Now You Know Where I Belong

Finally I’m wearing one of the most globally recognised uniforms in the world. I feel so proud of myself. The 2nd September, where this all started, seems like a lifetime ago. I could barely recognise my batch mates, everybody looked so smart.

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Now that I’m into my 6th week, a day learning about the brands image and uniform takes place. The things you learn regarding the actual brand are very precise. Since I studied International Fashion Promotion at university, I feel as though I have some background knowledge in the importance of a brands image. I strongly agree that it’s important to reinforce particular rules indicating what’s acceptable and what’s not. For example, if airlines allowed cabin crew to wear nail varnish, without specifying exactly what colours are acceptable, there would always be one individual who would step over the line. Someone would appear sporting a set of luminous, traffic cone, orange stiletto acrylic nails.. and lets face it thats not an image a global company want to portray. So I completely understand.

When you see cabin crew walking through the airport dressed in unison it creates such a strong, jaw dropping effect. The trainers say people from all over the world approach you asking if they can take a picture with you, I think that’s incredible.

During image and uniform we also learnt a little bit about food and nutrition. Since I arrived in Dubai I’ve been hitting the gym 3-5 times a week and eating the best that I can (minus the weekends where I go a little crazy). The months leading up to my departure to Dubai I wasn’t working out, I became quite lazy and spent a lot of time eating and drinking out with friends. This was partially to celebrate my new career, but no one needs 25 leaving meals that begin three months before leaving do they? So it’s fair to say I gained a few pounds and I’m trying to loose them and maybe some more. But during image and uniform the trainers were trying to recommend that exercise and a heathy diet makes all the difference to your health, appearance and mood, which is extremely important in this job. I intend to try my best to watch what I eat and continue to exercise regularly. Watch me over the coming months eating my words.. literally!

Nicola x

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Sailing Through My Saturday

At the moment the weekends are my saviour. Something to distract myself from work and to  gain some sanity in between. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying myself, but there’s days which test my strength and ability which gets me feeling homesick.

Going out with friends here is so different to what I’m used to back home. A group of people can come from all over the world rather than just one tiny city in the North of England. I miss my friends so much but the conversations are completely unique once you take away the element of common ground. It’s fascinating what you can learn from what can be considered a throw away conversation.

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I come from a really small city in England where there’s very few people who undertake opportunities like this so before moving to Dubai I didn’t know anyone. This didn’t scare me because I figured everyone would be in the same position, but recently I’ve been feeling as though it would be nice to hang out with familiar faces. Luckily for me a friend of my Dad’s introduced me to a friend of his  while he was over here on holiday. I was delighted to hear she owns her own salon called Essential Beauty in the Jumeirah area because my nails were in desperate need of some TLC. The lady also happened to have a 26 year old daughter who has lived in Dubai for the majority of her life and suggested we should go out some time.

This weekend I took her up on her offer and I was able to spend some time talking about regular stuff other than aircrafts and cabin crew. I’m not going to lie, it was nice to have a break. After some lunch and a laze on the beach we went to her apartment to get ready for some drinks. I was completely taken back when I walked in the door to see a sphinx cat. It was like she had applied hair removal cream to the little creature and I was kind of stunned. But to my surprise this cat behaved like a dog, he was insanely friendly and constantly looked at me in understanding with what I was doing, it was bizarre. It was lovely to be around animals though, I really miss my dogs. There’s something homely about being in the presence of pets and although I thought I didn’t really like cats, this little guy has proven me wrong. I even googled ‘places in Dubai you can play with puppies’ afterwards. No luck yet but when I find somewhere I’ll let you know.

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This weekend only got better. I’ve grown up regularly hearing the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” and it’s so true. A Brazilian friend of mine who has spent the last 8 years living and working in Vegas introduced me to a friend of his. To put it bluntly this guy had money to burn… Anyway he invited a group of us to hang out on a boat on Saturday afternoon, swim in the ocean and watch the sun go down, so obviously I accepted and had the best day.

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Later that evening he took us to diner and we ate like royalty. Money isn’t coming in thick and fast at the moment and life before Dubai was spent waiting for student loans and working a part-time job. So as you can imagine I was more than grateful to accept some 5 star hospitality.

