A couple of days ago I got back from Beijing! It was a relatively short flight on the way there, only 6 and a half hours, but it was a bit longer on the way back, just over 8 hours! I had heard some rumours about the flight and I can say they were definitely true…I think 99% of the passengers took their shoes off so lets just say the smell was not the most pleasant! Most of them didn’t speak a word of English either so there was a lot of pointing and guessing going on, but I survived (just)!

Once we got to the hotel, one of the girls and I decided to go to the market to do a bit of shopping! Can’t go to Beijing and not buy anything, so I picked up a new handbag. A girl can never have too many bags! 😉

The next day 6 of us had arranged for a mini bus to come and collect us and take us to the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City. We met downstairs bright and early and drove a couple of hours to the Great Wall. We got really lucky with the weather, the sun was shining and it was an absolutely beautiful day! Once we got there, we bought our tickets and got on a chairlift to go up!

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First view of the Wall!

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We spent about an hour or so walking along the Wall, going up and down a lot of steps! Of course we stopped every few minutes to take pictures as well 😀

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There were lots of beautiful blossoming trees all along the wall!

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Coming down a Chinese family stopped us to ask if they could have a picture with us, so of course we took one on my camera as well! 😀

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To come down we had to go on a kind of toboggan, which was great fun! Unfortunately there was a woman in front of us who was going really slowly so we had to keep stopping so as not to crash into her!

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Once we had come down our driver came and picked us up and we drove to the Forbidden City. It was quite a long drive and as we had all been up so early we all slept on the way! He dropped us off at the side and we walked around to the main entrance under lots of willow trees and next to a river, it was very pretty!

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We had a nice stroll around, but it was a public holiday in China so it was extremely busy! We were all feeling quite hot and tired so decided to head back to the hotel for a few hours sleep before the flight home.

Now I’ve got one more flight to Zurich before 10 days leave! After that I’ve got another 5 day Singapore Melbourne trip which I can’t wait for and I’ll also be flying to Lagos, Nigeria at the end of the month!

So I’ve now been flying for almost 2 months and I am still absolutely loving it, and feel like I am going on holiday every time I go to work! However I have had the chance to notice a couple of things that are slightly irritating on board, and decided to write a blog post about it! So here goes…:

– Don’t bring hundreds of bags onboard! Do you really need a suitcase, laptop case, handbag, neck pillow, duty free shopping, etc etc etc? Save yourself the hassle of lugging 50 bags down the aisle and just check it in!

– Walk quickly! You have a boarding pass in your hand which has your seat number on it, so go directly to that seat and don’t take half an hour to get there! Also, you definitely do not need to stop at every single row on your way!

– Put your stuff away and sit down! The longer you take to put your bags up in the hatracks the longer boarding takes, because everybody is waiting to go past you. So put your bag up and sit down! It’s not going anywhere and whatever it is that you so urgently need, get it out after the seatbelt sign has gone off!

– Please don’t start asking me for things before we have even finished boarding! As you can see we are very busy and the aisle is still full of people, so if you are really that desperate for a drink you should have brought your own bottle of water! We do actually serve food and drinks, and they are free!

– Sit in your assigned seat. You would think this would be a given, but so many people just take a seat wherever they fancy and then I have to sort out swapping people around to make sure everyone is in the right place.

– Keep your children under control! Obviously I am not talking about crying babies, because they don’t understand what is happening and why their ears are hurting, but I mean screaming children who run up and down the aisles and get in our way!

– Last but not least, don’t ask me “How long til we get there?” or “Which country are we flying over?”….do I really look like I have any idea?! Oh yes wait a minute, I’ll just look out of the window and tell you which street we just passed!

That pretty much concludes my few rules on how to be my favourite passenger apart from one last thing….BE NICE! How hard is it to smile and say please and thank you?! 🙂

Next months roster came out a few days ago, and I’m going back to Kuala Lumpur (3 times!), I’ve got 2 London Heathrows and Beijing. And apart from that, about 18 days off!

 

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!