Surviving Standby.

Jan 15, 2011

It's hard to believe that it's already been 7 months, but here I am at reserve month once again. For those of you who don't remember my complaints in June, let my refresh your knowledge of reserve month. Each month there is a group of cabin crew who are not given a schedule, but rather placed on standby to be used as needed throughout the month. Every month is a new group of crew, and this month just so happens to be that dreaded time for me. What's so bad about it? Well, for starters there is the fact that you have absolutely no idea what the month will bring. Often I'll make plans in advance when I know that I've got a certain layover coming up, but this is simply not possible with the short notice I'm given. On top of that, there are a lot of standby days. I've already had a few early mornings sitting at the airport waiting for a flight to be short of a crew member. So far January has brought me 2 flights. There was a lovely (sarcasm) flight to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It's really not as bad as people make it out to be, but on occasion it can really be a test of patience. After so many layovers, it's nice to come home to my own bed from time to time instead of going to stay in a hotel and have to do it all over again the next day. After a few lazy days off (and sightseeing adventures with my new roomie), I won the lottery of reserve month, scoring a trip to Sydney. I was looking forward to 6 full days away from Dubai in beautiful Australia, with a day in Auckland, New Zealand in between.
The flight to Sydney is always a challenging one. No matter how much rest you get the night before, it's not easy to prepare for 14 hours of running around in the sky. By the time we landed, I was barely conscious but as usual I headed straight out to soak up the summer sun and treat myself to new clothing in the post-Christmas sales.
There really isn't much to tell about this layover. I used it as an opportunity to relax and enjoy my time. I went for many long walks, browsed many shops, and consumed a large portion of sushi on a daily basis. I had a great time doing absolutely nothing. I spent awhile trying to talk to Ryan in a grungy internet cafe before he jetted off to Mexico for a friend's wedding. It was very strange to be in the very same internet cafe that I'd sat in 3 years earlier, talking to him late at night. Back then we were just friends sharing in our love of travel. I'd never have imagined that I'd be back there 3 years later talking to him again... this time as my fiance! Life is full of surprises!
In Auckland I spent my time in cute coffee shops drinking yummy caffeinated beverages. I love Auckland and the beautiful fresh air. Every time that I'm there I'm instantly in a good mood, and I almost feel "at home." I honestly believe that it has something to do with the abundance of nature! I was high on fresh air and as happy as could be as I sipped my coffee and flipped through a wedding magazine that I'd found nestled between celebrity gossip magazines and the local news. I was feeling super content, not wanting to leave. It's really the simple things that I miss about my normal life back home, things like cozy coffee shops and the cool breeze at night and Auckland always gives me a dose of just that.
Another day in Sydney brought me more shopping, more wandering, and even MORE sushi. Time had flown by and it was time to return to Dubai. After another excruciatingly long flight, I was home, in my very own bed, using my new MacBook Pro that I'd greatly missed!
I had a few days to sleep off the jet lag and go on awesome Ikea adventures with my friend Greta (more on that to come at a later date), and now I'm back to my standby days. Where in the world will I go next?


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