IT’S TODAY IT’S TODAY!
Today, well November 29, 2015, I was assigned my very first international trip! That is how it felt though. I logged into the scheduling program at 9pm on the dot just like I was taught to do, and there is was. My very first international assignment!
At first, I didn’t even realize it was an international trip. GLA…what airport code is that? I had no idea. So after googling it and finding out that it was Glasgow, Scotland…I was stoked! What made it even better was that two girls from my graduating class were on the same trip!
It was me, Cori and Taylor all going to Glasgow for the very first time and we were all very excited!
I called Cori to tell her and we had our few minutes of panicked excitement on the phone. We made plans for the next day to meet up and take the train together since she lives in the same apartment complex as me. Of course when I got there she was not ready and in the wrong uniform!
“You cannot wear that dress internationally!”
So I ironed her skirt while she changed her blouse and we were on our way to the Terminal.
The train was packed and running late but we still made it to the airport with enough time to have some pizza and make it to the gate on time.
The flight from New York to Glasgow is approximately 6.5 hours. Within that 6.5 hours we are expected to do 5 full beverage services, a full hot meal for dinner and a cold meal for breakfast. Sounds easy, right? Not exactly.
Fortunately, we did not have any issues during the breakfast service. We handed out the croissants with jelly and everyone was satisfied. Thank gosh. After breakfast we had only a half hour to pick up the trash, clean up the galleys and take our seats for landing.
We made it to Glasgow, through customs and all was well. I got to my hotel room, took a picture of the view, sent it to my mother and passed the heck out. I was EXHAUSTED!
It may have been 7am in Scotland but at home it was only 2am.
So yes, I needed rest.
The view from my hotel room.
Taylor, Cori and I slept for a few hours before we met up in the lobby around 2pm Scotland time to venture out into the city. We did not have any plans set in stone, only a few ideas of where we wanted to go. We each got currency from the hotel ATM, asked the concierge for a map of the city and a for a few suggestions on where to go and we headed out into the city.
Glasgow truly is a beautiful city. Long brick roads built along steep hills that go seem to go on forever. The architecture is brilliant and unique from anything I had ever seen in my small-town Indiana life. You see places like this in pictures and in old movies, but forget that they actually exist in real life.
Earlier in the day on the flight, the lead flight attendant suggested that we explore the Christmas Market that was just a short walk from the hotel we had been staying in. We found our way there and we were happy that we did. We toured the small booths with people selling goods that they had made with their own hands. Clothes, art, food...you name it. The sellers were not pushy, but helpful and happy to help you and answer questions about their products. There is something for everyone to fall in love with. Taylor and I had our eyes on one particular booth with a sweet lady selling an assortment of flavored hot chocolate. For two pounds you could get a decent sized cup of hot chocolate with any of 25 different flavors. For three pounds the very sweet lady would had a shot of Bailey's to the mix as well. Taylor and I both paid three pounds. She had a peppermint flavor and I had a Hazelnut flavor. With Bailey's, of course.
We wandered around the Christmas Market a bit longer and we headed out further into the city. The same flight attendant that told us about the market also informed us of a shopping center that had a store called Primark. You could compare this store to a Forever 21 in America, but less expensive and bigger. Cori was excited to go there so that is where we found ourselves. The large store had all the necessities and more and all for a reasonable price. I only bought a nice pair of gloves for what I think equaled about two american dollars.
The sun was going down quickly and Taylor still had wanted to stop at the Glasgow Hard Rock Cafe to to collect a pin. She collects pins and wanted one from the Glasgow location. Cori decided to continue shopping while Taylor and I went to find the restaurant. We set a meet time and went back out into the cold. Only a few blocks away we found the cafe as well as an underground liquor store where Taylor bought a fancy bottle of whiskey for her boyfriend and his father.
I could have spent hour in that liquor store looking at all of the fancy bottle, listening to the vinyl they had on display and talking to the worker about the different bottles and what they were good for. She was nice enough to even let us sample a few. Turns out I would rather just look...
We made our way back to Cori, passing under beautiful buildings with stringed christmas lights connecting them. Large Christmas trees and street entertainers all around with their hats laying in front of them to collect pocket change from strangers passing by. Getting lost at night in this city would not be a burden.
I can't remember the name of the place we ate at but it really was amazing. There were menus at the table and when you were ready to order, you walked up to the bar and gave them your table number along with what you wanted. I had a beef stew with mashed potatoes and vegetables. Also, a beer or two. Simple and delicious.
We finished our dinner and decided to make our way back to the hotel. I went up to counter to pay my bill. I held out my hand filled with pounds and said,
"I uh....just take what you need?"
The bartender laughed at me and took what the coins from me and handed only a few back. I trust that he did the right thing. Currency in other countries can be confusing if you aren't familiar. Between the coins and bills, it is not always so simple to figure out the exact change. Coins are commonly used for more than spare change. For example, five dollars in America is a paper bill. Five pounds in the UK is a small coin.
From the restaurant, we walked back towards the hotel, but stopped at a bar on the way. Cori and Taylor had some beer and I had a couple glasses of wine. Cori showed us everything that she bought at the stores she visited and we just chatted for awhile. It was a really good time.
Cori ended up not feeling too well and went straight to bed when we got back to the hotel. Taylor and I went upstairs to change and then met back down at the hotel bar. We had nachos and took selfies. I mean who doesn't love nachos and selfies? We talked about where we wanted to go with this job and how excited we were to finally be doing what we worked so hard for in training, and when the bar closed we headed up to our rooms and passed out for the night.
Well, I don't know about Cori and Taylor, but i did not sleep for even a minute. A 24-hour layover in a city with that large of a time change is not enough for your body to adjust. I just laid there all night hating myself for taking the nap earlier in the day.
That morning, I was NOT feeling the 8.5 hour flight back to New York. I love my job but I really was't sure that I was going to make it back.
The service ran smoothly and all went well. I had a leftover meal from first class as well as a cup of ice cream which made me feel better. Also 3 cans of diet coke. I never said I was perfect.
So I made it! We made it! Taylor, Cori and I conquered out very first international flight!
I'm not going to lie, though, I'm pretty sure I slept for 2 straight days when i get home. It felt amazing. As tired as I was from the trip, when I woke up my first thought was,
"Where to next?"
would you go to Glasgow
Three years ago I made the bold (and crazy) decision to drop out of school, quit my job and move across the country to start my life as a cabin crew member. With my suit freshly pressed and my shiny wings pinned to my heart, I was ready to take on the world. ....read more.
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