Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The dreaded man-flu

currently suffering the worst flu of my life. arrived back from johannesburg on friday and literally collapsed into bed, and was unable to get up again for 4 days. you know its serious when you have 2 sets of clothes on and 2 doonas on and the heating on full,and youre still shivering uncontrollably.

had to go to the doctors and have ended up getting a week off work and to stay in bed.

johannesburg was great. i was working in premium cabin with a wonderful girl and we ran the service like troopers. got great performance review from my on board manager.

now that i am earning pounds, i found south africa so incredibly cheap. i had a fillet mignon for £5.50 ..unheard of.. and you dont need to drink much as the altitude of j'burg means you get drunk quicker. got to eat ostrich on this run. the world... eat weird things.

scott has his yearly recurrent exams next week so we are studying a lot. standby next month so lord knows where i will end up

Saturday, January 19, 2008

survived my lagos experience

what a bizarre but fun trip.

the flight was half full going there.... the passengers are pretty demanding... bordering on greedy.. 2 of this, half the time i think they just ask for stuff because its something they can have. i even had one guy kind of offering me his daughter. weird.

arriving at the airport... we have to be escorted from the baggage hall, out of the airport, to a waiting set of mini vans. luckily as the locals all hanging around the airport looked like they were scary and ready to jump us. the mini vans are escorted to the hotel where we stay, by 2 police vans with flashing lights. sitting int he van, staring out into the darkness.. wondering if this was indeed a dangerous place.

the hotel... lagos sheraton.. is basic at best. room that i got was nice and modern, butt hats only because several airlines have pumped money into the hotel.. some crew got old crappy, and dirty rooms... so i was very lucky.

we are not allowed to leave the hotel. hmm.. nice place they sent us too.. so we just get to lay by the pool or stay in the hotel bar. several air crews stay there.. KLM, Lufthansa, BA.. etc.

imagine our shock to all see the drama unfolding on the runway at heathrow. those poor flight attendants.... we were all imagining how knackered and tired they would have been, after a long trip from beijing. by the time you land back into london you are so tired and exhausted and almost delirious. but after al the rigorous training we have, it just goes to show it all just kicks in. i hope this does bring new respect for flight attendants in this country. i have never in all my years fo travelling as a passenger, see travellers take the piss so much with virgin crew. i have never seen a flight on any other airline where the call bells just do not stop and the demands made on crew. im not sure if its a american/british thing, but certainly flights from Australia and asia are never like this.

was shocked to actually see faeces on the aerobridge. not sure if iti was human or dog or what.. but dogs would not be allowed in the terminal so one can only imagine it was human

anyway..the flight home was full, but i was asked to work up in the premium economy cabin, which was quiet. i was working with the seniors in the front galley, and even got to man the upper class bar at one stage, so i got the sense of what it was like up there. however, every time i walked down into the back galley, it was like walking thru chaos.. passengers wanting so much, like they were tryingt o get everything they could off us before the plane landed.. however.. they all got off satisfied and happy, which ultimately is the end goal.. thats whats is important really, so we just bear with it.

took me 4 hours from the time we landed until i got home.. which meant i got home at about 9pm... a long day.

i look back at my days of training, and having to work 8 hours training with 2 hours travel time on each end, when i had to go interstate..and think back to how tired i was. well.. this is like that, only, multiply by 2, imagine spending 2 hours getting to and from work.. then spending 8-12 hours on your feet, constantly moving, constantly thinking, add into the mix jetlag and ever changing time zones, eating snacks if..and that's a big if... you have time to, usually you eat whatever crap is left over on board, from either the crew food, which is pretty bad, or leftover passenger meals..which are ok, if you only had to eat it once.. but when its 2-3 times a week... hmmm.. and even then you usually only get5-10 mins to scoff as much of it into your mouth as possible, while standing in the galley.. so you tend to eat the snacks and junk on board because you can shove it in your mouth and hurriedly chew it on your way back up the aisle to answer the 100th call bell..

my biggest annoyance so far has been when a passenger in the front row of economy presses the bell... so i have to walk the entire length of the cabin, he orders and drink... i walk all the way back, make the drink.. walk all the way back to his seat.. and deliver it, walk all the way back to the galley.. only to have the bell go off again, and the guy next to him wants to order the same drink. i literally wanted to go make one and pour it over him... but hey.. we also end up with the patience of saints.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

buggery bollocks!!!!!!!

bloody sods law....and more bollocks!so ropeable!!! scott and i both swapped onto a lagos flight..... probably one of the least wanted routes, and they called him today and took him off it, leaving me to have to now go there on my own!!!!! to really rub it in, they have now put him onto the flight i was originally on, before i swapped onto the lagos. GRRRRR

to add you all into the picture.... this is a 6 hour flight each way, there are usually deportees on board this route, the passengers are rude and racsist towards white people, on the whole. Once we get there, we have to get police escorts to and from the airport to the hotel, and we have a security guard posted on our hotel floor, plus we are not allowed to leave the hotel, so we are virtual prisoners. by the time i get back, scott will be away for a night, but then we have all weekend together. so theres the silver lining.

