First of all my apologies for being somewhat MIA the past few weeks. I’ve been so busy studying for my exams (haha only joking, I’m the queen of procrastination and I started yesterday)….but really I’ve just been busy!

I just got back from a lovely little mini-holiday to Hong Kong – my friend Michelle was operating the flight on the way out and then as she left my friend Sally arrived! So we spent 2 days partying, shopping, eating and sleeping! 🙂

Here's a sneak peek of what's to come in my next blog post!

Here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come in my next blog post!

I thought I’d just do a quick update with my January roster; we got it a few days early this month.

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My most recent trip was a 5 day one which took me to Sydney and Auckland. I’ve been to Sydney before but never to New Zealand, so I was quite excited!

The flight to Sydney took 13 hours, which is the longest I’ve worked on the plane since joining. We do get a couple of hours of rest in the bunks, but it is long and tiring! We arrived in Sydney early morning and arranged to meet around lunchtime which would let us have a bit of sleep first. 

We decided to walk from the hotel and do a bit of sightseeing, so headed down towards the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. We got so lucky with the weather, even though it is supposedly winter in Australia, it was beautifully warm and sunny!

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By this time we were all feeling quite hungry, so decided to have some lunch sitting by the opera house. We probably could have picked somewhere slightly cheaper, but the allowance in Australia is pretty generous and we had a gorgeous view! After lunch we walked up to the opera house to have a look around, and soon discovered there was free wifi….which lead to us sitting in the sun for at least 45 minutes catching up with everything we had missed in the past 24 hours! (Wifi in the hotel would have cost 30$ – ridiculous!) 

We then walked along past the opera house to the botanical gardens, which are more like a huge park. They would have been perfect to sit and have a picnic or just relax. Whenever I go to a country where there are lots of parks/trees, I realise how much I miss that in Dubai. We strolled around enjoying the sunshine for a while and then headed up back towards the hotel.

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The other girls went back up to their rooms, and I decided to walk around Sydney a bit more on my own and try and find somewhere to have a coffee with wifi! I walked around for a while but as it was getting dark it was also getting colder so I went into the first place I could find with coffee and wifi which happened to be McDonalds. Not my first choice, but beggars can’t be choosers! I must have stayed in there for about an hour or so skyping and catching up with Joey, then I had a little bit more of a walk around Sydney and headed back to the hotel. 

Jet lag finally hit me for the first time since I’ve started flying and even though I went to bed around 9pm I woke up every 20 minutes…eventually I gave up around midnight and watched re-runs of The City on MTV until the wake-up call at 4:30am! Luckily the flight to Auckland is only a quick one – just under 3 hours 🙂

I forgot to mention I was duty free operator for the trip, which meant I had to count all the duty free items, try and sell them (not really time for that on the quick Auckland flights though) and then fill out any paperwork and seal it all back up. Once we got to Auckland we arranged to go out to dinner and as a couple of the crew were fasting for Ramadan we decided to go quite early so they could break their fast as soon as the sun set. Image

We went to a Belgian Beer Cafe, where a lot of the crew had their infamous mussels. I’m not a huge fan of seafood (apart from fish and prawns – I think it’s all a bit too slimy!) so I had good old sausages and mash! I did however try my first mussel, and wasn’t too impressed!

We stopped at Starbucks (the only place that was still open at 8pm; not used to that in Dubai!) for a hot chocolate on the way home and then headed straight to bed. The next morning 4 of us girls met up for breakfast ….and what can I say, it was easily the best breakfast buffet I’ve ever had! I would put up with the crazy long flights and jet lag just for the breakfast in Auckland any time!

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There was a pink chocolate fountain! (I didn’t actually try it in the end because I was too full :D) As  well as all the normal things, there was a waffle and pancake station, any type of egg imaginable (I had eggs Benedict but with smoked salmon – so good!), even ice cream if you wanted it!

After breakfast I went back up to the room to let it all digest a bit, then decided to go for a walk around the city to pick up the obligatory fridge magnet. I walked down towards the harbour and to be completely honest I was fairly disappointed – the city was nothing special in my opinion. The weather probably played a part in that – it was grey and drizzly and reminded me too much of any ordinary day in England! The harbour was also mostly just a load of ferries, so not particularly exciting. 

