Thursday, February 15, 2018

In Place Where Everything Is Made Of (?) (Guangzhou, China)

It was quite recently when China made their crew visa validity into full year rather than the old, 6 months term. I used to exclude China layover on my desired places to bid, as my attempt to avoid the hassle of visa application. When I heard the good news, I knew it was finally time I work on requirements and explore the country where everything is made of.

There's nothing better in Guangzhou than its legit Chinese food. Asians will always be Asians and  although my mother could probably only mention fried rice as the food I can eat all day, everyday; we, Filipinos know just how well we adapted the Chinese cuisine. So a taste of Chinese food in between kebabs, shawarma and biryani is definitely a taste of home.

The prices of these humongous servings are comparable to that of Phils so even the budget itself feels homey. Alhamdulillah my housemate discovered a halal certified restaurant, so eating Chinese food worry-free, became more heavenly.

Above is the address for the mentioned restaurant. Just present it to the taxi driver as communication may be quite challenging when  you have zero knowledge of their native language. I recommend having google translate app ready and a list of places you would like to visit in Chinese translation.

Of course shopping comes second. I had no plan of buying a lot but the low prices are too much to disregard. With good haggling skills, you can get the items for only half of the prices in our local boutiques in Philippines. I came back to our hotel carrying a plastic full of cheap clothes, footwear and whatnot.
Because we went out straight after the flight plus the 10 degree weather I was not prepared of,  I believe any picture of myself on that day isn't worth sharing in this blog. lol. Still I hadn't went through a full tour of the city, perhaps later, when the temperature will feel like that of Philippines.
Short layover indeed, but I can say no regrets on the hassle of visa application. :)

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Life With Wings : Pros and Cons

I can still freshly recall the days of my admirable discipline when the main thing I prayed for was for me to become a flight attendant. From boosting my self-confidence, to practicing all the easy make up tricks, and maintaining my body weight. Confession: I tried the military diet with little modification, yet the calorie count was overall the same. My fear of exceeding my weight limit was overwhelming I had grown used on having satisfactory stomach, until I got to the point when losing one more kilo and my weight will be under the limit. My undying determination after being rejected on my first attempt is another thing I keep in mind. Remembering such days has become my way of being optimistic on moments when I can no longer picture myself in my all blue uniform years from now. Behind the luxury and glam, flight attendant's life isn't all smiles.

A month ago, someone left a comment on my contact page inquiring about the pros and cons of being a flight attendant. I apologize that it took me a month to respond but I've spent my days recently only in 36000 ft, otherwise, on sleeping off.

So, I figured, for some reason, it's always better to begin with the downside:

  • Health -  changes in timezone, jetlag, not to mention  the long hours of standing which is why I never considered knee-high stockings. The variation in working hours is a major con as well; today I'm having a night flight, tomorrow I'll have an early morning one. How do you adjust your sleep with that? Sleeping pills has become best friend of some, but no matter how naturally made the label claims to be, I always choose the natural way. I believe I have mastered the art of changing my sleeping pattern. 
  • You are never home - on most occasions. Alhamdulillah for our company, they give us the eventuality of going home every once in a while. Some girls do it monthly by the way, yet only after the headache of bidding and trading. Even with such benefit, the probability of being home on every family occasion there is, is impossible. I remember spending my 25th birthday alone in our apartment, relying on the internet connection to bury the truth that despite my gratefulness for all the blessings I received, there was a small part of me that wished I was in somewhere else. The number of monthsaries I spent physically together with my boyfriend is countable within my fingers. I missed both of my parents' birthday last year; and for this year's record, I might not be present on my niece' first ever graduation day. 
  • Pleasing people - is the most usual thing you'd do next to breathing. I remember my old teenage self reblogging typographies on how we should never care what others would think and we are not obligated to please everyone. You may wonder how I survive my everyday work, but I believe that's what maturity does to people. When you start a customer-oriented job, you must prepare yourself  with abundance of patience for people who will blame and complain on you on every possible reason there is. Being open-minded and putting yourself into their shoes help most of the time. Certainly there will be instances when people will become too irrational on you and the thought of it won't easily just go away. Emotions will overrule your senses.I do not tolerate inferiority, but daily and slowly, I'm learning not to take things personally; and maybe, just maybe, I think this has become my fate for me to learn and practice the beautiful patience and understanding (which actually makes me think this could pass on the positive side).
  • You do not get to practice your profession - Obviously a personal note because this is something I miss on random nights. Sure I had passengers with headache, fever, and all that, but these are incomparable on the adrenaline of saving someone in the middle of life and death. 

Plus side:

  • Travel - I've been on destinations I never  thought I could visit before. Explored 13 countries in my less than two years experience in this job; and the likelihood of adding more to that due to other destinations we operate, plus the perks of free and discounted tickets is a major plus. I was never the wanderlust enthusiast and travelling wasn't my top reason why this has become my dream, but as I experienced exploring city one after the other, I understood why someone would save up for it. 
  • Going Home - every once in a while, apart from our yearly vacation is still so much better than going home only once a year. Other professionals weren't blessed with such privilege and this is one of the main reasons why I chose this career and my company.
  • Salary - I tried submitting my application as a nurse abroad, and with my three years of experience in my profession, I was offered with only half of my salary today. Their basis is something I have no idea of, but same thing happens in the Philippines - newly hired flight attendants earn more than newly hired nurses.
  • Different set of colleague every working day - with an exception of my flying partner of course. Conflicts in workplace could be something unavoidable; the good thing is,  the bitch I flew with today will be as good as non existent for the next months or years or forever. Unless I become very, very, very, unfortunate, I will get to work with her again the next day. 
  • You get to learn a little something about other nationalities - Flying to other destinations means interacting with their people as well. Between the small talks and greetings, plus good observation, you can differentiate one nationality from the other.
  • Upgrading your interpersonal skills on the next level - I wasn't always good with small talks and I believe I still am. Obviously I'm still not the "ma-PA" type, yet because I work with various kinds of people everyday, it taught me well how to adjust and become more friendlier. lol

So I think that's that. Please know that everything here is based on my personal experience, so the pros and cons may vary with each person. To end this post, here's a caption I posted just days before my graduation way back in 2016 <3

All these new experiences make me feel that I'm living up to my full potential :-)

Nothing but love, xoxo