April's Last Layover - Germany... Part 3

Apr 29, 2010

As my most recent layover was practically a deja vu of the same one two weeks earlier, I contemplated whether a blog was necessary. However, I knew that some of my loyal blog followers would get quite upset with me if I neglected to write one. Ahem... Grandma, Ryan, and especially Brandon.

I've just returned home from beautiful Munich, Germany once again. The trip was great to begin with. I entered the briefing room to find that I'd flown with 3 of the crew in economy before, and that my lovely batchmate Ashleigh was on the same flight. Aside from my supy flights, I've never flown with any of my friends, so I was excited for what was sure to be a great 6 hours. The entire economy crew consisted of new staff, the most senior having been flying only 2 weeks longer than me. Despite this, we managed quite well. Ashleigh and I headed to the cockpit to escape the cabin for a few minutes, taking in the sunset on the horizon. Once we'd landed and got our passports stamped, we headed to the hotel where I retreated to my room for the evening. I awoke bright and early the next morning, with thoughts of the amazing buffet in my mind. I could already taste the bacon and the hazelnut bread. In the past two weeks, I've been told by two separate people that I've put on weight. I must clarify that in their culture, this is considered a compliment. However, being born and raised in Canada, the land of soaring obesity rates, I found it a bit hard to say "thank you" for the kind words. There is no denying that my cheeks are a bit puffy, but on a recent layover I stepped on the scale to find that I've gained 3 pounds, at the most. If you've ever been on a longhaul flight, perhaps you've experienced the bloating that comes along with it. By the time that you land, your feet are swollen like a pregnant woman's. My life consists of flights, so I'm blaming the chubby cheeks on my constant bloated state. I've been reassured by a fitness guru and fellow cabin crew member that this goes away after a few days on ground. However, getting back to my original topic... I've still had quite terrible eating habits lately and knew that if I ate at the buffet I'd stuff myself full until I felt ready to burst, trying to make sure that I got my every Euro's worth. I reluctantly decided against it, instead ordering a breakfast wrap and smoothie from room service... both which were incredibly delicious, despite being healthy. I had planned to meet the rest of the economy crew early in the morning to head into the city. I was feeling sleepy as I slowly got ready for the day. I was actually quite relieved when Ashleigh called me, informing me that she was unable to drag herself from the insanely comfortable bed, and that she'd head into the city 2 hours later. I happily agreed to join her, and crawled back into my own bed. The two of us met downstairs later in the morning, bought train tickets and headed to town. I felt like a pro, knowing which station to get off at and where to go. Quite the contrast from the last time, where we'd spent several minutes staring blankly at the subway map. It was a beautiful spring day, and for the first time ever, I was not wearing a jacket in Europe. The sun was shining and it was the perfect temperature for walking around outdoors. Using eachother for moral support, Ashleigh and I browsed an amazing bakery full of beautiful cakes, leaving with only a healthy mango smoothie. We did what I do on every layover... wandered the streets aimlessly, took photos, stared longingly at the desserts in the windows of the many bakeries, and browsed interesting shops full of random quirky knick knacks. Wanting to allow ourselves plenty of time to relax before our flight back to Dubai, we caught the train back to the station near our hotel. Before returning, we made a stop at, you guessed it... the supermarket. I fell in love with this store on my last layover and Ashleigh and I agreed to take our sweet time filling up our shopping baskets. I stocked up on blueberries, raspberries, fresh lettuce (you can not find good salad in Dubai!), bread, the same cabbage rolls that I'd left in my hotel room last time, and of course... chocolate. Despite my new "I'm only eating healthy" plan, I couldn't resist the many aisles devoted to chocolate. I compensated, buying some dark chocolate to allow for binging with slightly less guilt. Once I'd purchased the maximum amount of food that my suitcase had space for, it was back to the hotel. Somehow, Ashleigh and I had both misjudged the time and came back earlier than planned. To make use of my excess free time, I ventured back towards the supermarket, stopping at the bakery next to it to grab a fresh baked pretzel... or "bretzel". I couldn't resist such a yummy traditional Bavarian treat. I went back to my hotel room where I spent some time relaxing and watching British cooking shows on one of the very few English stations on TV. It was time to go back to Dubai, and as I sat on the bus, I watched a beautiful sunset over endless flat fields. It reminded me of home, and I remembered how beautiful Alberta is, even if I've spend a great deal of my adult life finding ways to move to foreign countries. The flight home was the most quiet of any that I've worked so far. The passengers slept, and the call bells were so infrequent that I wondered if perhaps they weren't working. Myself and the rest of the crew sipped coffee to stay awake until we finally landed in Dubai at 6 in the morning. I sleepily headed home, content with a great layover to end off an amazing month full of adventures. So long Germany, for another 2 weeks.

