To Turkey and Back!

Feb 10, 2010

I was extremely nervous as I checked in for my flight to Istanbul, Turkey. It was my 3rd flight, but my very first operational flight. I've been employed by Emirates for nearly 2 months now, but this was the first day that I had an actual role and specific duties... it was my first day of work, as far as I was concerned! I made my way to the briefing room where I sat quietly listening to the rest of the crew chatting away. I stuck out instantly... with my temporary medical certificate and staff number, there was no denying that I was brand new. When it was time for introductions, I admitted "I'm Krysta from Canada... and this is my first operational flight." The crew all responded with great enthusiasm. My purser in particular was full of endless questions, excited since she hadn't flown with a supy or new staff member in quite some time.
I was still feeling a bit nervous as we finished the briefing and headed for the buses, but relieved that the crew seemed nice and willing to answer the millions of questions that I'd be sure to ask throughout the flight. Everybody groaned as the Captain announced the flying time... 4 hours 30 minutes on the way, and 3 hours 30 minutes on the way back, plus the 1 hour and 30 minutes spent on ground in Istanbul. It was going to be a long day. I was assigned the position of R4, meaning I was responsible for a door! My very own door! How exciting.
We boarded the plane and began my pre-departure duties. Despite the fact that I spent 6 weeks having all of this information drilled into my head in training college, the fact is that things are always a bit different in the real situations. I knew what I was supposed to do, but found myself reconfirming on a regular basis, just to be sure I was doing it right. Soon it was time for boarding, and when I recieved the thumbs up that all passengers were on board, I was surprised to find that the plane was not completely full. Sure, there were few seats left, but both of my supy flights had full loads, not a vacant seat. I was slightly relieved, a little bit off pressure was lifted from my shoulders. Everything went smoothly for the entire service. I served mass amounts of tomato juice with black pepper... it must be a Turkish thing. Everybody was fed and no complaints were made, at least not to me. After I'd finished everything I spent a few minutes chatting to a couple... from Calgary! Canadians are some of the most patriotic people you'll meet when traveling abroad. They were easily distinguished among the 200 passengers on board by the maple leaves proudly displayed on their carry on luggage. It's always a bit comforting meeting somebody from home. Although they are complete strangers, we are immediately bonded by our nationality. We talked about Dubai and Alberta for awhile before I headed back to the galley. I was starving, so I helped myself to some pasta and salad. I'm sure you won't be shocked to find out that airplane food is lacking in the healthy and nutritional content department. I've been making a conscious effort to pick the healthier choices whenever possible. Some days, it takes a lot of effort and willpower, other days, I give in. Last night I gave in. One of the crew from business class came to the back with a cheesecake in hand, and I couldn't say no. I indulged in the chocolately goodness, wondering how I'll manage to stay slim with this career.
We landed in Istanbul and for the first time ever, I was in Europe! I don't care if it was only for an hour and a half and I was stuck on a plane... I was there! As I opened up my door for the caterers, I had flashbacks of winter. It was 0°C... which I know is warm by Canadian standards... but after 2 months living in Dubai, I was absolutely freezing. Once the cleaners and caterers had left, I happily closed my door and warmed up. The flight home wasn't much different than the way there. It was shorter, which was nice, as we were all beginning to feel a bit sleepy. We landed in Dubai at 1:15 am. As we all headed for our separate buses to take us home, I thanked the crew for making my first operational flight so easy. I was obviously slower than everyone else and full of questions, but they were patient and accommodating. I was so very lucky. At 3 am I crawled into bed and turned on my laptop to say goodnight to Ryan. Before I'd left for the airport hours earlier, he was going to bed. Now he was just about to finish work for the day. It put into perspective how long my day had been, and explained my exhaustion.
The first flight is out of the way, things can only get better from here! A few days off to catch up on my sleep, and then it's off to Brisbane this weekend!! Life is pretty great.

PS... This is my 100th blog post here! Thank you everyone who reads them and comments, I love you!


Anonymous said...

I love you & your blogs Krysta.Laughed so much reading your Valentine blog. Oh so true, everything you said. You are toooo funny!!!Happy you are having such a great time.Love you lots. Grandma

Anonymous said...

Amiable fill someone in on and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you as your information.

Unknown said...

I love every single word you write especially from October 2009 when you were joining EK as I am an EK crew wannabe so it's great way to live the experience through yours, hoping to live the dream soon.

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