As I sat in the international section of the airport in the crew lounge for my standby I received the dreaded call from scheduling. Dreaded because you never know if it is good or bad so might as well think of it as bad.
“This is scheduling and I need you to head to gate E8. The crew is already there waiting for you.”
“Ok, where am I going???”
“São Paulo, Brazil. Gate E8, ok.”
“Got it thanks!”
I guess scheduling felt like being good to me. Don´t get me wrong I was nervous but, the excitement to go to another country soon overcame those nerves. Here I thought I would be spending my entire standby rearranging my iTunes, instead I´m off to work!
The flight from Atlanta to Brazil is about 9.18hrs and working the flight was not at all bad. Many passengers did not speak english so I tried to communicate with the little sign language I knew, hand gestures and my Spanish skills. Since the Brazilian language is Portuguese they should have been able to understand my Spanish. We got through to the passengers with a few fumbles here and there but overall the flight ran as smooth as silk. Their main request was water water water so we kept cups filled with water ready for them to take at their leisure.
I arrived to São Paulo early in the morning today and took a two-hour bus ride to the hotel. Once I got to the hotel I was in awe at how beautiful it was. The bathroom in my bedroom, amazing! I showered and took a nap to prepare for the adventure I would undergo when I got up and met with the rest of the crew.
Dinner is at 19:00 and before that a walk in the town to see what Brazil has to offer. Of course I will look like a tourist because all I will want to do is take a massive amount of pictures and go to all the local stores that I can find and buy a few trinkets here and there.
Hmm, I believe that this calls for a little bikini shopping too! Who wouldn´t want a real authentic brazilian bikini from Brazil.
Africa standby today and as a junior flight attendant it’s a guarantee that I won’t get a trip. I am hoping for a nice international trip somewhere hot with a beach close by. One can always dream, right. It is amazing that I have yet to move to Miami or California where the weather is amazing all the time and when I need a beach day it’s so close by. Not sure what my hesitation is but, I need to make it happen.
My standby begins at 18:00 and what they will do is either use me to board planes or just have me sit here bored to death listening to all the older flight attendants brag about going to Brazil, Johannesburg, Madrid, France, etc. Let me elaborate when I say “old,” these women can barely place their carry on luggage into the overhead bins on the planes. Do not get me wrong I commend anyone who at 68 or older can continue to work. I just wish that there was some sort of way to give me an opportunity to enjoy this job just as much as they do. I have had passengers tell me that they wish there was a younger crew on their international flights not because the “older” crew can not handle it but because it is nice to see a fresh face. I’ll check the scheduling board to see if there is something the scheduling gods can give me so I can work and not have to sit here wasting my time but, unfortunately there will be nothing.
I try to make this a productive standby and review my music to see what new songs I need to download. Organizing my iTunes is a must at this point. I have hundreds of songs and they are all over the place. Categorizing them will help me decide what I want to listen to instead of skipping song after song until I find the one I am in the mood for. That’s it! I will categorize my iTunes by the moods I am in. Should be an interesting list; Lonely, Happy, Laid Back just to name a few. I do have to say that when it comes to music and artists Jay Z is my all time favorite! I have every album and have yet to meet him or see him in concert. Seeing him is definitely on my bucket list.
I have begun to branch out of rap music and into other musicians: Coldplay, Adele, Kings of Leon, Eagles and Amy Winehouse just to name a few. I was always so busy enjoying rap music due to the fact that my brothers would always blare it throughout the house. I never even bothered to listen to anything other than rap and maybe a few R&B songs. Now that I have branched out I have come to discover new artists that I did not dedicate any of my time to. I am truly sorry guys, your music has just as much meaning as the next rap song and if anything I can sympathize with them more.
A day off for me consists of rearranging my luggage for my next trip and checking what bills I have yet to pay. I will also go into scheduling and see what fun and exciting trips I can pick up to work or swap out with an original rotation I already have. It seems easier said than done in part because all a flight attendant wants to do is sleep but, then that wasted time feeling creeps up on me. I do wake up as late as I can mainly due to the jet lag that I just can not get a hang of.
In other news, I have been thinking long and hard about a certain sibling of mine. She’s tough and puts herself first the majority of the time. I usually envy how she has that I don’t give a “beep” attitude because she does not let anything stop her or get in her way. She’s a Leo and you can clearly see that! She will pounce when she needs too and protects her family all the way. I guess what I am saying is that I’d like to embody her exterior tough side. A trait that is difficult for me to contain due to the fact that I am so transparent and obvious.
As much as I’d love the exterior of the Lion I do want to keep my crustacean loving side. My heart and my being is all Cancer! I’d like to change my outer shell but continue to love and be as kind as I am. Trying to become this lion and continue to be a crab is a mystery and battle all in one that I try to fight and solve all at the time.
My three day rotation consisted of the Orlando shuffle aka Atlanta-Orlando and Orlando-Atlanta four times on my first day. I finally laid over in Orlando and sat in my hotel room contemplating what could be next in life and reading gossip magazines that I found on the plane.
The next day I did the Orlando shuffle twice and then was suppose to head to Norfolk, VA. Irene had other plans for me and cancelled my flight. I am now on a domicile layover in Downtown Atlanta. As soon as I got to my room I decided to pamper myself. After eating an entire box of cookies I proceded to paint my nails and wash my hair. I will soon be heading out to see what Downtown Atlanta is like on a Staurday afternoon with no fears.
A good friend told me one day to start thinking about myself and slowly but surely I have. The funny thing is that before I left home to come to work he repeated it to me again. I really appreciate him for telling me this because I have come to a realization that I am a selfless person. Is it weird to say that about myself?? Or do I just know myself a bit to much??
Hurricane Irene has brought me into a mind thinking layover! Off I go to explore Atlanta and not think so much!
This is a first for me and I hope that many will enjoy my writing as I describe my life and my career as a flight attendant.