Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bus Mates

Now that I no longer fly the friendly skies, I've taken to riding the regional bus an hour and a half one way to work in an effort to save the planet (and my budget). I've gone back to riding on the same route at the same time, so many of the people I got to know while I was commuting prior to my flight attendant gig were there to greet me on my first day back on the bus.

Not only was it great to see familiar faces and catch up with each other on the past year of our lives, but this impressed upon me that even though my daily travels no longer involve the glamour of the airline world on a daily basis, I will still be traveling among the masses, witnessing and being drawn into other people's lives. The fodder will not falter!

Speaking of fodder...how about the guy from up in the hills who's been living completely off the grid for over 25 years because the utility companies wanted to charge him thousands of dollars to bring service lines out to his property? "I don't even know what a utility bill looks like these days," he exclaimed to me.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Good Bye Friendly Skies

Last week marked the end of my career flying the friendly skies. I thought I would give myself a week to mull over some of the important lessons I'll take with me from my tenure as a flight attendant so I could come up with a compelling list. While I'm still grasping for anything profound, here are a few fun observations:

*Please and thank you, heck, even a smile go a long way towards getting your own way.
*People travel for a variety of reasons, handle the confusion and congestion of airports differently, and for the most part react warmly to a simple greeting and smile.
*A startling number of people are willing to walk into the lavatories bare foot.
*Screaming infants and/or toddlers with sticky fingers are usually seated next to business men pecking away on their laptops (I think gate agents secretly arrange it that way).
*Even though (most) people pack their own bags, load them into the trunk of their cars, pull them back out and wheel them through the airport all by themselves, there will inevitably be a few passengers who feign the inability to stow their own luggage once aboard the aircraft.

And why focus on solely on the passengers?

*Yes, Botox parties are hosted and attended by flight attendants.
*You would think that schlepping luggage from one city to the next as part of you job requirement would encourage some of the most super-efficient packing techniques, but sadly this is not the case -- many flight attendant injuries are personal luggage-imposed.
*If you're looking for a pair of stylish, yet comfortable black heels, ask a flight attendant where she got hers.
*And finally, have crew badge, get discount.

Shameless Self-Promotion

Here's a bit of shameless self-promotion, but travel related, nonetheless. The travel website I freelance for, 52perfectdays.com, is running a contest and rewarding the five contributors with the most hits on their articles. (The prize isn't specified and could be a used toilet brush for all I know, but it would be exciting to win).

So please, if you are infected by the travel bug at all, click on my contributor page link and then click on each of the articles. Feel free to leave comments. And of course, if you have any suggestions for more perfect days in Colorado, by all means, make them known!

Happy clicking!