Monday, April 27, 2009

-- Soon!...Super Cabin Crews --

Almost midnight right now, temperature: 31ºC, considering that today we had some pleasant 39ºC and spring is just beginning, must say that sometimes I miss that cold Irish weather I was complaining about some days ago ( SOMETIMES means like 10 seconds a day ).
At this temperature we decided to go for a run again, we are trying to get a proper exercise routine along the next weeks ( and also because we want something to spent our time with and specially, get us away from the Malls and shopping with money which we don't have ).

Already 5 times since I arrived into DOH and more people joining! so far like 6 people have run with us but still nobody can keep my pace ( and my british's friend as well , that bloody runner!).
Routine goes like this:
2 kms. walking from the buildings to the Al Corniche , 4.3 kms running to the City Centre along the Bay, 4.3 kms return running and 2 kms. walking back home , TOTAL: 12.6 kms.

Evolution of best times ( considering just the running )

4.3 Kms : 21min 50 seg
4.3 Kms: 20min 37 seg
4.3 Kms: 20min 15 seg
4.3 Kms: 19min 57 seg
4.3 Kms: 19min 17 seg ( today )

So , if that happened in only two weeks here, maybe by the end of training before flying we are gonna be Super Cabin Crews! with the special power of running under the suffocating arabian sun!
Actually today I tried to do my best, remembering something I used to do back when I was swimming, yesterday I received some really bad news from home, even not being able to do anything to solve the problem ,that running was dedicated for someone special.
Love you Grandma!

Friday, April 24, 2009

-- Smurfs Fantasy! --

Second day-off since I arrived into Doha! , last night was really fun.
Again we went to the Irish Harp into the Sheraton Hotel and stood there chatting , drinking ( drank Coke ) and dancing ( for me is more like a slightly movement towards both sides with no rythm at all ).

Today woke up really late and decided to do everything I had pending , went to the supermarket, cleaned my bedroom , cooked something quick ( no rice ) and did my laundry.
When I did my laundry I was still sleepy ang put everything into the washing machine / dryer and got out.

Four hours later , I don't know why did the machine took so long to do everything, I opened the hatch and...A LOT OF BLUE CLOTHES! White t-shirts? Now blue! White Underwear? Now blue! , then I realized that I had put a pair of jeans that were not supposed to be inside !
Too late, now I have a great stock of light blue clothes and almost all of my white clothes are now gone! Good thing that I didn't wash my shirts on this batch.

Noted. One more lesson about living alone: Check your clothes before laundry.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

-- The Flying Barman --

I've been in Doha for a week and one day already , must say that there are some things that I still find very strange about this place, it's cool to discover sometimes though!
Everyday the weather is getting hotter and hotter, sometimes I see the weather forecast with the hope of finding any lost cloud around there but...just sun and more sun...and more sun! can't really complain , two weeks ago I was complaining on how bad the weather in Ireland was and how much I hate cold weather , so right now I'm feeling kind of like home.

I finally got to understand my Doha map so these days I have been getting out more often and walking around the places, still wanting to take the bus sometime but for now , it's OK if I just take a taxi or walk.

Training is also getting really interesting as we are finally heading to the real stuff, there is a lot of things to remember , Cabin Crew service is not just ' look good , greet and pour some juice in the cup', there are a lot of things involved, procedures, sequences, for a new non-experienced person like me , sometimes is hard to catch up.
This week I also learned how to make drinks! I am a non-drinking person as well , so it was a really new experience for me ( as for my batchmates, they all were like ' that's something we know already'). Those drunks! it is getting really hard for them here in Doha with all the drinking and alcohol regulations they have here. We are having also some real scenarios and how to deal with picky customers and special situations, so that helps a lot.
Oh! and I must be the only CC in the whole Qatar Airways history that fell off the mock-up and injured!
My batchmates are cool , they are really funny and make the sometimes long training hours to pass by really fast, some of them are quiet ( specially the ones from Asia ) and some of them are really noisy and hyperactive...which kind do you think I am?

These days also I finally figured a better way to work out, I just hate running in the gym , so as I am finally a Qatari ( talking about maps here ) I marked the better way to get to the Corniche and run there.
A total of 12 kms right beside the Doha's coastline , with the marine breeze blowing and cooling the hot sunburn you can get sometimes in the Middle East.
The view is kind of nice too as you go along the main landmarks here in Doha and you can pretty much see every kind of people running , walking around or having a nice family picnic in the well-groomed green grass.
Some of my batchmates are joining me in the running as well , so it's really nice to have someone to compete with in order to improve the results along these next 6 weeks, before starting to mess with my body with some hard jet-lag sessions and long-haul flights ( I am counting the hours to do so hehehee).

So...even though I don't drink , that won't stop me to get all my passengers drunk and happy in their medium and long-haul flights! Anybody there wants a Bloody Mary???

Saturday, April 18, 2009

-- A child in a candystore --

That's the way I feel right now! I still can't believe I am actually here , fullfilling one of my main dreams. It was not always like this , when I was a small kid ( smaller ) I wanted to be a pilot, remember drawing planes and runway since I was 5, my first drawings were some BAE-146 from my country's regional company.
My parents always encouraged me to develop my talent AS A DESIGNER, my father would take me to the airport to see the planes and hang around, they would always also buy for me books about aviation and gave me material to create new aircrafts ( Lego's when I was a kid , Mock-up materials when I was a teenager ).

As I grew up, different things started to wander inside my head, I frequently thought that being a pilot could be risky in a lot fo ways ( security itself and job positioning ) so after I graduated from high school went for my second passion: Design.
Must say that I am really talented about designing objects and landscape , please don't ask me to draw an animal because you will only get a really ugly dog that actually looks like a horse or cat.

Finally graduated from college and after working for four years in my area with the classic 8am to 5pm basis, I decided that I wanted something different, so I tried this.

Saying all that crap above , must say that I feel like a child in a candy store , everyday is exciting and with different things to see, finally study something I pay a hundred per cent attention to.
Today we had training inside the planes and I remembered that it was actually what I always wanted to do , since the very beginning.
Sometimes it seems like I am dreaming or something and will be awake in a few minutes, sometimes is very real ( like when I have to wake up really early to get ready and well groomed for training ).

Yesterday was also our first ever DAY-OFF, got to know a little more about my training batch colleagues, everyone from a different background and country , a lot of interesting stories and cultures. We headed to the Villagio Mall which is a shopping that imitates Venice ( you know, Italy ) streets ! they painted the ceiling which looks very real and every store is like a little house with windows and they even have a channel with gondolas inside the Mall!

So everything is really new for me now , maybe it won't later...but , SO FAR SO GOOD.
Next step is to look for a place to swim along the next weeks, maybe the Doha Olympic Village has something there for me.

Anyway , cheers from hot , steamy , dusty, under construction and rich Doha!

PS: Feel free to leave a comment on the post, so I can get to know that you visited and took enough time to read all the rubbish I write!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

-- Doha at a first glance --

These past two days have been really busy, mainly because I arrived here late ( I am the late joiner ) and had to catch up with everything, specially paperwork.
Anyway ,starting to get Qatari around here, it is going to be 'Home' for the next years so is good to see that everything happens quickly and without any problems.
The company has been really nice and has handled everything in a really good way so I don't feel lost or with any doubts in my head.

Must say that the Cultural Shock is really big , I remember the first day I got here and saw all these people in the streets with such a different culture , I was really impressed, sometimes even scared wondering ' I am so far from home'.
Now I am getting used to it and I am liking it , is nice to learn about them and how to respect them ( sometimes is hard to remember, specially because in Latin America we are very friendly and we don't have as much boundaries as they do ).

Training is really hard but I really like it , I think it's maybe because are subjects that really interested me since I was a kid so this time I pay attention unlike college when I would sleep in almost every class.
Today I went to the City Centre, finally! got really impressed, Doha has not been affected by the economical crisis because they still have enough oil and petrol to go along with their economy growing. Really tall buildings and a fast growing skyline.
Shoppings are really big and with many options for both western and eastern cultures.

Wealthness here is really obvious , mostly amongst the Qataris and the foreigners working for the oil companies and the airline.
Public transportation is almost unexistant , however, they are trying to improve this because they are bidding to become the city that will host the 2016 Olympic Games.
Everywhere you look there's a construction site, buildings with every shape and material you can ever imagine.

Luxurious luxurious cars...and gold...oh , did I mentioned that there are a lot of luxurious cars?
Even seeing that, life custs here are not high , considering that a few days ago I was leaving in Dublin , which is more expensive that London nowadays.
Taxis are almost for free, consequence of the petrol price here which is like 0,20 cents of an US dolar per litre, cheaper than water actually, which costs like 0,40 cents of an US dolar.

Anyway, is almost midnight and is still very hot , thank God that every building, car, bus here has air conditioning.
So that's it! I will keep you updated! ( If there are any english mistakes here, it's OK, I am very tired anyway ).

So , my Visitors Counter suddenly failed, so I had to put a new one. So far people from over 120 cities around the world have visited this website hole! Keep on doing it!

Monday, April 13, 2009

-- Welcome to Doha --

QR 002 just arrived from Heathrow! we got out of the plane by the rear door , because the front door was being used for Business and First Class passengers who have a private luxurious car waiting for them. As I am humble enough to fly Coach , just followed the crowd.

I remember that in the way from the plane to the Main terminal I was thinking something like ' Oh my God , I am actually here...and it is so different!'.

Most passengers were connecting flight passengers to Asian , Africa and the Indian Subcontinent destinations, so just a few passengers cleared customs in Doha.
Got my 'State of Qatar' stamp on my passport and a visa for many years! then the cultural differences were obvious, lot of people wearing burkhas, some women who were completely covered in this black veil ( you can see only their eyes ), lot if indian imigrants who arrived as a wave of people from the Mumbai flight...
Grabbed my luggage and waited for the Housing Officer who took me ' Home'.
I was lucky , got assigned the new building , so all the apartment and furniture are entirely new, every apartment is designed to house two Cabin Crew , each one has its own room and bathroom , but kitchen and living rooms are shared.
My flatmate is from Montenegro , a really nice guy who had just arrived two days before me and is going to be in the same training batch as I will.

Nice to enter my room and see everything ready and thought, beginning with the linen , to the cutlery and even a basket with some basic supplies.

Slept a little because I was feeling really tired from yesterday and then decided to have a little glimpse of Doha's life. Hot steamy weather...a lot of sand, and a little mosque right besides our building, so now I am learning at which times Muslims pray, always pointing to the Mecca.
Then my flatmate arrived and he showed me where the supermarket was, bought a lot of things and goods and then he cooked. ( Tomorrow is my time...Rice Guru , there we go again ).

Then we headed to this apartment Store near the City Centre to buy some clothes for the traning, shirts, trousers and basic t-shirts.

So now I'm home , tomorrow 's gonna be my first training day...I'll keep you updated!
See ya!

-- Dublin - Heathrow - Doha --

So there I was, leaving Ireland like I was running away from something , got my boarding pass for my AerLingus flight to Heathrow and since my flight scheduled for 18:00 was delayed, they put me on a earlier flight that left Dublin at 17:00...Crossed the Irish Sea and an hour later I was landing into Heathrow...a really messy and weird airport.

My plane docked into Terminal 1 for UK and Ireland flights ( not any Immigration controls ) and then I had to walk with all of my luggage to the Terminal 3 for my Qatar Airways flight.
Reaaaaally long walk! Tunnels , escalators, lifts, even a nice square in front of Virgin Atlantic Terminal.

Anyway , Qatar Airways check-in was really fast , I talked a lot with the Ground Staff there, promising to remember about them everytime I fly to LHR.

