Saturday, June 20, 2015

When Your Hometown No Longer Feels Like It’s Your Home

What It’s Like When Your Hometown No Longer Feels Like It’s Your Home

By: Gigi Engle


It’s like you feel homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist. Maybe it’s like this rite of passage, you know?
I don’t know, but I miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that’s all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place. – “Garden State”
There will come a time in adulthood when you make that cherished journey back to the place where you grew up.
A time when you book a plane ticket and embark on that familiar voyage back to the place where you lost your first tooth, where you had your first kiss and where you learned your first lessons about life.
You leave the life you’ve been creating for yourself, the life that seems so small compared to the one your parents made for you.
You take a deep breath and make that trip home.
You get to your hometown and drive down the same streets you still know like the back of your hand.
You see your family, you reminiscence and you go to sleep in your old bed. Somewhere along the way, it will hit you.
As you lie bathed in the echoing memories of what feels like a hundred lifetimes ago, it slithers in.
The thought will creep up on you, as you lie awake, listening to the sounds of the house that sheltered you long before you were exposed to the harsh realities of the world, back when this was the only life you really knew.
It’s a sad feeling, really. One that is ripe with loss. As you stare at the cracks in your ceiling, as you trace your fingers over the initials you carved into your bed frame at the age of eight, suddenly, you realize you don’t feel comfortable like you once did.
You feel like a stranger inside of a place you used to know so well. It feels like you’ve stepped inside the memories of another life.
It suddenly becomes very apparent your old house, in your old town, is no longer home.
Where you imagined you would feel so safe and at peace, you instead feel lost.
It’s overwhelming, and it’s strange. It hurts to feel this way, to find yourself feeling so disconnected in a place that is supposed to be the epitome of your comfort zone.
It’s daunting to have to face the harsh reality that this place you used to call home is no longer that place for you. Your heart is no longer there. You no longer belong.

Everything has a past, but you don’t see a future.

You drive past your old high school, your favorite sandwich shop and that worn-down playground.
Everything is dripping with nostalgia. Everything here has a story. Yet, you don’t see a future.
You don’t see yourself ever wanting to come to these places again.
You don’t see yourself raising a family here, putting down roots. It feels like a closed chapter book, and there are no new memories to be made.

It feels more like a vacation spot than it does home.

You used to feel so content here. Everything suddenly feels like a novelty.
You don’t come here after being away from home; you plan to come here after being at your home.
Home stops feeling like a place of rest when you have to use a few of your allotted 14 vacation days in order to go there.

You realize the only thing you had in common with your old friends is you grew up here.

Once you left high school, you suddenly realized the only thing you had in common with your “high school friends” was the fact that you went to the same school.
Where you used to miss your friends so much, you now don’t want to see anyone who grew up with you when you need to leave the house.
Once you get out into the real world, you find people who have similar dreams and aspirations. They left their hometowns for the bigger picture, just like you.

You see how far you’ve come.

You realize you’ve evolved, but your hometown hasn’t. You see people doing the same things they’ve always done, and you don’t want to do those things. You see how much you’ve grown.
Sometimes it takes going back to your old hood to see just the true trajectory of your progress in life.
You see the girls from high school who are married with kids, still living on the same street; you see the dads playing golf and pumping their gas in middle-class suburbia, and you realize this may have been the life you grew up with, but it isn’t the life you want for yourself.
It may make them happy, but it could never be enough for you.

Activities you used to love have now lost their luster.

You used to love going to the mall and going swimming in the lake. You adored mini golf and running around in the local woods, drinking 40s.
All of those activities and places you used to put so much importance and significance on now seem shallow and pointless.
A trip to the movies used to feel like the most incredible thing in the world.
When you’re home, you become strangely aware of how much of an adult you have become.

You feel like an outsider because you are an outsider.

You feel like a stranger in a strange land in a place you used to call “home.”
You realize the idea of “home” is very subjective. Just because you grew up somewhere doesn’t mean you’ll always belong there.
You know this place will always hold a small piece of your heart and will forever contain some of your fondest memories — and yet, this place is no longer home.
It’s a curious thing that happens when you’ve grown up. It comes on unexpectedly, but it always comes.
The place you’re meant to call home is out there, waiting for you to find it.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Paul Tufescu – from church painter to cabin crew

 A positive and informative interview with Paul about Qatar/Emirates/Flydubai


Paul Tufescu
From church painter to cabin crew

Paul Tufescu, apparently a shy young man, amazed me during a flight with his wide smile and availability to help everybody on board, colleagues included. While working as a church painter in Moldavia, for the love of flying, Paul gave up his job, to join a so-called women’s world, as a cabin crew.

Paul, please tell us about the period when you were a cabin crew at Qatar Airways and also about how the recruitment interview was conducted?

