Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Arrival in Dubai...Training...so far...

Sorry for the delay...Internet is not exactly practical here...so to continue where I left off, so boarded that amazing A380 plane and boy was I amazed by the size of this big whale in the air...to beleive and understand me one needs to live it...flight was smooth and I made sure the cabin crew knew I was a new joiner, so I was treated to a tour of the super jumbo and first class section is just amazing...FIRST CLASS as it should really be, mind that I was in a economy seat for a long 12 hours, but with their IFE system I was pretty much entertain the whole time. Arrival in to Dubai was quite a shock to me, more then what I anticipated, the culture the way of living its just so strange to me ! I will get into details later on as my internet is limited, oddly enough I have access on my blackberry, chatting away on msn with my buddies. Training is fun, the facilities are second to none and thats a fact ! I am amazed everyday ! For all you wannabes Emirates and life in Dubai is or can be what you make of it ! For sure I miss my home a lot...but dwelling on it will definetly make your adaptation harder...

stay tuned for more...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Leg 1 done...

Finally I boarded that silly American Airlines plane to LGA (La Guardia Aiport), with a 45 minutes delay it was almost like déja vu all over again...the plane was full, we left at 2pm and landed at LGA at 3pm, now to pick up my luggage, 2 in total with a combine weight of 50 kilos, I was happy that they had trolleys. Next stop, Bus transportation to JFK (John F Kennedy airport), only waited 20 minutes for the NY Transport Service bus which was outside the baggage claim area, after paying 13$ USD for the ride, off I was to JFK. I must say, traffic in New York is crazy, I don't know how they do it, it's not my first time here, but always baffled by the traffic here, and the place is humongous ! Speaking of big, JFK is one hell of an airport , I thought LHR was something, with it's 7 terminal buildings it took the driver almost half and hour to drop everyone to their respective terminal, and of course I was the last one to be dropped off at terminal 4. By the way the plane leaves for Dubai at 11pm ! so I have to kill a good 6 hours, boarding being at 10pm, can't wait to see that...saw the A380 parked next to a 747 from Singapore airlines and British Airways, quite impressive, so is my seat number 73G, and that's only the third section out of 4 in the economy cabin (check out www.seatguru.com). Lazy as I am I opted for fast food to keep my stomach busy for the next few hours, always different menus at McDonald America then Canada, almost feels like 2 different countries on seperate continents ! Anyway last time I asked an American where Canada was the answer was not pretty...no offense to my American readers ! and finally, I almost came down with a river of torrent waters on my face, all the feelings of leaving Montreal (my home for the past 7 years) came gusting in my mind, felt like crying like a baby, and already miss my baby ! my bouzou !

leg 1 down...leg 2 to go ! stay tuned...:)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

E-ticket (Part II and hopefully the end)

I finally got that e-ticket with, you would guessed it American Airlines, oddly enough this time I was routed YUL-LGA JFK-DXB with 8 hours to kill in between, I will be so tempted to go downtown Manhattan to wash my eyes with some window shopping ! But with 50 Kilo of luggage with me I doubt it....So far what I've learned from this whole experience is that you don't have any control over what is to happen , getting Final Interview, Golden call, Final Approval (well that last one if you are in good health would doubt you would not get it). Last night I was set to call EK again, but decided to trust them since I had already emailed them and they called me on sunday advising me there would be no problems. In this case I guess patience really is triumphant. I'm already plotting how I will be writing my next post...

Stay tuned :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Breathing again !

Finally got a call back from EK and will now be joining on the 19th of december. They say I will have the same itinerary , but all fingers crossed that I don't ! I advised them to put me on an earlier flight as the last one left me with no options to find and alternative airline and I only had a 2 hour time frame to make my connection in JFK. 

Feels good to breathe again lol

Still waiting !

