The SEP Training (Safety and Emergency Procedures) has started! This, along with GMT (Group Medical Training) is supposedly the hardest part of our 7 weeks of training, and I can see why! It’s a lot to do, with theory and practials all day. Our batch has been put on the late shift, so we have training college from 3:30pm to 11:30 at night! We also get given homework to do – we have a thick workbook which is gradually being filled out and revision to do each day. This means either staying up after getting home at midnight or getting up early the next morning to do it before class.

Yesterday was our first time in the simulator….and it was so fun! We took a trip to Doha (not really, but that was where the flight simulation was going) and experienced some turbulence. We had all learnt the day before what to do during light, moderate and severe turbulence, and in groups we took turns acting out different scenarios.

The whole time the trainers were making notes about us and writing down anything anyone did wrong, so everyone felt quite a bit of pressure to do well. Luckliy we all passed the simulator practicals, but we still have a lot more to go. This is literally just the beginning of training! We will start having theory tests from next week as well, and need a pass grade of at least 80% or else we will have to repeat the week!

Something else that happened this week….it was Christmas!! Our trainers gave us the day off (which unfortunately means that we have to go in on Saturday to make up for it) and a group of us arranged to go to the beach. On Christmas Eve we all decided to go out in the evening, and a few of us who live in the same area met up before to get a taxi together. We had such a fun night! It also ended pretty differently to any Christmas Eve/day I’ve had so far…with the taxi driver taking us to a McDonald’s drive-through on our way home! I have to say, I never thought that I would be eating a McChicken on Christmas Day!

The next morning (Christmas Day!) we all met up to go the beach and spent the afternoon sunbathing. We wanted to go for a swim in the sea as well, but after putting 1 toe in decided it was too cold! Afterwards of course we had to go and have Christmas Dinner, so we wandered along Jumierah Road (at least that’s what I think it was called!) until we found a restaurant that looked nice. I ordered chicken, lamb and beef skewers with wild rice and grilled vegetables – definitely not the normal roast turkey but still pretty tasty!

We also had our uniforms fitted the other day, which was pretty exciting! They gave me a skirt which was about 3 sizes too big, but refused to even let me try on a smaller one, so once we get our uniforms I’ll have to see just how much too big it will be! The rest all fitted fine though, so I’m really looking forward to getting our uniform (especially the hat!) and suitcases in a couple of weeks. I’ve also heard that we get our roster with our first supy flights (= supernumerary flights are where we are considered an “extra” onboard, so we can get to know how everything works in real life!) at the same time, so I’m really looking forward to finding out where my first layover will be! I’m hoping for an exotic destination somewhere hot, by the beach!

Now it’s time to get back to some more revision – at the moment I’m learning about Pre-Flight Checks. This basically means checking all the emergency equipment is available and in the correct place on board. We will all be asked questions on it tomorrow in our 15 minute brief at the beginning of the session, and then I think we are going to do decompression (loss of pressure in the cabin) in the simulator tomorrow – should be fun!

I can’t wait until we get our residency visas (hopefully in about 3 weeks time!) so we can finally get wifi in our flat – it’s so annoying having to come to the internet cafe any time I want to get on the computer!

Right now I’m sitting in Vienna airport just near my gate. My flight is meant to leave at 14:35 but had been delayed til 15:15 so I’m having a coffee, way too nervous to eat right now!

Luckily I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare, and checked in quickly. The lady at the desk didn’t seem to mind that I was 7kg over my 50kg limit (could have been expensive otherwise!!), and she even gave me a window seat in the exit row, which is perfect as I’ll have lots of leg room and (hopefully) an amazing view of Dubai by night when we land!