The period in which the first 8 Romanians came to Qatar Airways, in 2003, was a memorable one, considering that I had the chance to be a part of one of the most beautiful stages of this company’s evolution. Why do I say memorable? Because I had the most beautiful flight schedule anyone would have dreamt of during his cabin crew career, with 11 days of layover in Shanghai, 7 days in Singapore, 9 in Bangkok, 5 in Casablanca, 4 in Paris and so on.
During the 7 years spent there, I used to work about 22, 23 days a month with 7 or 8 days off and 30 days of annual leave, which could be used all at once or whenever needed. There have been ups and downs, but what matters most is the personality of the one that interprets the experience. I’ll say that I have always been guided by my flying passion and the desire to do everything as it should be done.
I had my recruitment interview in Dubai. There were about 250 candidates and recruiting officer was the current Manager of the Cabin Crew Department, Saliy Karunanayke, at that time, Deputy Manager of the Cabin Crew Department. The first phase of the interview was the candidates’ introduction. Each had to come forward and present themselves (name, age, occupation, hobbies and why they would like to be a cabin crew). After eliminations, the written English test followed, a very easy one, considering that it consisted of filling in verbs or given words in a text, and finally writing an essay. Then there was a 15 minutes break… “in case anyone wants to smoke”, a recruiter was observing those who were smoking … and after the break another round of eliminations followed, those who smoked being on the list!
After that we have been divided into groups and have been given a hypothetical situation, a shipwreck on an island for my group: what would we do first, once arrived on that island. After the elimination of some other participants, the face-to-face interview with Mr. Saliy followed, who, after convincing himself that my English was good, started looking out of the window, asking me what each building was, who occupied it, and concluded with asking me when would I be able to join their team. Since I had to give the company I was working fort a minimum of 30 days resignation warning, Qatar Airways informed me that I will be given an answer within 2 weeks. And it was a favorable one.

What were you thinking of when landing?

When landing … I may say there are 2 answers: when landing in other countries, most of the time I was thinking about what I should do during my stay in that country: where to go, what to visit, if I had any friends there, and so on. When landing in Doha, most of the time my first thought was to take a good nap, message my parents to let them know everything was fine, then check my roster for the things to be done during the following days, meet some friends, arrange some permit if I was planning to travel on my own and so on.

Have you ever faced any alarming situations in Doha or during your flights?

Alarming situations, allow me to tell you, I had plenty !!!
On a flight Doha-Milan-Rome, we had a snake on board of the plane, which gave me a little headache because, as I was speaking Italian, being forced to make the emergency announcements, I had one of the leading roles, next to the snake :). “Snakes on a Plane” is still a catchy story inside the company.
During two other flights, this time to the DAC (Dakha, Bangladesh) and to LHR (London) I had to handcuff passengers … I would need an entire day to tell you these stories and I would drain my laptop’s battery to tell them in detail. To cut it short, for the London flight, my action was justified by the fact that a Pakistani passenger tried to touch one of my colleague’s private parts. On another flight, this time to MUC (Munich) we had to give first aid to an elder woman who was in an acute alcohol poisoning state.
After all these stories you have told me, it seems futile to ask you if you consider yourself to be a brave person …
No, it’s not futile. As a cabin crew, of course you have to be brave. I think anyone who dares to fly should know that it is a nice, special job, but that it also has risks. Acknowledged risks have advantages and disadvantages; travel isn’t everything, to know for sure everything you need to do, at any given moment, and put these things into practice, makes the difference between someone who is touring the world on a plane and someone who came to do their job. I met a lot of cabin crew members who chose this job to travel the world, without concern for their work but I also met people who understand that this is still a job to be done well, not only to be used as a travel agency.

After the experience with Qatar Airways you preferred working for the Emirates Airline, on a ground staff position, and then again as a cabin crew  for Flydubai. What did the ground staff job imply?

Indeed, at the Emirates I have worked for 2 years at the Ground Staff Department. And it was something special. I have to confess that, at the Emirates, there was the best management team I have ever had! It had nothing to do with the Qatar Airways period, and all the rules they had there. Everything is exquisite compared to Qatar Airways. While I worked for them, I held 2 positions. Six months a year working at the contact centre (Call Centre) and another 6 months as a tour guide, both positions at the Emirates because it is a big company and has many departments, a Tourism Department included. My experience as a tour guide was nice, I had about 50 tourists daily, taking them to visit all of the 7 emirates here and after that I had to perform another type of customer service, this time on the telephone, for the other remaining 6 months.
For my work I was given an Excellence in Customer Service Award.

Did you miss the flying days at Emirates Airlines as ground staff?

Of course I missed flying and so I found a second home with the people from Flydubai, a fast-growing company, a company that finally gives me the opportunity to have my dream job, the cabin crew one, back, with turnaround flights (back and forth at the base on the same day) and a very simple role, but giving me the chance to be at home every day (Dubai), the kind of company that is suitable for families, although I’m still not married.
The flight virus, luckily, brought me back on board! Once you fly for so many years it’s not easy to quit flying, obviously I started applying for other companies for the flight attendant position and was back on board as soon as opportunity arose … Flight is an incurable “disease”!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Hector & the search for happiness

´´A psychiatrist searches the globe to find the secret of happiness´´

If you guys have the chance to see this movie DO SO :-) truly a motivational, interesting movie, that will make you reflect over your own life. Will make you reflect over a lot of things in life. Regardless what kind of movies you are into, this movie will 100% make you smile. You will for sure shed some tears watching this movie, you will laugh a lot and be a bit sad too watching this movie. This movie will truly touch your soul. 


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Interview With a ex Etihad CC :-)

The lovely Rosaine Dalila Scruff had a interview with me a while back, i thought i would share it with you guys :-)
The interview is about a lot of things related to my past with Etihad and my thoughts/emotions about the Cabin Crew job and more :-)

You can read it in Eng here:::

The Portuguese version is here:::

Rosaine Dalila Scruff is a ex cabin crew as well as the author of a book called
 ´´ Crew - The Pain of Glamour´´ which can only at the moment be read in Portuguese. The title of the book in Portuguese is: TRIPULANTES - A Dor do Glamour. I totally recommend reading her book :-)
If you guys want to read her book, the links are at the end of the page via this link:::

TRIPULANTES - A Dor do Glamour Facebook Page: