nice to tell me to f**k off and stop slowing the service down so I got a great opportunity to try everything out.
The flight was booked up to the top and customers kept us pretty busy all the way and it was only when we landed in Amsterdam that I realised last time I drunk or ate something was back in Dubai seven hours ago. I would have been up for about 18 hours straight- 10 of which I have spent running around the airport and the massive A380 cabin and my whole body was screaming for bed. Nonetheless I decided to pull thru it and get some food with the rest of the crew. I’m so glad I did -the Dutch beer was totally worth me falling asleep at the table whilst having dinner…
The flight back was a breeze compared to the previous day. With the cabin half empty and only one service round we had enough time to fool around and my colleagues finally got their chance to “christen” me. See -apparently there is a rule that says every Supy needs to be made fun of at least once during their first couple of flights otherwise they will never pass their probation. However us Supys we are not as stupid as we may look and we weren’t born yesterday either so I was very alert and ready for any tricks being played on me. And of course I got the usual ” Go and fetch the vacuum cleaner from the cockpit, please!”(there is no vacuum cleaner anywhere on any aircraft ever unless you bring it there my dear readers) and “Would you please take this to 13A?” (row 13 doesn’t exist neither on the Boeing nor the Airbus) and the most popular one ” Take this hair brush to this and that seat” (to a passenger who turns out to be bald). The one thing I wasn’t ready for came directly from the flight deck couple of hours after take off. I was told to drop anything I was doing and proceed to the cockpit immediately. Which is what I did replaying to myself all I’ve done and evaluating what has probably gone wrong. By the time I got to the front of the cabin I was pretty much convinced I have lost my job already. Thankfully I couldn’t have been more wrong. The reason why I was called was simply because the pilots have looked up my place of birth and realised we were passing it on the way to Dubai. So I got to see the place I grew up like I never did before. Very spontaneously I decided to give my family a little wave imagining them looking up and waving back at me. The pilots have noticed that and joined me in my effort. And so there we were – the Captain,the First Officer and myself flying the flagship of one of the best airlines in the world waving a blowing kisses to the grounds of the Czech Republic. That’s when I thought I really must have the best job on Earth!
My second flight saw me going to Cairo, Egypt. A perfect chance to practice and improve my very limited Arabic. I reckon if I get two turnarounds a month I will be fluent by September. The beauty of doing a turnaround flight is in coming back to your own bed the same day. True – I had to get up at 4am and only got back around 9pm but still – I could say I have been to Africa and back in the meantime !
I’m very excited about tonight- got rostered my first Airport Stand by from 1am onwards. Meaning I could be having breakfast anywhere around the globe tomorrow morning. I’m hoping for a Full English in Manchester !
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
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.
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 :
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 !
P.S. In case you are wondering – still no updates on the accommodation.
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.
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!
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!