My first introductory flights are history: I have experienced a great deal and learned a lot. My first night-stop in Moscow was a wonderful experience.
The crew was super, and the city offers picturesque “onion” domes, excessively priced coffee and amusing guesswork when it comes to orientation because all signs are written in the Cyrillic alphabet only. Russians have their own mentality in other ways, too. During the flight they often have the need to stand up and walk around the cabin. The queue in front of the lavatories is not really a serious problem, but it does impede the inflight service, which generally takes longer on flights to Moscow than for other flights within Europe anyway because a hot meal is served and a wider selection of beverages is offered. Another surprise is the gratitude passengers express at the end of a flight. During the meal service they remain comparatively passive but on landing they applaud enthusiastically and express their thanks warmly as they leave the aircraft.
The Moscow flight has not been the only memorable experience so far. In a clumsy moment I managed to “flood” the galley on a flight to Brussels and so, in addition to serving sandwiches and cola, I had some cleaning and mopping up to do. Not only for reasons of cleanliness but for my own benefit, too. I was afraid that on landing I would be soaked by a wall of water, which I most certainly wished to prevent happening. I don’t think the passengers on the return flight would have been impressed by my soggy appearance, even if I am pretty sure that the fine ice cream we serve as a snack would have put them in a conciliatory mood.
By now I have spilled a few drinks, experienced some minor turbulence and disposed of a few air sickness bags – always calmly and with a smile. Despite these small unpleasant sides of my work, the job has so far fulfilled my expectations in terms of teamwork, adventure and variety.