all the bright lights

Have you ever had an occasion where you can’t think of anywhere else that you want to be but where ever you are at that exact moment; time and place? i had that moment of gratitude as i was sitting in the flight cockpit, as we swirled around dubai with the glittering pinnacle of burj dubai, bright lights dotted surrounding it at 3am in the morning.

i just got back from my first 2 SUPY flights. the first was to karachi, pakistan and it was nothing short of eventful. The flight was delayed 45 minutes, which gave us crew some time to grab some coffee. Then 3 cabin crew was pulled out at the last minute. The seniors were reassuring me that it rarely happens and not be too alarmed by it. It was a flight for me to just sit and observe. However as it was a full flight and they were working on a minimum number of crew, i helped out with the cabin service anyway.

It was a flight during Iftar time. Iftar is the time when muslims fasting for religious reasons would break their fast after about 14hours of not eating nor drinking. So you can imagine how hungry these people were. Not to mention cranky and demanding. A short flight + undermanned meant that a lot of passengers didn’t receive what they wanted. which meant unhappy customers. not to mention unhappy crew. 1 man vomited all over the aisle. 1 baby vomited on the mother. doesn’t it all sound so dramatic? there’s a sick bag in the seat pockets. use it.

anyways being the newbie i had the privilege to sit in the cockpit during takeoff and landing. it was meant to show every crew how the flight deck worked and how important it would be not to disturb them during these crucial times. so my lips were zipped the whole time i was in there, unless they spoke to me of course. i found the whole process of take-off and landing incredibly manual and tedious. in this age of technology and automation you would think it was just pressing the pedal and pushing the control stick to fly the machine; however there were a million buttons to press before and after, checklists to go through and so many visual indicators to monitor. it was like playing a retro video game; but just a hundred times more complicated.

ws_Retro__Space_Invaders_1280x800 the monitors were all 16 bit, i swear, and the text like high scores you’d see on retro video games.

so while the flight deck were busy concentrating on flying and landing the plane safely, me the SUPY enjoyed the view; and what a view it was. whatever HDR photos you see on the internet cannot capture the beauty and experience of it. landscapes, buildings, infrastructures shrinking as you fly higher and higher, which soon becomes a large web all connected to one another and soon you realise how small you truly are from above. it was an amazing experience; i now truly understand the charm of flying such a large aircraft and i’m so so glad i took the crazy leap to be there at that moment.


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