Sunday, May 4, 2014

Crew transport and "free" meals at Colombo

Is the cabin crew or flight attendant job really glamorous? I personally do not think so. The job could be mundane and what's more having to serve and tolerate the obnoxious behaviour of some PITA passengers. But wait! The after duty hours at overseas as well as the perks that come with the cabin crew job are indeed interesting and funny at times.

Today, I am going to relate about crew transportation at outstations and a place call Colombo,which is the largest commercial city of  Sri Lanka.

Crew transport:

The airline usually provide the cabin crew with buses or coaches to ferry them from the airport to the hotels vice versa at outstations. For the technical crew which usually numbered 2 or 3, they would be provided with cabs or taxis. At certain stations, the technical and cabin crew share the same coach.

To us the cabin crew, the coaches were the best place to be after a tiring long night flight. Most would fall asleep during the time of the travel. Some crew even snored.

On one occasion, the driver of the coach jammed the brakes and many fell forward, almost injuring ourselves (there were no seat belts). It's dangerous to sleep during the drive. This happened in the middle of the night in Dubai.

The was a time when we were leaving the hotel in Seoul by bus to the airport. Due to heavy snowfall and traffic jam the one hour journey became a three hour journey. Our bladders were so full and couldn't help but eased ourselves behind some trees along the road (the bus we were travelling was stationary anyway due to the massive traffic jam).

The journey from Narita Airport to Shijuku where we were staying after our flight from LAX was a two hour affair. The road to the hotel was usually jammed. As the winter in Tokyo wasn't that cold as compared to Seoul, we could hold our bladders without any problem.

Whenever we travel from our hotel to the airport or vice versa, the driver of our coach would point to us the nude and topless girls playing or flying their kites at a certain park in Copenhagen during the warm summer time. The stewardesses would blush and the stewards would feast their eyes on the nudies.

Night stopping at Colombo:

I remember an incident whereby a Sri Lankan security guard who was supposed to protect us fell asleep in the bus. His rifle almost fell onto the floor if not for one of our stewards who caught it in time before it went off (it was during the political turmoil years in Sri Lanka when the government was fighting the Tamil Tigers).

Talking about Colombo where we used to layover for a night, there was a certain Chinese man who would invite all the crew to his seafood restaurant for a free dinner. The meal was sumptuous and the Sri Lanka crabs were really huge and full of meat. However, there was a catch here. After dinner, all the crew would be invited to the restaurant casino.
Many crew did not gamble at the casino but a few hardcore gamblers did. These few hardcore gambling crew would lose many times the amount of the sumptuous and expensive dinner. Therefore, the dinner wasn't free of charge after all.

There are many memories that I could recall but the above would suffice for now.

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