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TOP TIP if you’re thinking of following in my footsteps, I’d highly recommend bringing out some savings, the first few months aren’t easy on the cash front, especially if you’re like me and like to shop and go out at the weekends.

Nicola x

How To Save A Life – The Fray

Another week, another set of trainers, another topic to learn and another exam to study for. Group Medical Training, all the basic knowledge we will need to know incase of a medical emergency onboard the aircraft. Just writing that freaks me out. I have a few friends who work as nurses back home, and I always praise them for their work because I know I’m just not cut out for that kind of thing. Obviously like I said it is pretty basic but also super important and 100% necessary if I want to continue as cabin crew.

The early mornings were a little bit later which made it a tiny bit easier to stay awake throughout the day. Each day we learnt something new and I actually found it so interesting. Learning the terminology for medications, and when it is appropriate to distribute them, panicked me a little bit. It scared me to think the decisions I make in a medical emergency, or even just a medical situation which isn’t that server lays solely on my back. I want to ensure I’m as prepared as possible, so if something happened where I was expected to perform it would come as second nature.

At the end of the week we finished off with a 50 question, multiple choice exam which was described by previous batches as ‘easy’. I’m not going to lie, I’m definitely one of those people who needs to revise in masses amounts to even come close to a passing grade. I’ve always been like that and I’ve learnt to just accept it. I’m certainly not one of those who can just ‘wing it’. So the pressure was on.

When people took great pleasure in telling me the exam was easy I panicked even more. I thought to myself if I do fail that’s going to be extremely embarrassing. Everyone has said it’s so easy, and my first language is English, and the exams are in English, so imagine if I didn’t pass and others did? Afterwards though I realised it’s not really that important how everyone else does, as long as I pass. There’s so many different nationalities and I find it incredible that they all manage to pass the exams when there is so much terminology to learn that I don’t even know as an English speaker. Respect to them because I can’t speak any another languages and some of them know three or four.

In the end I passed another week and another exam and it was such a relief once again. The weekend was upon me and I couldn’t wait.

Nicola x

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Living For The Weekend

I’ve been living in the city for over a month now and it honestly feels like a lifetime. I’m still talking to my family almost everyday and keeping in touch with most of my friends. Although I’m missing the familiar nights out in the UK, it’s exciting to explore new bars and clubs with new friends. The whole experience is surreal and I don’t think anything can prepare you for it, not even going to university.

It almost feels like not everyone has settled yet and people are still trying to figure out who they have common connections with, so we’re still spending the weekends in our big group trying to please everyone. Which, as you can imagine is kind of difficult.

I had the best time though, and it was proven you can literally be anywhere, it’s the people who you’re with that really make it count. Thursdays are ladies night so we went to Crystal club for a few drinks on the house then headed to a club called Billionaire which was so much fun. The atmosphere was incredible, everyone was having a good time and the music was right up my street. When we finally left at around 4am the only thing on my mind was food. I’ve heard people rave about how good McDonalds is here but I still hadn’t tried one until this weekend and oh my god it was unreal! I even bought another the next day, thats how good it was, so I highly recommend. All the restaurants in Dubai and I’m actually recommending a McDonalds, but honestly it was incredible.

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I’m actually struggling with the food here, everything I seem to cook just doesn’t taste right. I’m not really feeling at home as I’m still in temporary accommodation which is a hotel/ apartment, and although it’s clean and spacious it just has that hotel feel. I love eating meat but I’ve just been totally put off it because it tastes very different when I cook it. As well, I’ve been warned about the ‘Dubai stone’ which is a common stone most people gain as cabin crew so I’m trying to watch what I eat.. obviously minus those two double cheese burgers from McDonalds. 

I actually woke up with my first proper hangover since being here and it didn’t feel good, I almost forgot that it’s what happens when you drink excessive amounts. But I powered through and made it to the beach for music, food and a nap on the sand. As always I was in hope of a sun tan but that literally seems impossible at this time of year because the weather is so humid and clammy. I miss the Spanish sun, sipping sangria daily.

