Countries Visited (not including Turnarounds): Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brasil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, North Korea, Philipines, Russia, Singapore, Seychelles, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Vatican City
London | Perth | Sydney | Melbourne
Seatguru - Most Comfy Seats On Any Airline
pprune.org - Pilot's rumour network
Kangaroo with a Sweet Tooth
Kronicles of Kris
The Adventures of Alle Malice
Joel's trek across Asia/Europe in a Hilux
Phil's Wine Site
I Can Has Cheezburger
The Flying Pinto
Girl on Raw
Things Bogans Like
Bobby at Up, Up and a Gay
Straight Guy in the Queer Skies
Skin by Falter
Monday, October 17, 2011I thought I was lucky at the time. Only 5 days after launch of the route, I was rostered to operate Copenhagen. It was to be the highlight of what was an undesirable roster – no where I bid for, 3 turns, the 5 days off before my leave that I requested were not granted, wheras others in my bid group who were less senior than I was were granted the days off they requested. I was going to be missing out on the Reykjavik marathon, and I wasn’t happy.
I guess the first problems were that it was overbooked in Economy, so with an originally empty First Class this was expected to fill up quite fast. We arrived at the aircraft to discover that we were catered 8 out of a possible 12, but the ground dispatcher told us to be expecting a full house. As the galley operator for the flight, this is quite frustrating, since the catering personnel has to load the new catering by hand, and on the Airbus 330 there isn’t a lot of room left in the chillers for the dine-on-demand top up. Maybe back when we bought the aircraft and it was a scheduled full service the galley was useable, but with both breakfast and lunch for dine-on-demand it is just unworkable with a full cabin.
When everyone boarded, we saw that about half of the passengers were upgrades, and the other half staff. Pilots, to be specific. When staff travel they’re not permitted to use the lounges in the terminal, so almost all of them will eat on the plane. The upgrades would have all had J/C lounge access, but after finding out they had First Class boarding cards, they ordered what they were not normally entitled to otherwise, such as the caviar and the Dom Peringnon. I take a lot of pride in serving our caviar – but the plating is extremely problematic and chews up a good 10 minutes of a single crew’s time just to make the plate look first class standard. Every single passenger ordered the caviar, some ordered seconds, 6 did so at the same time, and it really felt like I was working at McDonalds, but instead of compiling burgers I was plating caviar worth almost 100 USD a tin.
The service just didn’t stop. The only time I had to sit down was in the cockpit waiting for the pilots to get their tray table out whilst I held their meals. We didn’t have time to eat, we didn’t have time to pee. It was probably the hardest I’ve worked in First Class in the last 2 years.
After the flight had finally ended, all I wanted to do was just lie in bed with the duvet over my head and emerge only for the wake up. But then I thought, at the very least, I should shop for groceries , so I went to the nearest supermarket. On the way back I saw some bicycles parked outside the hotel available for hire, thought ‘I may as well’ then went for a bike ride around Copenhagen. I was so pleased afterwards that I did, the fresh air really lifted my mood. I took a few photos, nearly crashed the bike a few times, but you’ll have to excuse me for the lack of photos and detailed labelling as I was still recovering from that spirit-defeating flight.
Church of Our Savior - Love the spiral on top.
Central Train Station
Entrace to the Tivoli Gardens.
Copenhagen Town Hall & Square. At the time there was a fashion show being held inside as it was Fashion Week.
Later on in the evening when I was on my way back to the hotel on the hire bike I saw a massive gathering of people along the Kalvebod Brygge - What seemed like almost 1000 people donned their roller blades and roller skates, and with boomboxes in hand went for a sunset skate. Very cool. 6 comments
Sunday, October 02, 2011I love seeing strange museums - remember when I went to the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum in Ikeda, Japan? But when S. told me that there was a Leprosy museum in Bergen, I have to admit, I was sceptical. We’d only just arrived in Bergen a few hours ago, an 8 hour journey from Oslo by train, so I was a little more tired than usual. I thought that if I went straight after the epic train ride, then all the reading that usually is the norm with museums would send me sleepwalking through the beautiful streets of Bergen. It was decided that we would spend as much time sightseeing on that afternoon as we could, and work on the museum the next day.
I’m not going to lie – even though I was keen on the idea initially, I was quite freaked out when I walked inside. I knew nothing about the disease, and didn’t know whether it was contagious or not (stupid, I know). I figured that it should be okay to enter if they allowed tourists to enter and other locals to work there. I later found out that the building was the former St Jørgen’s Hospital which housed leprosy patients, and that the last patient housed was there over 500 years ago, which made me feel a bit silly.
The museum is unique to say the least – it details the work of Gerhard Armauer Hansen, of whom Hansen’s disease is named, and who is thought to be the most famous Norwegian outside of Norway. It goes in depth into his effort at finding a cure, a treatment, anything that would give the lepers a chance at self-affirmation and worth. As you enter the rooms that formerly housed the lepers, you read their stories, many outcast from their family and the rest of society, some still loved by their families but hid away whilst the disease took its toll, some left with no choice other than falling into a beggar’s life. Their struggle with limb amputation, enormous boils, scab sores and other ailments made it very clear how brutal this disease was. I think what shocked me the most was reading that it was not uncommon for sufferers to be dealing with kilos of bacteria inside their bodies. KILOS!!!
So, here are a few photos from the museum that I took. I really wanted to take pictures of the chapel, which had sculptures of Jesus Christ surrounded by lepers, but there was a guided tour in Norwegian happening there at the time, and I didn’t want to disturb them with my photo taking.
Displays, now located in the patient's former living quarters.
On the left were the rooms where the lepers stayed, and on the right were the treatment rooms.
I have a strange facination with scientific equipent from the 1800's.