A preflight day….
Cobblestones and heels..
memoirs of a corporate flight attendant
Does anyone speak english?
My famous last words as I scour the crowded gourmet deli in a small town in Germany…after receiving my latest catering order via my blackberry, I
Have set out on a quest for a selection of cheeses, vegetarian canapés, and wine. I wonder the store looking for someone who may be able to help me find my requested items. The tall young man working at the counter is no help. When asked to translate the labels on the cheese counter, he just stares Back at me with a Solum expression that says either: i have no idea what you need, please speak German ,or, I really can’t be bothered with this annoying American today. Lately, my slightly pessimistic attitude towards foreigners leads me to think that it is the later. Either way, iam forced to look among the other patrons for help. And finally, an older woman who is sympathetic to my situation and speaks a little english, assists me with my translating needs. I then quickly gather my items and return to the counter to the unhelpful young man, and hand him my credit card.
Ok, that wasn’t so bad.. One stop shopping today for my next flight..and I know Mr. X will be happy with the catering items I was able to find for him. Which, is the only thing that ever matters in end.
Now walking down this rugged cobble stone street in my 3 inch heels, carrying my shopping bags, I look for a taxi.
In this job there are a few simple things that make me happy. For one, no matter what part of the world you are in, taxis generally all look the same. to most people this is an overlooked and taken for granted fact, but to me, anything that can take the guess work out of my job is appreciated. Another thing I am grateful for is being a woman when needing assistance with transportation, directions, or manual labor such as carrying heavy bags.. There is bound to be a “gentleman” somewhere in the vicinity that is eager to save or assist the damsel in distress ( smiley face). After a couple moments an old gentleman approaches me and gestures to my bags as if to ask if I need help with them. He smiles at me and says something in German I naturally can’t understand but I perceive it to be harmless. I say “verkehrsmittel ?”. Which i believe to be the word for transportation…he points to a cross street that is apparently a place I can expect to find a taxi. He continues to carry me bags across the street for me.I take out the hotel business card in my pocket and show it to him. A taxi cab pulls up next to us and the nice man still holding my bags takes the card and explained to the driver where to take me.
I thank him by a smile and a nod and hop into the cab.
Enroute back to my hotel I retract my blackberry from my purse and email my crew to announce my where a bouts and my catering success. Unlike the days I have to converse with restaurant or hotel staff in a non speaking country- in order to place my food requests, today was a breeze.
Now, i have two hours left to organize my myself before returning to the airport for my 3 hour flight to London. My pilots i am sure are enjoying a nice meal at the hotel or lounging in their rooms watching tv.. Which is what they do, while iam out running around in high heels on cobblestone streets……