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My next post really will be from Dubai! 🙂

With only 3 days to go now (actually only 2 full days as I will be leaving early Friday morning) I definitely needed to make the most of my last weekend at home. A couple of weeks ago I decided to organise a little leaving party, and told my best friend Lucy about it. She lives in England, so she checked Ryanair flights and believe it or not booked them a few minutes later, for less than 40 Euros return! So this Saturday I drove to the airport (one thing I’m not going to miss – driving on snowy and icy roads!) and picked her up. In the evening a group of friends came round and we cooked Mexican food, and then all went out into town, where a whole load of other friends came and met us.
We had such a good night out and it was definitely a great way to say bye to all of my friends!

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The next day (surprisingly we weren’t as hungover as we were expecting to be!!) my mum drove us up to a place called Magdalensberg for a late lunch. There is an amazing restaurant/guesthouse on the top of this hill, which serves traditional Austrian food and is all family run. It was the perfect day to go up, as although it was pretty chilly the sun was out and there was a beautiful clear sky. 
As we were having our meal the sun was setting, we even went out between courses to take pictures of the sunset! 

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On Monday we decided to do some shopping! We wondered round the Christmas Market in my town, but it was too cold to stay outside for long. Both of us managed not to buy too much in the shops, I have been having to restrain myself from buying winter clothes by thinking about Dubai every time I see something I want!

In the evening one of my good friends from work arranged to go for drinks, and when we got there a whole group of others from work had come, which was a lovely surprise! They also got me a book called “1000 Places to see before you die” – I’m hoping my new job will help me do that!

Yesterday evening and this morning Lucy helped me sort out my clothes – 1 pile to take with me, 1 pile to give to charity and 1 pile to keep but not take with me. Somehow I have a feeling I’ll never wear the “keep but don’t take with me” pile again, but I can’t justify getting rid of over half of my wardrobe! I don’t even want to know how many pairs of shoes were thrown away!

This evening after taking Lucy back to the airport, I started on the packing. I honestly have no idea how I am going to fit everything in! I’m allowed 50kg, plus hand luggage. One of my suitcases is already over half full and pretty much all it has in is shoes and underwear! 
Here’s a picture of me squeezing into one of my suitcases!
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Well, this was quite a long post! The next time I write anything will probably be from Dubai! Only 2 full days left, when did this even happen! I’m so nervous and excited at the same time – it’s crazy!

This morning I logged into the airline’s website, and could finally click on the button that says E-Ticket and E-Visa! Very exciting, as you just couldn’t click on it before. So I downloaded and printed out my ticket and visa; I’m leaving next Friday (14th Dec) at 14:35 and arrive in Dubai at 22:55. I’ll be met by their meet and greet service and taken through immigration/ passport control, where I also have to show my employment visa.

It’s getting more and more real every day! Only 9 days left! 😀

So the past 2 days I spent some time staying with a good friend of mine called Iris and her boyfriend Claudio, who live in Graz, which is about a 1,5 – 2 hour drive away. They came and picked me up on Sunday evening and we drove to their flat, which I actually helped them paint a couple of months ago! 
Iris had the day off from uni on Monday, so we spent all day shopping! I love shopping with her, although somehow I always end up spending so much money! This time I did buy quite a few things, but I also managed to get all my Christmas presents (for mum, dad, and my two brothers) so that was very successful. One thing that I did treat myself to was a red lipstick from Chanel (ahhhh, so exciting – and it stays on so well!) as I will be wearing red lipstick every day once I move to Dubai. I also got a blazer and top for myself, but they were on sale so I just had to get them! 😉

Only 17 days left til I fly out! I can’t believe how quickly time flies, and I have so much left to do! I have started sorting out my room, and I have SO MUCH STUFF! I don’t know where half my things have come from or why I ever thought I would need them! I still need to pack up my bookshelves, decide what to do with all my old school stuff (which in reality I know I will never look at again, but it seems like such a waste to throw it all away!) and then the most important bit, start sorting out which clothes and shoes to take with me!
I also need to have a look and see if we have a suitcase that I can take; I have a really nice one which I’ll use for hand luggage, but I need 2 bigger ones for everything else. I will have 50kg luggage allowance so I need a big but light suitcase!

It’s really getting real now – I’m actually moving to Dubai!