Nicola x

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Reaching A Mile Stone

It’s finally the end of SEP and I managed to pass all my exams. I couldn’t be happier that the 3.30am alarms are set forward a couple of hours and I can go home and enjoy a guilt free nap. The rumours you hear before beginning SEP are kind of true, but people do a fantastic job in trying to frighten the life out of you.

If I could give myself any sort of advice two and a half weeks ago it would just be to

-Work hard

-Ask questions

-Eat well

-Revise each night 

-But do something stress relieving too 

It is hard work but also very interesting not to mention extremely necessary.

I can’t even describe the relief when I saw 88% on the computer screen considering 80% was the pass grade. It wasn’t one of my best scores but the feeling was good. Waiting for that percentage to load felt similar to the suspense waiting to find out if I passed my driving test, or getting my degree result. It was just relief, pure relief. This weekend is going to be a good one and I can’t wait.

Nicola x

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Jump And Slide

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Have you ever seen someone look so happy to be evacuating an aircraft?

So we’ve learnt how to open a door in an emergency situation but now we actually need to get the passengers out of the aircraft, and down the emergency escape slide. All week I was dying to give it a go, I love roller coasters and things which turn up your adrenaline a notch or two. Ok, the slide wasn’t that big but it beats sitting in a classroom all day.

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Hopefully I’ll never have to actually evacuate an aircraft and need to use one of these, but if I ever do I feel pretty prepared.

We also got to practice a ditching situation so it was off with the red lipstick, up with the buns and down into the water. Again I hope I’ll never have to actually do this in real life but it’s important to know. One by one we slid down onto the raft and practiced putting a roof over our head. After all if we ditch in the middle of the sea and we’re camping over night we’re going to need some sort of roof over our head (again, praying this will never happen).

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Trying to inflate lifejackets that don’t even inflate.. my face is a picture!

Nicola x

Catching Up On Fashion Week

It’s been a busy few weeks and I’ve been using social media to keep up with Fashion Week, but it’s become almost impossible as I’m trying to prioritise whats important right now. However, one collection that really caught my eye and is extremely relevant to my latest relocation was designer Anniesa Hasibuan at New York Fashion Week. It was a first for fashion week to see all the models in one show wearing hijabs with every look. Bloggers and fashion enthusiasts made statements about the show through social media such as “history was made tonight”. 

For three years I studied International Fashion Promotion, at Manchester Metropolitan University. Fashion is a hobby of mine and I feel excited and passionate about creative fashion direction and love to explore the latest styles and trends. It’s refreshing to see something different which isn’t usually considered high fashion in the western world. In addition to being unique, the fabrics and colours used throughout the spring/summer ’17 collection were so fresh with such bold embellishment. I’m already a huge fan and can’t wait to see what next season’s collection will bring. 

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You can always expect to see something incredible from Moschino each season. The creative elements in both Jeremy Scott’s designs and the show itself are always mind blowing. He always creates an outstanding show which generates discussion and hype amongst fashion enthusiasts. We often see his celebrity friends wearing his designs to exclusive events. Model of the moment Gigi Hadid and her younger sister Bella Hadid are two of those famous faces, particularly in the fashion industry, but more recently in the celebrity sector to grace the catwalk in Milan.

Moschino completely took it back to what felt like my childhood, playing with barbie dolls and cutting out the paper dresses from the magazines, then using the paper tabs to temporarily attach them to the paper doll’s bodies. The garments actually looked alive, it was such a unique approach to the spring/summer ’17 collection. Jeremy Scott tends to play on the modern-day consumer and incorporate what he thinks this is into his designs. Back in his autumn/winter ’14 collection he mimicked brands such as McDonalds, Budweiser and animated character Spongebob Square Pants. Forever taking the controversial approach, Jeremy Scott’s collections always create a buzz and conversation within the fashion industry, I’m a huge fan!

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Gigi Hadid walking in Milan Fashion Week for Moschino.

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Younger Sister of Gigi, Bella Hadid, walking in Milan Fashion Week for Moschino.

Nicola x