I remember the weeks leading up to the 9th of August felt like a race. A race against time.
I had so many things to do, so many people to see before I left, places to go, things to eat. I met Katia a week before to discuss all the documents we had to have ready to take. Medical records, birth certificates, educational certificates. After receiving your date of joining, your profile on Emirates Portal changes. It details all the medical certificates you have to upload, such as Dentist X-Ray and a certified list of Vaccines you have taken, as well as other certificates which prove who your immediate relatives are (for discount purposes), your educational certificates and a letter of resignation from your current job. Katia was an extremely reliable source. She seemed to know everything before I did. So thank you Kat. Don’t know what I would have done without you. It is all very well explained on the portal but if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me or any other crew. We’re all a bunch of very nice people. Most of the time.
I remember how everything suddenly seemed so precious, my cat sleeping next to me, the brief walk to the grocery, going out with my friends everyday. I knew nothing would ever be the same again. I doubted my decision time and again. I cried almost every night because I knew it would be hard. I consoled myself in the knowledge that I was not alone. That I had Katia with me and that made me feel better.
Saying goodbye at the airport.. let’s just say it’s a memory I wish I can erase. I’m the eldest and I know that despite knowing that they couldn’t stop me from doing it, my parents wished they could. And I could understand that perfectly. It’s never nice to be separated from a very close relative even if for a while. It takes time to get used to but time heals and in the end what truly matters is whether or not whatever it is you’re doing is making you happy. I remember how Katia’s family and mine seemed to bond in an instant, despite never having known each other. How it seemed imperative that they take each other’s number and remain in contact. And despite not knowing each other very much, Katia and I saw one another in one of the most difficult moments in our life and I believe that sharing that experience bonds us forever. Kat, I’m afraid there’s no getting rid of me now.
It may sound ironic but I had never flown Emirates before the day of my joining. I had no idea what the service entailed, what entertainment they offered. I didn’t even know how the seat reclined. I was that bad. But the crew on duty were so nice. They immediately identified me as a new joiner (the tear-stained face probably did all the talking) and made me feel welcome. There was one Maltese crew who showed us around and gave us a bag with goodies. My first impression of Emirates was a good one. I settled back, watched a couple of movies, tried to sleep and failed and thought a great deal.
I told myself I was ready for Dubai, or as ready as I’d ever be. I had no idea what to expect, no clue as to whether or not I’d make it but it was happening. It was finally happening.