Germany... Part 2

Apr 24, 2010

Ahh, Germany! How I love you and your food! My second German layover of the month took me to Hamburg. I was looking forward to the trip, having heard great things about the city. As far as passengers go, Germans are perhaps the best that a crew member could ask for. They are so polite, undemanding, and generally quite happy people. Despite the fact that some of them had been waiting for nearly a week to get on a flight back to Europe, everyone seemed quite content, and like Moscow, they broke into applause when we landed. As we headed through the airport, I felt envious of the passengers for the first time. Excited parents waited anxiously, while men holding flowers intently scanned the crowd. I can't wait to have my own airport reunions. As usual, all eyes were on us as we walked through the airport. I'll admit it, I absolutely love that part. It may sound a bit conceited, but it just reminds me of myself, watching the crew walk by, dreaming that one day I could be in their shoes. Here I am. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe that this is actually my life. After arriving at our hotel, the crew planned to meet for lunch. I'd stuffed myself full of airplane food and chose to save my precious Euros and go wander the city instead. Sometimes it's nice to just walk around on my own... more time to take photos and go wherever I please. I grabbed a map from the concierge in case I managed to get a little bit too lost in my aimless wandering. I started walking, stopping to pick up a coffee to fuel my awake-since-4 am body. Hamburg is a port city and lays claim to having more bridges than any other city in the world. It seemed that there was a creek on every second street. Spring is in full bloom, with daffodils and tulips adding a burst of color to the city. I walked the busy streets full of shops and cafes and found myself at Rathaus, the Town Hall. I struggled to order a bratwurst sausage from a stand (it felt necessary, being in Germany), despite the employee speaking no English. Most people in Germany speak English, but as luck would have it, I'd picked the one person who didn't. She handed me a sausage and whatever it was, it tasted good. I happily continued walking, coming across a former cathedral turned into a war memorial. A wedding was taking place and I stood and watched as the guest stood on either side of the aisle, each holding a rose. As the couple emerged they threw rice and sang a song. Realizing that I was a bit creepy standing watching people that I didn't know, I continued walking. I ran into a group of guys dressed in pink shirts, wearing Hawaiian leis. It turns out that it was a bachelor party. The groom to be stood embarrassed as his friends attempted to sell me ridiculous useless items to raise funds to pay for a stripper that evening. I politely declined, but wished them good luck and offered my congratulations to the groom. After walking for awhile longer, it dawned on me that I had absolutely no idea how to get back to my hotel. I wasn't concerned, and chose to continue walking rather than consult my map. I found a bakery and stocked up on pastry goodness. My wandering led me to the central train station. Good news, as I knew how to get back to the hotel from there. I browsed a few more stores, picking up a fridge magnet to add to my growing collection. Finally I decided to call it a day and headed back to my hotel room. I woke up early the next morning to a phone call from Ryan. On some layovers he calls my hotel room, as it's often much cheaper than it is to call me in Dubai. Much to my disappointment, European airspace hadn't been closed overnight, and we'd have to return to Dubai that evening. I'll admit, myself and the entire crew had fingers crossed for an extended layover. It was probably for the best, any more food and I might be well on my way to a heart attack. Speaking of food... the buffet breakfast was amazing. Waffles with maple syrup, breads, pastries, and of course... bacon. I met up with a few crew members and we sat at a table overlooking the lake, indulging in plate after plate of goodness. I love Germany.
Back to Dubai we went, on an easy breezy super nice flight. We had a honeymoon couple and I was the crew member chosen to deliver the cake that somebody had pre-ordered for them. I was so excited as I surprised them with a chocolate cake and two glasses of champagne. I'm a sucker for romance and love stories, so I chatted with them for awhile as they told me their romantic honeymoon plans. The rest of the flight was good, happy passengers, happy crew, and the newlyweds shared their cake!
One more German flight in a few days, what a great way to end the month!

