The past few days have been so rush for me, plus trying to finish my last two posts from my last trips, oh! Not everything is peaches and cream or easy as it seems. Sometimes it’s a little challenging and sometimes difficult when you are even living alone with no family around. Let me start by explaining how was my life when I moved to Dubai that explains my stress these past few days. No drama, but yet so uncomfortable. I’m not talking about the laws and culture of United Arab Emirates, that’s another theme in which I’ve adapted myself pretty good actually. Yet, when you move from your country to start a new life in a foreign one, you want to actually have a home to start on, right? but when you live for almost 6 months in a hotel with no information regarding when you’ll be accommodated, it comes stressful with those who want to have a home…a real one. Continue reading “Finally, I have a home.”
A couple of days ago I was in my room with a friend talking and arranging to do something in our day off in Dubai. It was quite late, like 11pm or so. Suddenly my phone rang and it was crew schedule. Crew Scheduling, or Crew Control take charge of the rosters once they are published and issued to crew. These rosters are likely to undergo many changes due to the dynamic nature of the airline business. In other words, crew rostering is responsible for creating a roster for the crew to fly. In my case, there was so many sick calls (crew calling sick) that crew schedule had to change and swap rosters. For my luck I had two turns and they called me to ask me if I want to and if I’m able to fly that same night in a layover. I was like, really? OF COURSE! they had 4 layovers for me to pick, and I choose Taipei, Taiwan. My two turnarounds were swap for a layover, my friend couldn’t even believe it.
In about an hour I had to start getting ready and heading off to Head Quarters for the flight.I slept 1 hour, prepare my luggage, put on my red lipstick and went off to HQ (Head Quarters). I’ve been told that Taipei layover is so nice and that is very difficult to have it because everyone is bidding for it. In the briefing, some crew that had already flew to Taipei shared some nice experiences such as; the customers are very nice, very polite and respectful and no matter if the flight is either light or full, it’s always an easy flight. I was so excited!!
After the briefing we went to the aircraft and started preparing it for the customers as well. “Customers at the door” – the purser announced. I put on my red hat and started welcoming and assisting our customers. I most say, Taiwanese are charismatic people and so respecful..and organized! I’ve never done a smooth and easy boarding so far as this one! The service went very easy and fast as well. After 8 hours of flight with 1 hour of rest, finally we land at 5pm. Since my roster was changed at last-minute I didn’t rest properly. So I decided to rest for 2 hours and then go sight seeing.
This place is a night market and is often considered to be the largest and most famous night market in the city containing mostly food vendors and small restaurants; and the surrounding businesses and shops selling other nonfood items. The food court holds 539 stalls!! In addition to the food court, side streets and alleys are lined with storefronts and roadside stands. Cinemas, video arcades among others. I ate like pig and you should too if you ever visit the night market as well! the food is amazing!
After the night market we had some drinks and tried some local beer. We walked everywhere and enjoy the rest of the night:
The next day I woke up like 8:30am, got dressed and went down stairs to try the buffet. People, write this down, the Sheraton Grande Hotel Taipei, the service is wonderful but the buffet! OH-MY-GOD! it’s only 23USD, ALL YOU CAN EAT. The food is amazing, they have a stand for pancakes,sweets; another one for fruits and another for eggs, soups, bacon…they can cook for you for any other request you may like. I ate like a pig..again. The gentleman in the sweets counter was so nice! He made me some delicious french toasts and waffles. I also got bacon,scramble eggs, sausages, toasts and fruits. For drinks, a nice natural orange juice with pulp and a delicious cup of coffee. 3 plates my friends! all worth it! I was so hungry and eating like an animal that I didn’t take pictures of the buffet..next time I will to share it.
After the delicious fatty breakfast I went with a group of girls from the crew for a little walk and end up at the Elephant Mountain hiking trail.
Mountain Hiking Trail:
The hiking is trail takes about 20 mins to the top,and includes a lot of small stairs! At the top you can enjoy an amazing and beautiful view of Taipei city and 101 Tower.
After the long hiking trail we went walking to the city for a walk and shopping..
..and end up at the Modern Toilet Restaurant:
To be honest, I’ve never thought I’ll be eating here, it’s so crazy! Is fun to go with a group of friends. We were laughing and couldn’t believe we were actually going to have our lunch there. The food is not that good, the ice cream..just simple.It’s just a nice place to have a one time experience..eating on a toilet 🙂
Next and final stop was a shower and a nice 5 hour sleep. 🙂 I loved Taipei, the people are very friendly and always wanting to help and assist. The service is wonderful and the food as well!! Hope to visit again!
As you all might know I’m main fleet, that is I only fly with B777, A330 and A340. As for main fleet we most likely get more turnarounds than layovers.
Turns= An aircraft terminating a flight and subsequently originating another flight following a complete change of load.