It has been 2 days since my missed attempt to join EK. I am now technically living out of my suitcase since I have no idea when I will be leaving. I have all sorts of negative ideas filling my head, every small thing irritates me, and I am hating more and more my behavior, but it is so easy to find an excuse, AMERICAN AIRLINES lol . I had hoped to get a call yesterday morning thinking that the meet and greet people there would have noticed that I am missing and try to contact me ! That is so puzzling...At this point, I better enjoy my time working there...I have invested to many brain cells burned by stress. The funny thing is which is somewhat positive, once I'll be finally on that flight to DXB, I'm sure I will forget all of this jigsaw adventure to get there. Just thursday night at YUL all the past 7 weeks of waiting seemed like a day ago, the brain is really a powerful thing, able to erase the not so good things when a good one happens. Yet we has humans seem to dwell on the bad for so long... hopefully I will not fall into that vicious circle. I guess to have more we must become more, as my mother puts on her msn status ! and it translates in that brain of mine as to have more one must be patient lol 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Unbelievable !

I just arrived back home from YUL (Montreal international airport) , I was suppose to connect in JFK (New York International airport) via American Airlines and then DXB (Dubai International airport) via Emirates Airlines, the flight was scheduled for departure at 7:25 PM, I checked in at 6pm and the flight was showing a delay of 30 minutes...I cleared US custom (because in Canada you clear them at the airport) and went to the gate, gate 79, it was quite busy so I went and sit at the adjacent gate , gate 81. At 7:05 Pm which was the boarding time for my flight, I look up the monitors and see the really unexpected: CANCELLED. I rush to the gate and advise the gate agent that I have a connection in JFK and I can't miss it, that did not change anything for them as they were somehow giggling at my fate. Next step was to ask what was to happen to me as it was the last flight out to JFK for the day, she said that American Airlines responsibility is only to transport me from YUL to JFK and that I should contact my travel agent for my continuing flight to Dubai (Sweet of them!). Still in shock of what is unfolding, I rush to the mountain of paper work in my bag to find out that I don't have one single number to contact EK, so I decide to go online and try to find a number on their website, I got the reservation office number which is open 24/7 and they told me to contact the office on sunday and they will give me a new joining date. At this point, I'm frustrated and tired ! I really don't understand how American Airlines cancels the flight saying bad weather when an earlier delayed flight to JFK was leaving.

I really don't know what to make of all this, always knew traveling was stressful but this experience tops it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Winter wonderland one last time !

Surprise surprise once again the weather network got it wrong, after announcing big snow storm for the week end which was a no show, we woke up this morning under a blanket of white powder and it's already evening and it is still snowing and -10 Celsius , but they are announcing rain as the temperature should go up to 7 Celsius !!! That will be pretty all that snow blended with the all the rain EEK !!! But I am enjoying it as much as possible, since I don't know when I will see snow ever again (not sad about that). I took out my camera and took some pictures for those of you who live in tropical weather paradise.

Check out my pics  SNOW STORM

Monday, December 8, 2008

3 days to go, what I have been up to !

The past few days have been what you call in good Quebec french "Cochon" which means PIG lol. I have been having a diner party one after the other, and I somewhat went to an anorexic looking guy to a pregnant women about to deliver, it's crazy how you can eat something that tastes so good and gain so much fat, and eat something that is so good health wise and feel so dry lol I guess it's one of those things in life where man is put in front of a continual and infinite amount of choices all with there consequences but with equal or unbalanced amount of satisfaction. Last night I drove about an hour and half to go to my Ballroom school year end gala, obviously it had to be windy and snowy, once I got back home, after being stressed all night because I was doing 2 group routines in front of an audience, and driving in bad weather (did I mention it was -15 Celsius) my arms were hurting like crazy, one would think that I was lifting weights for the first time. About 3 weeks ago I thought I would have an unlimited amount of time to get ready for my desert adventure, and now that I'm down to 3 days, I feel like I'm stuck, I wake up everyday and it is as if my brain is not able to command my body, I'm even more lazy then before, my body does not want to move, is it a panic attack ? But I'm pretty sure it is the cold weather, you just want to become a bear and stay in your cave all winter. So with 3 days to go, I think I'll make an effort and start organizing my move !

