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

There’s No Smoke Without Fire

We’re preparing for the most extreme emergency cases onboard and fighting fire is definitely one of them. I didn’t actually realise a shocking amount of people still try, sometimes succeeding, to smoke a cigarette on board an aircraft. To me that’s a crazy thought, smoke, fire, plane. Not exactly elements that go well together when you’re travelling at 35,000 feet. Nevertheless it happens, so we’ve got to prepare for it.

What I love about training is everything we learn we actually get to physically practice. I’m a creative and I learn through experience and through physical activities. In an exam I won’t refer back to a book, I’ll replay what I actually practiced. Obviously not everyone learns like this but that’s completely fine because during training there’s a mixture of learning techniques.

The whole class put on their boiler suits and paraded down to the fire fighting room where we faced real fires. Yes, if I’m being completely honest they could’ve been extinguished on demand but nevertheless they were completely real.

During the drill we had to shout the command “I need back-up” to indicate to other members of crew we had identified a fire and we needed help fighting it. For some reason everyone laughed at my northern accent when I said the word ‘back-up’. It wasn’t until then I realised me accent isn’t actually normal to others, and I say things weird too. I got stick for it all day, me and my northern accent. It’s actually nice to work with people from all over the world because you realise we’re all a bit weird to one another.

Nicola x

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When You See It In The Movies

Last week we spent five days learning about what to do in an emergency situation, then we headed to Festival City Mall to spend our night off in the cinemas, watching a film based on an emergency ditching. True commitment right there. In ‘none aviation’ terminology ditching means to land an aircraft in water (it’s all brand new to me). Moving on, ‘Sully’ is a film based on true events about a pilot working for US Airways, who made the decision to ditch an aircraft into the Hudson River, in New York. I don’t know if I found it so much more interesting because I’m learning about aviation, or if it genuinely is an incredible film? Nevertheless I really enjoyed it and to think that it actually happened, and everyone involved survived, amazes me (this isn’t a spoiler, but common knowledge). I can easily be convinced into watching, or reading anything based on a true story.

Spending the night at the cinemas made me feel right at home, it’s one of my favourite things to do on my days off. Afterwards we took a taxi to the Irish Village for a well deserved bottle of wine. Nothing too crazy, constantly reminding ourselves we’re in the middle of SEP and to keep our eye on the ball. Unfortunately there’s been a couple of members of cabin crew who are in training and have failed exams, this has resulted in being moved back a batch to re-sit them. It must be so difficult knowing you’re not going to start flying with all your new friends, the people you started this journey with. But knowing this has really pushed me into trying my best and putting in extra hours of hard work. I don’t want to get left behind.

There’s a three hour time difference here from the UK and it’s starting to take its toll. It doesn’t sound like much but through the week I have to go to bed so early and at this point my friends and family are busy and it’s just an inconvenient time. If it’s like this now, it worries me how difficult it will be when I start flying. But I think it’s important to make an extra effort to keep in touch with people from home, no matter how difficult time zones make it. Eventually these are the people you return to.

When I got home I had the longest chat with my mum, it was so nice to talk about normal things and hear how everyone at home is getting on. Right now, I don’t know when I’ll next be able to go home. So for now it’s just telephone calls and the phenomenal world of social media which makes it ever so easy to stay in touch.  

Nicola x

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