Layover= A period of rest (minimum 24hrs) in the destination.
My schedule will be the following:
- Doha, Qatar (turn)
- Mumbai, India (turn)
and 8 days flying to:
- Bangkok, Thailand (24hrs layover)
- Sydney, Australia (24hrs layover)
- Christchurch, New Zealand (turn to Sydney again)
- Sydney, Australia (48 hrs layover)
- Bangkok, Thailand (24hrs layover)
People say to me that i’m actually lucky to have the 8 days trip since i’m main fleet. I already did my Doha Flight, too short indeed! I felt lost and useless. By the time I started helping setting the carts, my colleagues had already finished preparing it. The purser was from Spain, so we even had a little chat before the flight in Spanish and even told me she have never met a Puerto Rican working for Emirates before. Fun fact, there’s only 2 cabin crew from Puerto Rico, including me. The crew was fine, only one SFS did not like the fact I was completely new in a turn flight. “Nobody likes to be asked…this flight is too short for a Supi flight” this is when caring should be mandatory. We started from the beginning, and I know sometimes is annoying, but always help your colleagues, make them feel comfortable. I don’t even get how these kind of people have been working for so long in this industry and not had developed patience…yet.
Anyhow, had a blast with the flight crew. I seated in the flight deck for take off and landing and chat with them. They brief me and explain me the actions of the buttons, maps and directions. First time that I got to see the whole process and I loved it. The way of conducting the service is way different than in training. In reality is communicating short words with customers, and work fast, fast, fast. Let’s see how Mumbai will be..they say is not a so easy one though.
For now, I can’t really say that I like my job, still. Maybe after I month of taste I might know if I either like or not. Let’s just hope for the best. By the way, that’s me in the photos (: and of course with my flag representing my island, Puerto Rico.
Training is tough and stressful, and SEP was the toughest one. In SEP it’s all about aircrafts and basic aeronautics, diagrams, emergencies procedures, assessments and home based assignments everyday plus computer tests with 50 questions. The best part of SEP is actually the last day of the course. We get to jump and slide through the raft, and use the PBE (Portable Breathing equipment).
GMT (Group Medical Training) you’ll learn how to do CPR, deliver babies, how to use basic medical equipment, sign diseases, etc. By this time the whole batch is more close and more like a family. After GMT comes Safety/Security, that section was fun though. They teach you how to defend yourself and how to restrain customers, there’s a short section when they teach the different types of guns and bombs. Also a full section of restraining and defending practice with your colleagues! And finally comes then the Service course.
Now, I want to share this coming up experience with you so you’ll learn that not all is ‘peaches and cream’. For some it’s easy, for others…not that easy. In SEP phase 3 colleagues did not make the cut and they were send to another batch with 1 and 2 weeks behind. Myself had to repeat the first SEP test because I was so nervous I couldn’t even read and my mind got blanked! On the door assessments some had to repeated the next morning and so on… Now bear with me, the last and final course which is Service were 12 days of training. We had 2 computer tests, 1 written, 2 assessments and 3 practical tests. I was struggling with the bar service. Yes, I know, pathetic. Probably because I don’t drink that much…or nothing at all! (just Corona haha!) It did felt difficult for me, like knowing the mixers and stuff. Plus I got to nervous practicing in the simulator and went too shy. My first 2 practical exams were horrible but then in my last and third exam I did better, or I thought I did. We finished the test and the instructors congratulated us for completing the final stage and becoming cabin crews. The next morning we arrived at college to received our licenses and having some fly preparations orientations. But, the instructors had this wonderful idea of giving me the news that same last day to notify me that I did not meet the competencies to complete the service course. I was so disappointed of me and the way they decided to fail me in last-minute. Who fails service? Just the 1% , I am that 1% my loves. I’ve been moved to another batch and started again the service course for the next 2 weeks while my friends are already flying. It’s sad and frustrating but I tried it again and whala! . The first 3 days to be honest I was upset, later on I just began to demonstrate myself that I have the knowledge and skills for this job, I mean, that is why they selected me, right? I helped my colleges, I went as galley operator, I did very good in the bar service and my profile was perfect! Even my instructors said to me “I don’t know why you failed, you know this and you’re great!”. Well, I wasn’t that confident in the beginning and I didn’t believe in myself. I just got frustrated thinking I wasn’t able to make it rather than just focus and work it out.
Finally, I passed and now is to work and have fun. Prepare always for the worst and try to be motivated always, sometimes we expect the best but we might have some bad experience and it’s up to you to either work it out or give up. I would love to start blogging again more often, it has been very stressful with no spare time to write. In the meantime, please do enjoy the photos!
See you in the skies!
So today or (yesterday) November 12th, was my birthday yeeeii!! I had a wonderful and relax birthday with my family, my best friend and my amazing boyfriend!