prepare for take off

training for the new job has been going on for the past 3 weeks, and hell; is it intense! The first week was purely induction, to get us newbies settled into dubai and our new employer. The first days were interesting as it gave us a chance to meet with people from all over the world, so there were lots of cultural exchanges going around

2 days into induction and i was getting bored and tired. it was fun to make new friends and batchmates, but the week has been just CONSTANT BRAINWASHING. understand that this is a major major airline in the middle east and employee productivity is of upmost importance. (which airline am i talking about? qatar air? emirates? etihad? gulf air? its not that hard to guess. i’m employed in a major airline based in dubai) so the week has been about how lucky we are to be here, how we are the creme-de-la-creme of tens of thousands of applicants, we are the greatest we are the best noone can compare to our awesomeness. sorry for the bashing but there’s just so much motivation sessions i can take. we are a family yes but that doesn’t mean i am not an individual and need to sacrifice my everything for your profits.

 aircarft seatbelt

anyways training takes about 5 weeks here. i’ve finished 3 weeks and can’t wait for the last 2 to go quickly as i am just to tired of being indoors pouring through the manual. i’ve gone through 6 years of tertiary studies, 5 weeks feel like forever to me. compare this to a batchmate of mine who went through 9 years; having a degree in european studies and masters in clinical physiologist. everyday we greet each other with the ‘good lord-another day-kill me now’ face.

that aside, i have been learning ALOT. the first 2 weeks consists of intense SEP (safety and emergency procedures) training which was pretty fun. the company had invested in a million dollar simulator which was so awesome; comparable or even better than the ones in disneyland. you could actually feel the air pressure alike a real aircraft during take off or landing.

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first off was how to operate the aircraft doors which seemed intimidating at first as there were so many safety procedures to go through before a door could actually be opened or closed. however once we had the hang of it with practice sessions, it was easy as pie. evacuating came next, how to evacuate passengers in case of a catastrophe. it was.. exhilarating.. that would be the best way to describe it. the simulator could simulate actual turbulence, smoke, crashes etc that it feels so real and everyone inside would die if we the cabin crew did not do something.

decompression came next. you know the ones in movies where an aircraft door suddenly blasts open and oxygen masks drop down from above? yea, if ever anything happens on board; you’d want us there. HAHA. but on a serious note, it is virtually impossible for such a thing to happen. we were taught fire fighting procedures as well, in case there was a fire onboard which would be very very fatal. the simulator couldn’t simulate fire, so instead we had blinking red lights to represent fire and had lasers shooting out of the fire extinguisher. haha wtf. ditching was one of the last things; where everyone had to put on life vests, slide down the slide raft and jump into the freezing cold water.

 found this online and it is hilarious! maybe not so much to you but when you were taught the ideal scenario in an emergency situation, it is easy to relate on what will actually happen as illustrated. who reads these cards anyways?! anyways the next time you fly; read them, that’ll make my job so much easier.

Dear people; if ever there was an emergency situation: KEEP CALM and LISTEN TO US. WE ARE Freakin TRAINED FOR THIS. ‘nuff said.

so that was the 2 weeks of SEP. nearly every other day we had theoretical exams that requires more than an 80% mark to pass and home based assignment to be completed after 8 hours of class; it is not easy. there was so so much to learn in a short period of time. my brain felt so sponged up on the last day but at least now i’m well prepared for any situation ;D

GMT (general medical training) week came next; but i’ll leave that for the next post.

dubai the aerotropolis

the views in this blog are purely my own from my experience and in no way is meant as an offence to anyone. some statements might not be facts but just well-known rumours; so take it easy people.

the fountains of dubai mall

IMHO dubai is an interesting city. this place used to be unheard of, just some desert in the middle east, yet the past few years have seen a major change and now there’s a guide book on it, and even a music video based on the city itself. dubai has popped out of the middle of nowhere, history-less and incomprehensible. it is like an empty canvas, and here comes people playing god, creating and shaping to their liking. if you can imagine how much money is needed to kick start a building development, imagine how much capital would be needed to actually kick-start an actual city. dubai had little oil, little resources and a tiny population. but by sheer determinacy, it built itself as a flight hub  the world. the timing has never been any better, as air travel was booming, bringing the world a little closer and the next time we know, everyone is flying into dubai for connecting flights. so then the ‘fake city’ is created. there’s manmade islands, manmade rivers, and manmade green parks. downtown dubai is filled with fancy skyscrapers that defies the natural climate and the favourite hangout place is the soulless malls for excessive capitalism.

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burj dubai/burj khalifah and the mall’s aquarium

everything here has to be bigger and better than the rest of the world. there’s the world largest shopping mall; dubai mall. in it theres a olympic sized ice rink and an aquarium with the worlds largest single acrylic panel. next to it is burj khalifah, currently the tallest skyscraper in the world, where it also becomes the backdrop for the dubai fountain, modelled after the one in Las Vegas only 4 times bigger.

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one of the souks in bur dubai; trying out the abra to get across the creek

Dubai in a certain way overwhelming to me with its ambition and excessive ‘plastic surgery’, but when you lose yourself in its little ghettos you will find loads of traditional charm with its souks, abras and local food. The social strata here is very evident; in one area you would have the expats and local emirati population, and the other the huge labour force brought in to facilitate the city’s construction projects. The working rights here is a major social issue, where there are reports that some are forced to be in living conditions “less than humane” yet not able to return to their home country for having their passport taken away.

DSC_0288 towards the dubai creek and the restaurant converted dhow.

Dubai has always been portrayed as the glitzy cosmo destination. the 7-star level lifestyle, shiny malls, elegant skyscrapers and glamorous hotels. However I’ve been enjoying myself more exploring the different scene in the areas of Karama, Diera, Naif and Al Quoz. There are people pulling carts, mini stores selling abayas and pashima scarfs, restaurants that don’t look like they pass the health test yet filled with patrons. Theres an abundance of cheap authentic cuisine from Pakistan, India, Lebanon and more for less than 10AED/3AUD a meal. Compare this to one in burj al-arab where dinner starts from 350AED/90AUD, with even smaller portions. Local character and cheap food in dubai is aplenty, now i’m just hunting for them.