Noa Hakim

I wake up in the morning, with absolutely no idea where I am. To be more specific, without any idea whether I am in the northern or southern hemisphere, what time zone, country or continent I am in, and what I should expect to have for breakfast. I look around, in order to gather some hints and details to help me figure it out. The room is bigger than an average shoe box; therefore I am not in New York City. It is not familiar to me; therefore it is neither Bangkok nor London. It is not overly super-fancy; therefore it is not the five-star deluxe hotel in Mumbai. Hmmmmm… Toronto! I am in Toronto.

Noa FAThe situation above may seem unreal to some of you, and though it is indeed a bit surreal and disorienting, it happened to me a numerous times and is a frequent situation for people who work in the field of flight attending.

So yeah, this is what I do for living. Hopping between New York, Hong Kong and Johannesburg in a speed that beats the jet lag, while in between I need to stay up and smiley and serve coffee, wine and Diet Coke (sorry, we do not have any Ginger Ale…) to people who from some reason prefer to open a free bar in the middle of the night instead of, well, sleep. Oh, and of course, in case of an emergency landing it will be my responsibility to get your ass out of the plane, safe and sound, within 90 seconds.

So let’s go straight to some myth busting: it was never my dream job, and as a little girl I never played flight attendant shows. More like climbing trees and building secret camps. I do not have a guy in every port, and I do not know any flight attendant who does. In a matter of fact, it is super hard to stay in a normal, functioning relationship and the partners should get a Noble prize for patience and tolerance. Not all flight attendants are pretty, skinny, nor love travelling. Some are here just for the shopping (one thing we can all agree on: we all love shopping, sushi and sparkling wine). We cannot upgrade you to first class, business class or any other class for free. No, not even if you ask really nice. We can, however, give you some extra crackers. That is, indeed, the top upgrading ability we have. Not of all us are crazy versatile monsters who can speak seven different languages (fluently, of course), though some are. And no, we do not collect points in the Mile High Club. Ewww. You should not too, it is dirty and disgusting and just don’t.

Here will be my platform to give you a small glance into the life of flight attendants. From weird, funny or unbelievable stories that happen in the altitude of 30,000 feet, to recommendations of places worldwide, it will be soon realized that even though being the citizen of the world is an amazing experience, Dorothy was right: there’s no place like home. Now it is all about where you feel your home is…

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