Melissa's Flight Attendant Blog

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Name: Melissa

About Me

Countries Visited (not including Turnarounds): Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Moldova, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, North Korea, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Vatican City

My Perfect Day in -
London | Perth | Sydney | Melbourne

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Tray Table
I Can Has Cheezburger
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Straight Guy in the Queer Skies

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Skin by Falter

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Friday, March 16, 2012
I was looking forward to my first layover in Senegal. I resisted the few swaps I was offered, and I'd heard some pretty positive reports from the crew. It's been in operation for almost 18 months, so it was about time I visited.

So during the ridiculously empty flight, we chatted, and quite a big group of crew were interested in sightseeing. We were working out our itinerary already - Goree Island, Dakar Cathedral, African Renaissance Monument among others - but when we landed the Captain received a note from Airport Operations. As it turns out the day that we landed in Dakar was the day after the Senegalese Presidential elections, and since the election itself was considered to be somewhat controversial there were protests expected in the city. So basically the airline advised us to stay within the confines of the hotel rather than get caught up and risk facing potentially violent demonstrations. In the end we all decided to limit our ventures out of the hotel and instead chose to leave the sightseeing for another layover.

It wasn't too bad I guess, we went to a nearby market, and there was a beach nearby. Crew, being crew, bought every souvenir they set their eyes on and did well to fund the Senegalese economy. I was only interested in a fridge magnet to add to my collection back home, and still have yet to buy one.

Views of the beach near the market at des Almadies

The rocky coast was full of shells.

And floaty bits of newspaper :-(

The restaurant district.

 Senegalese markets.

The Dakar trip was also the first time I ever saw medication delivered to the aircraft just for the crew. I've been to Africa numerous times, and about half of the destinations there are Malaria-risk countries, so I have a small spray bottle of DEET in my medicine cabinet just in case, but foolishly forgot to pack it with me on the trip. Our forward-thinking Purser called up our airline clinic before we were due to sign in so that hopefully the meds could be distributed to all the crew, but they couldn't get to us in time. So at the very last minute, with everyone on board and 5 min until push back, our plucky clinic courier turned up with bag full of doxycycline. To be taken 2 days before travel (already missed that) and to take for up to 4 weeks after. The worst part is you don't know whether you have malaria until 4 weeks after leaving a high risk country. Seeing as though I have an Entebbe flight at the end of the month, I guess I'll be on the meds for a while.

Saturday, March 03, 2012
So the first time I was in Cape Town, it was the final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. I was pulled out from Standby and operating as a Business Class crew. It wasn't my favorite trip, as not only was the flight hard work, but everywhere in Cape Town showing the game was fully booked out, so there was a few hours of walking between all the restaurants in the Waterfront area just to have something to eat and watch the game. I was rostered the Cape Town again in February, and I was determined to make this trip count. Or at least get *some* photos unlike my first trip.

When you travel between the airport and the city, it's hard to miss Table Mountain. Not having a lot of time, we chose the easy option to ascend, and at 8.30am were were on our way to the cable car base station.

 Moustafa, from Algeria. He was on one of his first layovers, and pretty stoked.

Taking the car up. These are the old cable cars before the current ones were fitten in 1997. The current ones are great - the base rotates, so if you're facing any window you just hold your camera to the glass and in a few moments you'll get the window opening - open just long enough to get a shot.

View from the base of Table Mountain

Everyone crowded inside the cable car

Note to self - make sure you get a crew who knows how to use a camera (and flash) before getting photo taken. Nice view though.

Stunning views of Cape Town city from Table Mountain.

Now it is at this point that my camera decides to sh*t itself - the back light for the digital viewfinder is no longer working. I have a manual one but it is in Dubai - I'm basically shooting all this gorgeous scenery blind/from the hip. I curse myself for becoming so reliant on the viewfinder, but what to do. The camera is in the repair shop now...

Cabin crew getting their poses right.

Must have some proof I was there!

And here we have Table Bay and Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years during Apartheid.

Surface rocks of Table Mountain

Vera from Serbia, and Irina from Moldova. We set up everyone's camera on a level rock, then set the timer. Once everyone set the timers for the maximum time, we'd run to where they were. There were about 7 cameras set, and we all ran, but mine was the only one not to get the whole group in. Shame.

Lizard sun baking in the gorgeous weather.

View from the cable car heading back down again.