Sunday, December 31, 2006

Half a Christmas is better than none at all!

One of the less desirable aspects about being a flight attendant would have to be missing out on celebrating birthdays, Christmas, New Years and Kylie concerts (not necessarily in that order). This year I think I was given a compromise for the festive season. I saw Christmas in with 14 great crew on a 5 day Melbourne/Auckland trip. I quite enjoy longer flights like these as it gives the crew a chance to get to know each other a little better and more opportunities to explore a city together!

On Christmas eve we were in Auckland, six of us girls and our Italian pilot totted off to a highly recommended Argentinian restaurant (as one does in New Zealand of course!). We drank some lovely local wine and sat at our table while the (very handsome) waiters kept bringing us plates of food and skewers of meat which they sliced up in front of us, on demand. The pork was especially delicious with a salivating apple sauce which I suspect was enhanced by a generous portion of maple syrup, it was gorgeously sweet on top of the salty crackling...

Our friendly (read: hot) waiter

After a few bottles of wine, and fastening up the top button of our pants, we made our way to a crowded Irish pub across the road to sing some pub renditions of Christmas tunes. At this point one of the girls suggested we should all head to one of the local churches for midnight mass. We staggered into a cab and arrived at the biggest and most beautiful church in Auckland (well according to the taxi driver, but it's possible he was more concerned with squeezing a few more mileage bucks out of us). What ever the case it was a pretty nice church!

Christmas day didn't get off to a great start. An hour and a half after taking off from Auckland one of the passengers collapsed in the aisle, creating a bit of unrest for the crew and passengers. Thankfully it wasn't too serious but our rest in Melbourne was very well deserved that evening.

As soon as we arrived in Melbourne that night I raced up to my hotel room and changed out of my uniform faster than you could say "roast dinner". My friend Phoebe who lives in Melbourne had made a lovely Christmas dinner for the two of us, complete with a beautiful bon-bon decorated table setting. Phoebe used to live with Lauren and I when she worked for the same airline and she is now setting the pace with the Virgin Blue crew! As fate would have it all three of us (Phoebe, Lauren and I) were in Melbourne on Boxing Day, so we had a very yummy-honey breakfast at our hotel's buffet (see pic below), before putting on our strongest fighting armour for the boxing day sales in the city.

Now THAT'S a buffet!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

London couture and cheer

This morning I arrived back in Dubai after a trip to London and tomorrow morning I am back in the jump seat this time heading to Johannesburg. I somehow managed to sleep too long today and didn't emerge until very late this afternoon so my body clock is quite a bit out of whack. I think this is the first time in a year I've really felt jet lagged which isn't too bad.

London is always a big treat for me. I have a few friends who live there but also my big sister Melanie lives there too! It's so nice to be able to explore a city with a local by your side - something which is even more treasured in a place like London! For my birthday earlier this year Melanie took me to see a play at the Apollo theatre where I spied on Rose Byrne in the audience picking her nose under the cover of darkness (or so she thought). This visit however I had an objective. To find a pretty dress to wear to my friend's wedding in January. What a trooper my sister was. It took close to 4 hours of pounding the pavement along crazy-town Oxford St, looking through the plethora of clothes stores until we found a suitable ensemble. A flowy sky blue chiffon number, with halter neck straps.

When we checked out of our hotel later that evening the foyer was positively buzzing with Christmas cheer. There were two big festive work functions being held in function rooms there so the foyer was full of women in beautiful dresses running about with purpose while a man playing a piano in the corner filled the air with elegant notes. It made me wish I had on my new blue dress holding a glass of champagne, rather than the beige potato sack and red hat ready for work!

The hotel foyer was framed by little Christmas trees in the front glass wall and one big one in the entrance.

I worked up in First Class this trip which was a nice treat. The treat being that you are allowed to devour all the left over food once the service is over. Well, I scoffed down that little tin of caviar like a baby bird being fed by its mother. The other food was nice as well, but how many jobs let you chow down on caviar in your quiet moments?

It's usually so easy to get a smile out of our ground staff in Dubai, except when they're in front of the camera! Here I am with a couple of the many men that give our aircrafts some much needed TLC after a flight.