rosters just came out... .and i have standby all month of feburary. great! so much for getting my birthday off or spend it with scott. most of it starts at 6am.. which means i have to be up and ready to go by 6am and just sit around and wait to see if they call me, then i have 2 hours to get to the airport so basically id have to leave straight away to make it to heathrow by then. on the plus side i could end up going anywhere in the world but knowing my luck ill end up in all the places that no one wants to go to. hahahaha

my life! my life!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Kenya believe it??

so much for being worried about my trip to kenya... turned out to be a great trip.

crew were fantastic and had such a good time with them all both on and off the aircraft.

you'd never guess what i did once i got there. i actually went ice skating. yup you read right.. all the way to africa to go ice skating. was a hoot.. since i havent skated for about 10 years. will definately be doing that again when i go back at the end of the month.

whoie crew went out for dinner to a brazilian charhuscarria ok so i cant spell it.. but i did get to eat camel.....weird!!!!! looks like braised beef but has the consistancy and taste of liver. not the greatest taste but there you go. also had croc too. although i think the aussie croc tasted nicer.

got to do manual demos in both directions.. this means getting out the old oxygen masks and life jackets to show rather than the video version.. sigh.. but its becoming old hat now and im well used to it.

did have my first medical incident on board on the way there..... a new crew memebr comes running up to me in the galley frantically telling me a man has collapsed in the aisle and she hadnt handled any medicals yet..... hmmm.. like i have.. but i raced down there and treated him. turns out he spoke french... so here i am, kneeling in the ailse, getting no response rfom him.. bending down to check his airway and breathing, you have no idea the wave of relief that swept over me when i discovered he was breathing... didnt feel in the mood for anyway.. looked after him.. tracked down his friends and tried to talk to them in french.. which im not good at but luckily made a mistake and said a word in german and found out they spoke german too so finished off in german.....

have been very multilingual so far.. have delt with passengers in french, german, spanish, brazilian portuguese, russian and dutch so far. still waitng on the sign language to pop up.

ah, well a days rest then off to nigeria.. .that shoudl be interesting... police escorts to and from the hotel and not allowed to leave the hotel at all.. luckily scott will be with me on that trip

Monday, January 07, 2008

Eau de Boeing

you know, i always thought that this was a myth, but there is a particular smell to the boeing 747. it permeates everything. when you iron your uniform, you can smell it coming out of the fabric. sigh, i used to like the smell of aircraft... but now it just makes me think of work. lol

if you dont beleieve me about the smell, next time you step onto a 747, have a good whiff.. its always there.

speaking of smells... you never, ever want to open a galley oven after a flight... the smell of old meals will make you wretch!!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

catch up

god its been ages since i wrote something and so thought i had better catch up.

on dec 27, scott and i managed to take our first flight together, to barbados. was very surreal, getting on a cart with scott. wandering down an aisle handing out ice creams with him was something i just didnt expect to ever do in my life. and there we were, amid 376 odd passengers.

got to spend a nice day, laying in the sun, on a tropical beach.. was well nice.

even got o experience my first disrutive passeneger being thrown off the plane, and my first suspicious person, who turned out to simply be a first time flyer..

went to orlando after that, and spent all my allowances on shopping in the big mall there....well its not hard to do since they hardly give us any money. finding it a bit hard to make ends meet on the measely wage they pay us. im actually surprised, how they keep telling us how we are responsible for the safety of all these people, and at how hard we work, for many long hous, and that they pay us so little for it. im bascially being paid just over 10K in pounds per year... plus what they call allowances, which is basically meal money for when youre downroute. thsi is less than half than other airlines get and they are surprised that we are thinking of striking. however, im not working on any of the strike days, so i dont have to make a decision on if i strike or not.

weather here is bitterly cold, and if it wasnt for the sun breaks my job gives me, i would not be liking this very much.

have found my feet in the job and already it feels like i know what im doing. loving the feeling of being all strapped in, and feeling the thrust of the engines.

its amazing the different perspective you have of it all, when working on the plane. the other day i was fling over greenland and could help but lean on the door bustle and look out the back window at the amazing view fo all the frozen rivers. sometimes, ona day flight, i catch sight of the huge engines out the window, just sitting there like giant cylinders, propelling us along. its an unique view when youre standing up.

luckily most of my customers have been really nice. i have been getting good performance reviews on every flight, with most marks reflecting i am exceeding expectations. yay !! this is what i aimed for.

scott is off in new york at the moment and we have almost a week apart, with out schedules having us miss each others, passing like ships in the night. but however it is, its still better than when we lived so far apart. pics coming soon