Roaming Around Russia

Apr 22, 2010

After nearly 5 days off lazing around Dubai, I couldn't have been happier to finally have a layover. I was headed to Moscow, Russia, one of the few European destinations that had resumed flights following the chaos caused by the volcanic ash from Iceland. I packed my warmest clothes and headed for the airport. After a busy, but relatively short flight, we landed in Moscow, had our passports stamped, and hopped on the bus. Traffic in the city was ridiculous, and it took an hour and a half before we finally reached our hotel. I was extremely happy when other crew members agreed to join me in venturing out to see the Red Square. Most of them had been there before and didn't quite share my enthusiasm, but regardless, it's always nice to have company. The hotel offered a shuttle bus service direct to the Red Square, but traffic meant that it would be delayed nearly 2 hours. We contemplated our options before deciding to attempt to navigate the Moscow metro system. Some were a bit wary, given the subway bombings just a few short weeks ago, but we all knew that the odds of it happening again were quite slim. Bad things can, and do happen anywhere. Tourists could read that Edmonton is the murder capital of Canada and choose not to visit, when all of us locals know that it's generally a very safe place. We ventured out into the cool spring air, taking in all of the sights to be seen. Along the street there were various stalls, some selling food, flowers, and random household goods. I was strangely amused by the tiny stall filled with wrenches and hammers... a miniature hardware shop right on the sidewalk. We reached the metro station and walked up to the desk to purchase tickets. A female employee who spoke no English handed us a ticket as we headed to the platforms, completely lost as to where to go. The only male crew member among us disproved the theory that men hate to ask for directions. He was stopping every passerby in hopes that they spoke English. Finally, we found a friendly man who ensured us that he'd lead us in the right direction. We decided to trust that he understood us and jumped onto the train. He got off at the same stop as us and in broken English instructed us to "Walk dat way, Kremlin. Soviet Union. Old square." We thanked him and then headed in the direction that he'd pointed. A beautiful street of colorful buildings led us right to the Red Square in all of its glory. Saint Basil's Cathedral, the Kremlin, and other beautiful buildings stood proudly, so colorful and historic that it was almost as if they were painted there. We took turns posing for photos, chattering about how beautiful it was, and shivering in the rain. Having successfully checked off our list of tourist essentials, we wandered back towards the metro station in search of something to eat along the way. We came across a restaurant that looked delicious, and the staff spoke clear English. As we looked at the menu it dawned upon us that among our group was one Muslim (who only can eat meat that is halal) and one Hindi (who does not eat beef)... and the restaurant of choice? "Goodbeef"... nothing on the menu that didn't contain beef. I would have loved a juicy burger, but for the sake of the entire group we decided to continue our search for restaurants. We caught the train back to the station near our hotel and agreed that we'd be better off finding food nearby, as it was now pouring rain, freezing cold, and getting dark. We came across a small grocery store and headed inside to stock up on Russian goods. Grocery shopping seems to be the most popular activity on layovers. The man working at the store was very excited to meet us, and sent us away with a gift of several bags of cheese puffs. There were about 3 per package, which we found hilarious, but it was still very kind of him. By this point we were starving, so we headed back out into the rain in search of dinner. After a short while of wandering and finding nothing that appealed to the entire group, we decided to head back to the hotel. I would have chose this option to begin with, as hotels generally have great restaurants and our cabin crew status entitles us to discounts. We ate dinner in the warmth of our hotel, chatting away about our jobs... because let's be honest, we just met that day, and it's the only thing that we all have in common. I was getting sleepy as I listened to the stories, but I didn't want to seem rude by leaving early. I stayed, half asleep, pretending to listen intently and they told stories of previous flights. Finally, everyone agreed to leave... only because the restaurant was closing and the staff were patiently waiting for us to retreat to our rooms. I said goodnight, quickly grabbed my laptop, and talked to Ryan online for a few minutes before calling it a night and heading to bed. Morning came too soon, as always. I skipped breakfast in favor of an early lunch. While I debated borscht and other Russian foods, I couldn't get my mind off of the club sandwich on the menu. I try to eat local cuisine for the experience of it, but sometimes I need my familiar westernized food. I called up room service and I'm delighted to report that it was the best club sandwich that I've tasted since leaving Canada. Real bacon, real turkey... delicious. Back to Dubai we went, on a hectic flight that emptied our entire supply of tomato juice and scotch whiskey. We were running around like chickens with our heads cut off. Some flights are extremely chaotic and overwhelming, but at the end of the day you land and go home to your bed. The passengers clearly had enjoyed their flight, and broke into an applause as soon as we touched down on the runway. Home sweet Dubai, after a very enjoyable Moscow adventure!