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Soon enough it was time to get the uniform and make up back on and fly back to Sydney. A whole group of us went out to dinner once we got there in the evening and then I went straight to bed to try and catch up on lost sleep!

The next morning I had arranged to meet up with a family friend, Philippa, who I haven’t seen in years – she’s currently travelling around the world and has now stopped in Sydney for a while. I walked down to Darling Harbour to meet her where a bit of rain came out, but luckily it cleared up again within a few minutes and the sun came back out! We had lunch overlooking the water and catching up!

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All too soon Philippa had to head back to work and I had to go and get ready for the evening flight back to Dubai. It was a long night flight (14 hours instead of 13!) but I did manage to sell some duty free which is great, as I’ll be getting some commission along with my pay check next month! 😀

After finally landing around 6am, I handed in my duty free pouch and got straight on the bus home. A long and tiring but fun trip!

In the evening Joey came to meet me at home and we went to the Madinat hotel where he had been invited to an Iftar, which is the meal Muslims eat at Sunset to break their fast during Ramadan. I felt very cultural! Now I’m packing for my flight to Moscow tomorrow afternoon, which I’m pretty excited about as it will be my first time to Russia. I’m also (extremely) impatiently waiting for my August roster to come out, so I can finally book my flights to England! 🙂

P.s. If you want more regular day to day updates of what is happening in my life, follow me on Twitter and Instagram @rachelwwilson!

 

 

My most recent flight was to Dublin and back. The fight itself was so so busy, we literally had about 5 minutes to eat on the way there! Let’s just say the Irish like to drink… 😉
I had a really great crew, so we had a lovely time and 6 of us went out to explore the city (it might have had something to do with the fact that I forced everyone to come to Primark/Penny’s!) – the weather was nice, very very cold but lovely and sunny!

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We got back to the hotel in the evening and I climbed straight into bed and slept until the wake-up call the next morning!

So I have just had a nice 12 hour catch up on sleep after my last couple of flights – I got back from Chennai, India last night!
I was rostered for this flight with one of my lovely batchmates, Cully, and as she lives near me we got on the bus together to go to HQ before the flight. We were sitting waiting for the gates to open when I got a call, telling me that the aircraft configuration had changed and they wouldn’t be needing me, so were putting me on airport standby for four hours! I wasn’t really that bothered, so I went and had a coffee and waited for my standby to start. Once I signed in and sat down, I got called literally straight away for a flight. Turns out they had put me back on the same Chennai flight!
Luckily on the way there it was only 2/3 full, so was not too bad at all. On the way back the plane was completely full, so we were rushed off our feet! There seemed to be at least 10 call bells going off at once at all times, and there was always something to do! During the meal service we ran out of the vegetarian option and the passengers at the back who didn’t have a choice were getting quite angry at us! 
Luckily the crew were awesome and we all worked well together and had fun!

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Chennai Airport from the back of the plane!

Before my turnaround to India I had something much more exciting…Kuala Lumpur! The flight there was pretty busy and demanding, and every other passenger wanted pot noodles instead of the meal service, but I didn’t really mind as I couldn’t wait to get to Malaysia! Once we arrived we got the bus to the hotel (which was beautiful!!), checked in, had a quick shower and met downstairs for dinner. By this time it was about 11:30 already, but about 8 of us took taxis to an area full of street restaurants and chose one. I had some pad thai which was pretty tasty, and everyone else tried some other kind of Asian dish! 
After dinner we had a walk along the street and headed back to the hotel. The next day Cully and I met up for breakfast…and yes, I did abuse the buffet and eat as much as possible! 
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After breakfast we met up with 2 of the other girls and headed out to Chinatown to do some shopping! We had originally planned to go to the Batu Caves, but decided we were too tired and wanted to do some shopping instead! 
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All of us managed to buy something – bags, scarves, watches etc! I bought a gorgeous blue Celine bag! (Unfortunately not the real thing…but who can tell! :D). After shopping we went back to the hotel to put our stuff away, and walked to see the Petronas Towers. They used to be the tallest buildings in the world and are very impressive, especially at night when they are all lit up! We didn’t go up, but we did take some obligatory tourist pictures in front of them!
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We wanted to get a massage before going home; one of the girls decided to stay at the hotel, so we walked to a Thai massage place and went for the 90 minute full body massage!! It was quite nice, but Cully’s lady kept burping which we could all hear through the walls! We also got asked if we wanted “special special”….which we still aren’t quite sure of the meaning of, but we definitely did not want it!
Coming out of the massage place it started to absolutely pour, so we got soaked getting in a taxi back to the hotel! It was only about a 5 minute walk but we would have got so wet walking back that we had to get a taxi! The driver however had no clue where he was going and we had to get out halfway through, cross the road and get a different taxi!