Saturday, December 6, 2008

E-TIcket and Visa !

I just love the time difference between Montreal and Dubai, 9 hours and a 12-14 hour flight depending where you are departing, west to east is shorter. Once again woke up to a waiting email in my mailbox, this time the final piece do this crazy adventure to getting inside one of the biggest airlines in the world has arrived.  But sweeter then all the sugar in the world, is the fact that I will be flying on the amazing A380 from JFK to DXB...this really is the icing on the cake.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Final Approval...Yipidi doo daa Yipidi Yeah

I woke up at 30 minutes past midnight and felt an urge to look at my blackberry and see if I had any emails, and there beholds 2 emails, both from EK, the first one telling me that I obtained final approval and the other one advising me to resign (well I'm not employed). I will be receiving my e-ticket and visa 4 days prior the date of joining which should be monday. Excited, yes I am !

Now I can finally start organizing my last days in Montreal , but with the cold weather, most likely I will just be separating my wardrobe and give away the clothes that I won't be needing for the next few years, keeping only some warm clothing for the cold destination, and obviously I don't have that much summer clothes, oh well, shopping spree is in the air lol (but where is the money ?)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Credit cards, Customer service, eye test, snow storm !?!?!

There is nothing more unenjoyable then waking up mad as hell, it's like having ate a whole cake with lots of butter-sugar-vanilla frosting the night before...I mean poor customer service just make my adrenaline rush. It all started this morning when I received my credit card statement and not a new credit card since it expired in november ! So I called the customer service and thinking it would be a 2 minute call, I was very calm and collected lol So the nice lady says : I see here that your renewal was declined by the credit department. That is not something I wanted to hear, considering I pulled my credit report last friday and it was in very good standing not to say excellent. By now she had transfer me to the Famous credit department, and they tell me that if we declined you it has to do with your credit, so I ask him: What about it ? and he says that he is not in a position to tell me (LMAO), in my head I' m going : Oh REALLY God.....t !!! So I ask for a supervisor , and get the same treatment, now, here is where I get upset to a hot volcano boiling point, I have been a credit underwriter for the past 5 years and I know how it works, so I tell them that I need a logic reason to why you declined/refused my renewal, all I got is : Sir, it's your credit !. He tells me to contact VISA because they are the ones who take the decisions ! I tell him that when I applied it was with the bank and on my statement it does not mention VISA customer service but The banks customer service...so finally I get his name and call customer service again (Kerwin is a name I will never forget!). I'm on the phone again with customer service, and this time they seem to have found their brains, the nice lady says that it really does not make sense and gets a competent guy to look at the file. Backtracking, I had told Kerwin that my card was compromised last month and I was reissued another one, and would that not have caused this issue, brilliant as he is, he goes: No, it's my credit !. So, it was indeed that incident and someone in the fraud department forgot to unblocked the reissue scheme on my account. The weirdest thing is that I inform them that I spoke to Kerwin and he was insistent that my credit was the cause, well, they tell me they don't have a Kerwin in their department. Just goes to show you, when ever you have a situation with a company and you know you are not at fault, INSIST INSIST INSIST.

Now, this morning I also woke up to an email from EK (IATA/ICAO code for Emirates Airlines) telling me that my medical forms are incomplete, to have my doctor fill out the EYE SECTION. About that, when I went for my medical, she told me that she can only have me read something (called Sneller test) and that was it, so Tomorrow I'm going to an ophthalmologist for a complete report ! The good thing about that email, I'm relieved to know that my file was not forgotten as they requested that I confirm that I will be able to Join on Dec-12th.

Interesting enough, it's getting warm today and last nights snow and ice is already melting ! I guess mother nature is delaying it's wrath.

Cities I've visited