Weekly Updates

Apr 18, 2010

For lack of better things to do, and in the interest of procrastinating cleaning my room, this is a blog entry about nothing in particular. My mind is never really on topic.

For some reason, cabin crew have a reputation of leading glamorous, exciting lives. While I won't deny that jetting off to places like London and Milan is absolutely amazing and super exciting, the fact is that aside from my job, I'm still just as boring as ever. I'm on day 3 of 4 days off in Dubai. So far the most excitement I've had was going to the same shopping mall that I always end up at to watch yet another movie with Piriya. Aside from spending my days sitting in my room eating everything in sight, I've also managed to make it to the gym, every day. I've been meaning to do so for awhile now, but it was the worst ever attempt at a pickup line from a random creepy man at the cafe downstairs ("You've put on weight!") that finally motivated me to hit the treadmill. I've vowed that sit ups will once again become a part of my daily life.
Air travel throughout Europe has come to a halt this week, the result of a massive cloud of volcanic ash that has made its way from Iceland. I must admit that I'm extremely jealous of some of my friends who are trapped in London, Paris, and Rome, unable to return from their layovers due to air space closures. The not so lucky crew who were meant to have layovers in these destinations found themselves stuck on airport standby, doing annoying turnaround flights instead. Fortunately, it has yet to effect me, as I've been on days off in Dubai anyways. I'm crossing my fingers that my 2 flights to Germany next week will not be cancelled, but the outlook isn't so promising. I knew it! I should have bought more chocolate and berries when I was in Munich last week. Now my supply has run out and there is an all too likely possibility that I won't be able to replenish it this month.
On a less selfish note, I honestly hope that this volcano stuff decides to give it a rest sometime soon. Not just for the people of Iceland, or the airlines who are losing massive amounts of money, or crew who are missing out on layovers, but for everyone who is stuck somewhere in the world just trying to get home, or go on much anticipated vacations. I know how I'd feel if my plans to visit Canada were interrupted. Nobody knows just how long the chaos is going to last... all anyone can do right now is wait!
Next up for me is Moscow. The flights were cancelled a few days ago but have now resumed. Let's hope that doesn't change... I've had quite enough Dubai time and I really want to see the Red Square!
Back on the home front, my little brother is celebrating his 17th birthday today. What the heck! Last time I checked he was a bratty 2 year old, pulling my hair, calling me "Tee-ta". All of a sudden he's all grown up, driving cars and chasing girls. I suppose me being unable to accept the fact that my brothers are getting older is my way of staying young myself. I feel as though I just graduated high school, but here I am turning 24 in just a couple of months. It's true... time flies when you are having fun!
That's about it for news from me. Missing my family, missing my Ryan, craving Tim Hortons. The usual. Hope everything is fine and dandy in your corner of the world!

