Friday, October 23, 2009

Qanta’s Flight Crew!

Qanta’s Australian Flight Crew!


So I am staying in this posh hotel in the Sandton and this hotel is one among the favorites for many different airlines crews. Last night I got to the hotel very frustrated and stressed out about work. All I needed is to have a good glass of ice cold foaming beer and a smoke! Though I was out of cigarettes, I did not mind walking up to couple of fine guys and asking them for a smoke. They immediately invited me to sit down with them. I was completely not in the mood to socialize and I almost told them to “piss off”. But then I just asked them “where you from” and they said with that fun flirtatious accent “Australia”. Well I did not need another invitation and I said “ahhh then I’ll just sit with you and pick your brains”. And so we did…from one beer and a dinner it turned out to be 3 beers and 1 bottle of wine. Not only they picked my brains about my whereabouts, my work, my friends, but also about US foreign policy, about how US differs from the rest of the world, the current US affairs, lay off policies, you can imagine the depth of our conversations. I was not too far behind either and we talked about their families and life.

Simon, was a lovely, fun and happy guy that was born in Cairo Egypt, however his family immigrated to Australia when he was 4 years old. He still remembers where he lived and looking outside of his bedroom he could see the pyramids in the distance, remembers playing with his little cousins, as the WHOLE family purchased a HUGE apartment complex which they turned into pent houses. So the whole family lived together, including the grandparents and his father’s siblings with their families. His father was a famous journalist in Cairo and they moved to Libya to cover some issues; however their passports were taken away. During the time in Libya his father applied for asylum in US and Australia. His father said whichever responds first that is the country they will leave for. Though US responded first, he did not take it and week later after going though hurdles to get their passports back they were on their way to Cairo, just to switch a plane to Rome and then Rome to Australia. His father got a job as a chief editor for an Australian Media Mogul (sorry forgot who) and he worked there for many years. His mother, who was extremely well educated, had to also get a job, and she worked in the factory on a night shift building radios so they both could send their kids to private schools to get good education. It was very though time but he did not view it as dark times, rather as happy, loving and fun times with great experiences. His father got eventually fed up with working for someone else and opened up his own consulting company in journalism and freelancing. Simon was working for Quanta’s for 22 years now and he is the manager of the flight attendants crew.

They always travel to so many different destinations and always with different crew. Later on the rest of the crew joined in, 2 lovely women and another guy, whose names I do not recall anymore (too much wine). They were remembering stories from their earlier years of flying and we laughed so so hard, it was so amazing! For example they had a plane where there was a small elevator going below the cockpit and that was the “crew’s bar” so the youngest was always responsible to put the beer on ice for the gents and put the French Champagne on ice for the ladies. Well Simon neglected his duty and the crew responded by throwing “coke cans” shaken not steered with a little hole so the coke was exploding down the elevator shaft to punish him for not complying with the “crew rules”. Needless to say the way he was describing how soaking wet and sticky he was from all the warm coke bombs was hilarious and we laughed so hard that the tears were coming up… the next story continued that that was their smoking area as well and that is where not only the crew but some “privileged” passengers got to hang out on long ass flights. Or another time how they pushed out the carts full of liquor and food out of the plane and though the customs, bribing the guards with bottle of Johnny Walker Black and beers, so they could celebrate their Christmas… just amazing stories… the wine was flowing, the stories were hilarious, the night progressed. Not only they always stay in my hotel and know the staff by their first names…

Quanta’s actually has a special “hang out” room for them that is always opened on the 3rd floor, so the crew can relax. After the bar closed we retired to their “crew lounge” where they had pool table, darts, TV, computer, nice couches and all the other wonderful amenities to make the place more pleasurable. We played pool and more over we exchanged stories and face book contacts. After such hard day at work it was EXACTLY what I needed to release, to socialize to forget about the mad days at work… After this experience I have made an ultimate decision that my work is NO LONGER going to affect me, and I WILL NOT let work overtake my fun here. Simple yet very effective decision. Ok, my dear friends, out for today… speak to you soon.