I am now on my third week here, walking around five kilometers a day handing CV's all over the place thinking on how funny it is when you are actually unemployed and it looks like you will never get a job again and when you finally got something , job opportunities just rain like a typical winter day in Ireland.
Freezing cold here as most of the European Union even though is not snowing. Today I was walking around the streets very early in the morning after some self-indulgence night (a.k.a dining and drinking a bit at some friend's house) and all the things around were frozen, still I had the courage to grab a bike and feel that very nice winter wind cutting my face skin like a knife.
A friend of mine currently working for Qatar Airways left me a message today asking how things were and how did I manage to do so many stuff on my layovers because for him, it looked like there wasn't enough time to do many stuff.
I thought it was funny to be asked for advice as I do remember some of my readers saying how impressed they were with my energy to walk around the places even after a 10-hour flight.
Well, I could classify myself as a traveler (and so I've been told), I've backpacked a lot before even joining the airline and also had the chance to travel around many places for swimming competitions.
Now, most cabin crew know the answers to this question so I thought this would be a nice reading for the FA Wannabes and also it could be something fun to read for someone already serving meals and 'looking for outside conditions' up in the skies around the world.
So the advices were:
- Sleep properly before the flight if you can. I know sometimes it looks impossible to be sleeping at 16:00 when the sun is shining through the curtains, however if you really can't, just lay on the bed and listen to some music on your iPod. If you can't sleep ,at least you are gonna be more relaxed.
- Eat before jumping on the pick-up bus. Otherwise your stomach will be grumbling on the briefing room and that's not very funny (at least not for yourself as other crew will probably laugh about your grumbly stomach). And remember: from the moment you board the plane, you will probably have a bite after two or three hours time.
- "Fly safe, God bless".
- Plane landed and after 10 hours you are extremely tired but you are definitely looking forward to see the place or at least you should be, just remember how many people feel they are lucky just to travel once every ten years to a neighbour city, now imagine yourself that get to be to many countries on the same week.
Even if you got a flight you didn't want (and I know Dhaka, Casablanca or Lagos are not your preferred destinations when bidding) remember that not many people are lucky enough to experience these places and at least when you grow old you can say: "See? Grampa was here too".
- Got your hotel room key and all you can think of is about that big king-size bed waiting for you but if you stick around there, you won't really see anything! what to do now?
Get yourself together , unpack, open the windows/curtains, turn on the TV on a local channel even if it is in Hindi, take your shoes off and lay on the bed for at least half an hour, in addition go to the toilet and do everything you have to...I mean it.
- Might sound a little dirty , but taking a shower right away never looked like a good idea, it will make you feel sleepy and if you fall sleep at this point...that was the end of your trip.
- Even though you probably landed at 14:00 pm in Beijing or at 06:00 am in Rome, the best way to adjust your body to the different times zones is to cheat your mind a little. Go walking! go around the neighborhood , wander around the swimming pool or if you are really into sightseeing , gather some people around and go see the city.
The important thing is to be back to bed when it's night time on the city you are at the moment, that way you'll rest properly (even if you've been awake for 36 hours straight) and you will feel well-rested and sound on the next day, ready for more sightseeing or your fly bound to base.
-Rent some friends. Happened a lot to me for those 'non-favourite' destinations.I would just go walking by myself and find some other tourists looking at their maps also trying to figure themselves around or saying words like "Apfelstrudel".
Also in some countries you can rent a taxi for a very cheap fare and that way you'll get the ride and also a free guided tour performed by a local who has been pretty much everywhere in his own city.
-Eat local food when possible. What's the point of going to Germany and eating pizza or going to Nepal and eating KFC?.
- And last but not least, enjoy like it was the first and last time you'll ever set a foot on the place. Because you really don't know when are you going back. Bidding systems are so tricky sometimes.
Those were my basic tips for him. Still haven't got a reply but I thought it'd be nice to share it, specially because I know how FA wannabes are always trying to gather as much information as they can and because some current FA will also identify themselves with some of these so called rituals.
As for me , I'm now under three covers and a good bowl of chicken soup and noodles.
Have a good one!