Germany... Part 1

Apr 13, 2010

April is a very German month for me. I have not one, not even two, but THREE layovers in Germany. This morning I arrived home from Munich. It was one of my best layovers to date. I had such a great time from the moment I stepped onboard the aircraft. The passengers were amazing. So happy, so friendly, so much less than demanding than they are on some routes... I won't mention any names. The kids used manners and one lady made my day by her enthusiasm when we let her wear one of our hats and took a photo. "I see these photos of Emirates, and I dream of this!", she expressed excitedly with the very little English that she spoke. The crew was probably the best that I've flown with so far. Everyone worked hard but kept things fun.
Upon arriving in Munich, I was happy to have my passport stamped for the very first time since I've began this job. Most destinations don't stamp it, because as you can imagine we'd need a new passport every year if they did! We collected our bags and headed out into the cold to catch the bus to our hotel. The temperature was apparently +8 Celsius, but I've become acclimatized to living in the desert and I felt freezing even with my winter jacket on. (Speaking of the desert.... Dubai is getting grossly hot already. It's only April and we are already reaching 40 degrees. It's only going to get hotter, reaching into the 50's by August. I'm praying for a summer holiday in my much cooler home country.) Once we'd arrived to the hotel I was completely exhausted. I flicked through the TV, watched a bit of the only English channel that I could find, and decided to call it a night in preparation for the early morning ahead. The next morning I met up with Sanjana from India and Daniela from Brazil. Sanjana is also a new crew member, so we decided to go explore the city having never visited before. Daniela agreed to join us. First, however, was breakfast. We settled on the buffet at the hotel. I always feel as though people are judging the mass portions of food that I consume, but really, I don't care what they think. I explained that I'm Canadian and that we eat, a lot. If I want my bread and bacon and chocolate croissant, I'm going to have it. Why pay for a buffet to have a small plate of fruit and a bowl of cereal? The Captain, who was a fellow Canadian joined us and I felt a bit relieved to have somebody else who continuously loaded plate after plate of food. It was all so good... Germans love their bread, and I couldn't stop eating it. Don't even get me started on the pork... I overindulged on bacon and a delicious assortment of German sausages. Once I was finally satisfied that I'd ate my money's worth, it was off to the train station. Picture a Canadian, an Indian, and a Brazilian standing in front of a subway map without a word of English. It took awhile, but we finally were confident that we'd figured out where to go and hopped onboard a train. We got off at some unpronounceable station and set off to explore. I was thrilled when both girls pulled out their cameras and joined me in my snap-happy frenzy. Normally it's just me taking photos as everyone waits impatiently to continue walking. In no hurry at all, we wandered the busy streets taking photos of everything along the way. We spent awhile inside of an awesome toy store, full of all sorts of interesting knick knacks... cuckoo clocks, toy soldiers, toy trains, and toys that could have existed 100 years ago. I was tempted to spend my money but convinced myself that I had no use for such items. Wandering past a church I spotted a sign that said "tower", with an arrow pointing towards the door. We walked inside and spent a couple of Euros to go to the top. We were rewarded for walking up many stairs by a nice view of the city and its colorful buildings. More aimless wandering led us to a busy coffee shop where we decided to stop for a few minutes to take refuge from the cold. Bavaria is known for its soft baked pretzels, so I grabbed one to go with my coffee. Mmm, I'd be so fat living in Germany. We followed by walking down a few more streets, browsing cool little shops and chatting with locals. Time flies when you are having fun, and before we knew it we had to start making our way back to the hotel. Once again we stared blankly at the map before determining where we needed to go. We got off at the right station and on the way back to the hotel I told the girls to continue on their own as I needed to make a stop at the supermarket. Grocery shopping in foreign countries is so much fun. Dubai lacks variety, freshness, and tends to be a bit overpriced. I find far too much excitement in stocking up on food during layovers. I filled my basket with fresh berries... blueberries and raspberries to eat before my flight, and amazingly plump, juicy strawberries to stuff in my suitcase and take back to Dubai. I grabbed some sparkling fruit juices, cabbage rolls (which I left in the mini bar fridge... I probably will not get over my disappointment for quite some time) and then headed downstairs where I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven when I saw how many aisles were dedicated to chocolate. Even more amazing was when I spotted the "50% off sign" above the Easter chocolate. Lindt gold bunnies, you are coming home with me! I grabbed everything in sight before persuading myself to put some of it back on the shelves. I finally left with my Lindt bunnies, a few other Easter goodies, and a "Mozart" pistachio chocolate bar. I probably would have went a bit more overboard if it wasn't for the knowledge that I'll be back to Munich in only 2 weeks. Back in my hotel room, I attempted to nap before my long overnight flight. I'm beginning to develop insomnia, much to my frustration. Unable to sleep, I got ready for my flight early. The flight back was full of happy holidaymakers who chatted away in broken English. After we'd served the meals and the passengers began to fall asleep, I wondered how I'd manage to stay awake until we landed at 6:30 am. Fortunately, my amazing crew kept me laughing for hours, particularly one crazy Irish girl who tried to teach us Irish dancing in the galley. They made the entire flight fun, and I wish that we could all be together for every layover! I finally arrived home just before 8 and was relieved to find that my strawberries had survived the journey relatively intact. One more turnaround tomorrow, and then I have a few days off to catch up on sleep and practice the few German words that I know before I head back for more adventures and even more food!

London... I think that I love you!

