It's Christmas time !!!!!
I may be 26 years old, but when Christmas rolls around I still get as excited as a little kid. I was slightly dismayed to see Christmas decorations up in the shops as early as October when I was on a trip to Sydney and wanted to boycot Myer on principle that I won't condone or participate in the obvious over-commercialisation of a wonderful holiday.....until December.
I was happy to find that I had a Munich flight on the 1st of this month and eagerly packed my bags for the freezing weather that facebook's weather application predicted. 3 degrees at 8am, with a real feel of -1. Just what I didn't want to have to deal with - mega cold that would cause my eyes to water excessively and my nose to run and go bright red. These conditions don't agree with me and completely ruin the chance of my looking fabulous.
I was so tired from all the flying I've been doing lately I seriously considered calling in sick, but dragged my sorry self in to work and got a lovely surprise in the briefing room.
Let me backtrack....to August I think it was. A blogger called Airboy commented on one of my blog entries many months ago and left a link to his blog for me to check out. I have so much downtime it's ridiculous, so I went straight there and I'm STILL in awe of how awesome his blog is. It's full of crazy pictures, stories and downloadable music. It's also a complete how-to for any prospective Emirates cabin crew, with an A - Z of quesitons and answers. I was pleasantly surprised when Ben (his real name) asked if he could interview me for a series of interviews with other blogging flight attendants, but that didn't compare with how pumped I was to see my interview appear in full on his blog. Sad but true that I was mega excited. Does this mean that I'm now a published writer?
Anyhoo, I happened to bump into Ben at Dubai's mental-as-anything airport on my way to Malta in October with Ash. We tore our bags out of the back of the taxi and were hooting inside when I realised I'd just passed a person who had a very familiar face. I turned around for another look and saw Ben had done the same. In a bit of a double take moment, we both realised who the other was, with the weird familiarity that comes from only having ever seen pictures of the other person.
Also featured on Ben's blog was an interview with a funky young dude called Jarad, or J-Rad as he prefers to be called. He hails from Mississippi, the home of artery-clogging-fried-food-goodness and is just a bundle of cool accent and funky threads. After sucking down a few cups of water before entering the briefing room, sitting down, inspecting my nails and rooting around in my stuffed-to-bursting-with-crap handbag for a yoghurt covered flapjack that I just KNEW was in there, I looked around the room and realised the boy with brown hair looked vaguely familiar. I couldn't place him, but once our voyage reports (sheet of paper with everyone's name, nationality, spoken languages and some other vital flight info like the captain's name listed on it) were handed out, I saw his name and despite my sleep-fogged brain, had a lightbulb moment.
On our way to the bus, I introduced myself and we had a laugh over my reaction to how he commented in his interview that he thought there should be more supermodels working in first class. The flight over was pretty uneventful, apart from the copious testing of the new flavoured tea bags in first class. I hate getting onboard updates because they clog up my mailbox, take up valuable pork-product shopping space in my cabin bag and are generally a massive waste of paper. The only remotely excitable thing on the latest one was the new tea bags - 12 flavours! I nearly retched when I tried the ginger one, and fell instantly in love when I sampled the vanilla. You know how some things taste like other things smell? Well, on a recent trip to Houston (which I'll blog about next - lately I'm allergic to blogging in chronological order) I bought a body moisturiser that smells just like creamed butter and sugar tastes!!! Actually it smells better. Well, this vanilla tea is out of this world.
We landed, made plans to check out the Xmas markets in town, did lightning quick wardrobe changes and were saddened to find out that by the time we journeyed there on the train, the markets would be closed. It was also bloody cold outside, so I was pretty excited to shed a layer and head downstairs to the restaurant where we drank beer and ate pork and veal schnitzel. Hasty plans were made for take 2 of our Xmas market journey. Midday the next day rolled around and true to form, only half the amount of people who said they'd show up did. It was J-Rad, myself and Martine (a totally awesome Aussie girl who coincidentally is on my next trip to Melbourne!).
We set off, marvelled at the efficiency of German public transport, had a few giggles and were there before we knew it. As I knew it would, the cold wind whistled right up my nose, instantly causing faux tears and redness. My gloved fingers were slightly better off than my nose and I was super glad my jacket was long and had a big hood I could hide under. We set off down the street, with J-Rad and Martine snapping happy snaps and me wishing I'd remembered to pack my bloody camera. We came across a stall that sold foot long pork sausages and clustered around to get our hands on them. I'm such a foodie, and was delighted to find the other two were as well. We wandered around, buying anything and everything we could digest, constantly exclaiming aloud that we just love Xmas and all the food and excitement that comes with it.
While us girls stocked up on decorations for the tree, J-Rad was on a determined search for gloves. We all got what we were after, and we settled into a very contented full-belly mood. Apart from the pork sausgages, we sampled fortune-cookie-filled-with-nougat-stuff coated with chocoalte and nuts, hot star-shaped doughnuts and then something so wonderful its description doesn't do it justice: smooshed up pancake mix, topped with plum jam. HEAVEN in a plastic dish!!
I developed serious camera envy on this trip - J-Rad is kitted out with a super cool Canon camera that takes pics so awesome I wanted to cry over having left mine at home. I've decided Santa is giving me one in a few weeks!
I'd been amused when I'd read in J-Rad's interview that he conducts yoga classes with the crew and passengers on some flights and enquired if we'd be treated to a show on the return sector. I was informed that he only holds them on the boeings, there just isn't enough room in the old airbus galleys. He did say he'd make a concerted effort to indugle me though. Sure enough, during some seriously tedious sudoku-filling-out hours later, I got the call to economy. Now, I usually don't venture down to economy - for many reasons including but certianly not limited to the following:
1. The sheer amount of passengers who stare at me when I step through the curtain.
2. The slightly claustrophobic feeling that sets in when all those eyes stare at me.
3. The fact that I trip over feet, legs, heads, pillows and all the other assorted death-and-injury-inducing paraphernalia that litters the aisles.
4. My cabin smells better.
5. My cabin has less passengers in it.
6. My cabin is catered with better food. And more food.
7. I'm certain to have my sleeves or skirt pulled and be asked for such a staggering amount of drinks that I'll never be able to remember what they all were....before I get to the end of the first section of economy.
8. The crew in economy lately have been looking at me like I've got two heads when I DO make the effort to go down there.
This trip however, I was certain I'd find a few things down there:
2. Food - we had no catering due to a nil passenger load in first class and economy food was better than nothing.
I certainly wasn't disappointed - there was so much laughter amongst all the shenanigans down the back I'm surprised we didn't wake the whole aircraft! I discovered that while it's POSSIBLE to do yoga in the back galley of an airbus, it's not very comfortable or easy. Doing it in the company of others is a bad idea if there is turbulence. And the galley floor really isn't that clean when viewing it up close and personal from the cobra position.
Shame J-Rad has been beckoned to Ghana and can't join Martine and I on our trip to Melbourne tomorrow!
If you haven't already, please check out both Airboy and J-Rad's blogs and pics. All pictures in this post have been kindly provided by J-Rad.
Until next time xoxo