Got into the passengers area really fast and grabbed something to eat, then my flight was called and the A330 was waiting for me, right beside this beautiful A380 from Singapore Airlines.
Flight took off on-time, not many passengers on this flight. Couldn't stay still on my seat, even with so many IFE options.
So I just stood up and walked to the back of the plane and started to chat with the Cabin Crew on that flight.
Really nice people! lot of nationalities indeed, they answered many of my questions and got impressed on how quickly I got my answer and I was flying out.

By the sixth hour of flight I was really tired and decided to go back to my seat, but we started our final descent to Doha International Airport, must say that sunrise above the desert is something really interesting.

Sand...sand...sand...sand....highway! houses! Buildings! Yeah....we are on final approach to Doha!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

-- I am going to Doha! Tonight???? OMG --

After a 22-kms walk yesterday because I had nothing else to do in Dublin and had no money , last night I got online and started to chat with a girl through MSN that had already being successful for a QR CC position, but she was at the same point as I was...waiting for clearance.

Talking and talking , she showed me some cool things about Doha and flying itself, so I started to daydream about it...then I definitely dreamt the whole night about it and woke up feeling like ' wish it was not a dream'.

So, Easter Sunday came , did my laundry, ordered my messy room and suddenly...a call! foreign number! could it be?????
Yes it was! I started to shake and speak with a little difficulty.

It was something like this:

- Good Morning Mr Camba? We are calling from QR to tell you that your medicals have been cleared , you got the job and you're booked to fly to Doha in May!

- That much? Could it be sooner? I have no money left to remain in Ireland for another month!

- Sorry , you can't , there is only one Male Crew training batch per month , and this month's batch is gonna start tomorrow.

- I could fly out tonight if you want, via London.

- Don't joke with me like that! I could fly you out tonight!

- I am not joking , got everything ready and packed here, just go to the airport and that's it.

- Hum , let me check here and will call you back.

-- 10 min later, as I was starting to pack everything up thinking that I wouldn't make it --

-Hello Mr. Camba, got your e-ticket here, your AerLingus flight leaves at 18:00 from Dublin to Heathrow and then Qatar Airways from Heathrow to Doha at 21:30, you'll be arriving at 5:45 am here in Doha and transportation and pick-up has been already provided. See you tomorrow.

So that was it , packing my bags and heading to the airport in a few minutes to catch my plane to London and then...Doha!!!!

Anyway , I'm so anxious, happy , euphoric...I just can't believe it , it's like a dream.
So, tomorrow I will be posting from another part of the globe...THE MIDDLE EAST, as for the next hours, will try to calm myself down and enjoy the ride!

Monday, April 6, 2009

-- Is this spring time? --

Having really elderly days here in Dublin, the once nice weather I experienced through my whole short stay in this city has been transformed into something really unstable, rainy and cold!
Tried to go to the Park this weekend because I saw some sunlight when I woke up in the morning but as soon as I closed my house's started to rain, combined with the North Atlantic chilly winds.

Anyway, just went through another medical tests round again...getting good at this! maybe after being a QR CC I'll become a doctor...not!

Cheers from windy / cloudy / rainy / unstable Ireland! (now getting the sunset at 8:30 pm!!!)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

-- The Rice Guru --

Ever since I was born I never found myself in the need of cooking, at home I always had someone who would cook my meals ( mom , maid, even my brothers) and when I moved to Brazil I always had the luck of working in places who would pay for my meals in the restaurants near the workplace.

Recently moved to Europe ( and now going even further ) I found myself in the need of learning some basic dishes , because dining out is always really expensive. These days I learned how to boil macarroni ( yes , not even that ) and prepare some basic sauces and more importantly, how to make rice.
After three sucessful times I can now consider myself " The Rice Guru " !!!...maybe I'll carry my special recipe to the Middle East, pretty sure it will make the biggest success around there.
I also learned how to make a weird Portuguese soup but I can't remember much of it now.

Oh yes, I finally got the right medicals exams and I'll join the group of the 'waiters' for clearance and e-ticket and visa.