Apr 8, 2010

I've just returned from London!! How exciting! Second only to Paris in terms of my list of "must fly to" destinations, I was thrilled to finally experience the city for myself.
The flight was great. I've heard terrible things about flights to the United Kingdom, but this was my second and so far, so good! The passengers were friendly and the crew was amazing. The 7 hours passed quickly and soon we were landing in London on the first sunny day in quite some time. Most of the crew planned shopping excursions as I prepared for a long day of sightseeing and taking many, many photos. I was a bit surprised when Eric, the flight purser asked if he could join me in heading to the city as he was meeting a friend for dinner later on. I explained that my sole mission was to be a tourist, and he agreed to tag along. The more the merrier! Generally I spend my layovers alone, as most of the crew have a "been there, done that" attitude when it comes to exploring the cities. We headed for the train station where I forked over a whooping 17 pounds for a day travel pass. 40 minutes later we arrived in central London. Our first stop was coffee. As Eric stood in line at Starbucks I whipped out my camera and began going snap happy.... double decker buses, super old buildings... everything seemed worthy of a photo! With our lattes in hand we headed back into the station and tried to make sense of the crazy rail network more famously known as "The Tube". Once we thought that we had it figured out we hopped onboard and headed for tourist central... the London Eye. Despite 20 years of flying and many trips to London, Eric had never seen the giant ferris wheel. I wanted to ride it, but it was quite expensive and I thought that I should save some of my meal allowance for dinner. Maybe another time. We walked across the Millennium Bridge, took photos inside phone booths, and found Big Ben! Tourists swarmed the area as Eric and I fought for a spot to take photos of the giant clock tower. The gold painted details are amazing. I was shocked when Eric admitted that it was his first time seeing Big Ben as well. "What the heck have you done on your layovers?", I asked. Apparently sleeping takes priority, but not in my life. After getting in our hundreds of mandatory tourist photos, we headed back to the station and once again stared at the map with great confusion as we tried to figure out which train to catch. Once we were confident in our decision we rushed downstairs to catch it and headed to London Bridge station. Once we arrived we were a bit lost. Generally I follow the direction that the tourists are going, but there were people everywhere. After 5 minutes of walking we determined that we were probably going the wrong way and began backtracking. After a bit of confusion we found our way and I was super excited to see the London Bridge, which is actually known as the Tower Bridge these days. I took several photos before Eric and I were both overcome by our need to find a toilet after downing our giant lattes. It seemed to take forever to find a public washroom... we wandered the streets, asking everyone with no luck. I was growing quite concerned with the situation until we finally spotted the golden arches of a McDonald's and rushed inside. The day had seemed to pass by fast and it was nearly time for Eric to meet his boyfriend's sister for dinner. I was reluctant to join, but he insisted that I should. We caught the train to yet another station and met up with Andy, his sister-in-law (basically) from Austria. As the three of us headed to the restaurant she pointed out certain buildings and explained what they were. We found a great little restaurant and dined on multiple appetizers shared amongst us. Once dinner was over, it was getting late so we decided that we should head back to the hotel to get some much needed sleep. First, however, Andy took us to Trafalgar Square where I spotted the Canadian Embassy and showed my patriotism by standing taking many photos of the Canadian flag. It was such a beautiful sight in a world so far from home. We said goodbye to Andy as we hopped onto a double decker bus (the top level, obviously) and headed for the Victoria Station to catch a train back to Gatwick. We marvelled at the sights of the city at night before coming to the realization that we'd somehow missed our stop. We decided to get off the bus and found ourselves completely lost somewhere in London. We began walking until we found locals and asked them to point us in the right direction. Apparently we'd been walking the opposite way for the past 10 minutes. We turned around and kept walking, hoping that the station would magically appear. It was quite the walk, but eventually we found the station and breathed a sigh of relief. On the train we struggled to stay awake after a long day of exploring London. We both fell asleep a few times and we were quite lucky that we didn't miss our stop. It seemed to take forever, but we finally arrived back to the safety of our hotel. It was approaching midnight and we were both extremely tired. I headed to my room and collapsed into my bed. The next morning I woke up, grabbed a coffee, and got ready for my flight home. I'd be lying if I said that it was as easy and relaxed as the flight a day earlier. Chaos ensued in the cabin as the inflight entertainment system repeatedly stopped working. Passengers had ordered special meals that were not onboard, children were running up and down the aisles while their irresponsible parents continued watching their movies, and babies screamed, keeping our normally sleeping passengers awake and demanding more drinks and food. Passengers complained, the crew grew irritated, and landing in Dubai had never been such a relief. I put on my best smile despite the exhaustion as I said goodbye to each passenger. This job is not easy, and it's not always fun... but who can complain about waking up in London and going to bed in Dubai? Life is pretty great.