Where to start, as you know I got the job with KLM as Cabin Attendant. My training started on the 4th of March, this was 4 weeks of intensive training. KLM is more focusing on the person you are, your talents and how you can take this on the plane and use it. My trainers explained everything in a way that things actually make sense, which is the opposite of Emirates. So you can imagine that this way of training sticks better to you, also because they speak in Dutch. During our training we also had as they call it 'observation' flights and 'familiarization' flights. This was for us to see how things are going on the plane, get familiar with the aircraft and meet the crew, how it feels be part of the blue family. My observation flight was to Oslo, which is a medium length flight, the passengers were nice and mostly dutch, the crew was super friendly as well and they made me feel very welcome. My fam flight was to Vienna, and again the crew made me feel part of the blue family. Even the co-pilot carried me up the stairs when I went down to touch the ground in Vienna.
Again the training itself was intense, I went to bed every night around 10pm because I was so tired. But I did it, I passed all my exams, and I got my wings. The 'wing' ceremony as they call they swap your 'trainee' batch for a 'cabin attendant' one. As I got mine and went back to my seat I saw an Emirates flight taking off. What are the chances in that moment that I become part of a new family and I see my old airline taking off. Again, a sign, am I right or am I right?!
Just before we started I met a girl from my training group and she lives nearby, I could drive with her to Schiphol Oost every day. It was so nice to talk about the day, the assessments and also about the homework we had to do for the next day. And besides, Nienke and I had so much fun in the car every day, such a sweetheart. We have an 8 day Buenos Aires trip coming up as well!
My first ICA (intercontinental) flight was to Johannesburg a 5 day trip. Which means 1 day flying there, another one to get back and then 3 full days in Johannesburg. That's definitely different then EK, been to Johannesburg about 4 times but didn't see and do much because the layover was too short and nobody wanted to do anything. But not with KLM. Just before the flight I saw my brother Tim who was heading to Montreal for work.
About 4 days before the flight I got an email from the captain, asking who wanted to join for a safari and a two-night stop in a 5-star lodge. I wrote back, I'm new and I will be up for a safari and def to stay in a 5-star lodge! We went with 8 of us in total, the captain with a friend, the co-pilot, a business class lady (started flying on my birthday 17-06-1992, and yes I saw this as a sign), and then one of the girls from economy had her friend with her as well, and then there was Kimberley and me.
Sometimes you just meet people and you have a click, and safe to say that's what happened between me and Kimberley. She used to fly for Etihad and now she's already flying for KLM for 7 months and she loves it.
The drive to the park was about 4 hours and on the way we got some wine (obviously). From the gate it was another 20 minutes to the lodge. We already saw some giraffe's and zebra's, we are in Africa people. So cool. Once arrived at the lodge we got a nice cold iced tea as a welcome drink. The lodge called Jamila have 5 lodges, and we occupied 4 of them. The captain and his friend took one, the co-pilot had one for himself (and no, not because what all of you are thinking now), the girl from economy with her friend took one and then it was Gitte (the woman from business), Kimberley and me in the Elephant lodge aka the BIGGEST lodge of them all. It was insanely beautiful and big. One of those big beds in the middle with a mosquito net over it, looking very romantic, and not to forget we had a big jacuzzi.
Straight away we went for lunch and then to our first game drive in the park with one of those very big jeeps. In total we did 4 drives in 2 days, one in the morning and one in the afternoon where we then had sundowner drinks somewhere in the park. Which was a big scary the first night since we saw a lion passing by us 15 minutes before that.
A few too many glasses of wine later and probably only 4 hours of sleep it was time for the morning drive. We saw a few more animals, 2 lionesses, more zebra's, hippos, giraffe's, rhinos, monkeys, and a lot of Pumba's (yes the one from the lion king).
When we were back at the lodge we had some breakfast but most of us were falling asleep so afterwards it was time for a nap, the weather wasn't the best either so we didn't feel that bad for getting back in bed. That afternoon we had another game drive and while we were getting ready for our sundowner drinks our guide heard over the radio that somebody might have seen a leopard, and those are rare to find. So there we went, back in the jeep and on our way for a leopard. Leopard like to sit on rocks between trees. I'm not kidding, the road we were looking for this leopard was small and between rocks, and you could just feel him looking at you, so creepy. It was getting very dark so chances of us seeing this leopard was nihil.
On our way back to Jamila it was pitch black and I was sitting in the back. I looked behind me for a minute and there I saw a sky full of stars, there's no way I can describe such a beautiful sky in a million words. I had one of those happy moments where I feel blessed being able to experience this while doing my 'job'. While I was looking up in the sky I saw a star turning extremely bright and then it imploded, because stars don't explode, they implode. This was only a few days before the photo was published about the 'black hole', and it might be what I saw, how crazy. I actually saw a star implode, wow. My buddy Kimberley saw exactly the same, thank god, I thought I might have gone crazy otherwise. This made our last night in Jamila extra special, and even our 'braai' meal next to a campfire was just priceless. Jamila lodge is not priceless, it was expensive but worth every penny!
Would definitely recommend to go here and spend 2/3 nights here in the Welgevonden park. It would only be a successful night if we did use our jacuzzi again. So we did, surprise surprise. That night I lost my phone to the jacuzzi. I put it on the rocks for a moment, not seeing the rock wasn't really flat, so there I saw it slipping through the other rocks underneath the jacuzzi, phone gone. Typical Merel action...
I told the staff before we left the next morning for our last game drive, but by the time we got back we only 45 minutes to pack our bags, eat breakfast and find my phone. It took 2 guys about 10 minutes to move all the rocks from their original place to get to my phone, because apparently there might be some snakes down there as well she said, it was good I didn't try to find my phone myself putting my arm in the hole..... obviously I tried this about 10 times the night before, and thank god there were no snakes when I put my arm in the hole, would make it a greater story though.
The 4 hour drive back to the hotel went fast because I probably slept 3.45h of is, the key is to always bring your own pillow people! We could sleep for another 3 hours before our calling time to go back to Amsterdam. What an amazing first layover, the crew was the best and even the passengers were nice.
I have been a busy bee. During my days off I went to Keukenhof with Nienke. One of those things where no Dutch people go to and people from all over the world come here for the tulips.
My first Europe trip went to Helsinki, Prague and Porto with again amazing crew and lovely passengers.
And this crew also gave me some presents welcoming me to the blue family <3
Next Europe trip was going to Nice, Warsaw and Marseille!
The past 4 days I only had turnarounds, so going there and then straight back. But it was nice to be able to sleep in my own bed every night and not to forget it was also Kings Day a few days ago. And since I have lived abroad I had to miss it a few times so this year I was going NO MATTER WHAT!
What a great few months did I have. Loved every minute of it. I feel so incredibly happy to be flying for KLM. It is who I am and I love flying so much, being surrounded by people I don't know, make my random jokes, laugh all day and take care of people, what else can I wish for (besides a hot my by my side)? NOTHING! I have never been happier, love my job, have a beautiful apartment with my dear friend, live close to my family and beautiful nephew!
Life is good and I'm living my dream <3
Super gaaf allemaal! Vooral die trip in Zuid-Afrika! 😍 Have fun bij je nieuwe job! Toch wel lekker makkelijk dat Nederlands, denk ik..? Oh en dat van die seinen.. heb ik ook! 😉BeantwoordenVerwijderen