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Once back in the hotel I went to bed to have a nice few hours sleep before the flight home. I ordered some room service and had it in bed before getting ready to fly back home to Dubai!

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Room service in bed….club sandwich is always a good choice!

Now I have 3 days off (although it is 2pm already and I’m not dressed yet…so today doesn’t really count!) and then I will be off to Zurich! Have to say I’m very excited to be back in Europe and possibly see some snow! I’m not sure if I brought any winter clothes with me when moving here so I might have to wear lots and lots of layers!

Next months roster came out yesterday as well ….and it’s amazing!!! I only have one turnaround to Karachi at the end of the month, and I’ve got a trip to Singapore – Melbourne – Singapore, Milan, Shanghai (2 day layover!), Munich and Dublin! Especially excited about the Melbourne, as my cousin has just moved there for uni so I’ll be meeting up with her as soon as I get there!

Now time to get dressed and pop over to headquarters to get a few things sorted out, and then enjoy my days off!

So these are some of the places that have been put on my roster ….. yes, my very first flight is happening in 5 days time!! I’ll be flying a turnaround to Amman, Jordan, which is about a 4 hour flight from Dubai. I’m guessing it will be pretty tiring as we about 2 hours or so there, then come straight back the same day. After that I have a week of “can use” – basically where I will be sitting at home waiting to hear whether or not I have a flight!
And after that…some exciting destinations! I have a layover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which I am so excited about, as well as a turnaround to Chennai, India, and another layover in Zurich at the end of the month!

I can’t believe how quickly time flies; in only 2 days I will have finally finished my training. Sometimes it feels like I have been in training college forever, and then I realise I have only actually been here for almost 8 weeks! Luckily I am still absolutely loving it and am so glad I made the decision to come!

During service training so far we have had 2 mock-up flights, one to London Heathrow and one to Ahmedabad (India), and tomorrow we have our final one to Sydney. We are split into 2 groups and take it in turns to either be crew or customers. The first time I was doing the bar cart, so I had to serve drinks to our customers, and then on the Ahmedabad I was doing pre-flight checks, boarding, welcome services, and also tea and coffee service after the meal. On our Sydney mock-up tomorrow I’ll be in the first group, serving lunch. As there are 8 of us and 8 customers, not everyone can do every part of the service, so I’m hoping I will get to do the actual meal cart to give me some practice before my first flights! After we have done our service, the crew and customers swap round, so we will be having a snack served to us and then breakfast as well! 😀

Last Thursday my dad had a quick overnight stopover in Dubai, so he came to visit my apartment for some lunch before training college which was very nice! He also brought me a bottle of wine which was consumed very quickly the next evening 😉 (Not by myself, my friends Michelle and Sally helped!). As usual we all went out at the weekend, Thursday night to Crystal and Friday night to Mahiki! Sally and I also had a quick trip to Dubai Mall on Friday, as the weather wasn’t great (windy and even a bit of rain!) so we couldn’t spend all day at the pool like we usually do. Saturday I managed to stay in bed feeling a little bit (a lot!) worse for wear and only got out to go to the door when the pizza I ordered was delivered! Ultimate lazy day, but then again these weekends where everyone is home at the same time will not be happening much once we start flying!

I’ll try and get a few pictures up soon, right now it is almost 2am and I have just had a really nice long skype session with my best friend Lucy back in England and so I am feeling very tired and ready for bed!