First Trip

Guadalajara Travel Blog

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I started my first day as ARC- Airport Ready Crew... which is an 8 hour shift in which you sit in the airport and wait for your friends at Crew Scheduling to call your cell phone and tell you they neeeeed you. 
 Wait... I actually started my day way out in Katy and sat in lovely Houston traffic for nearly two hours to get to the airport.  I arrived a tad late, but no one will ever know this because you don't really check in with anyone.  You're just there.  The crew room was pretty full, but I didn't know a damned person in it.  I found a table in the corner, realized I had left my book at home and started playing with my phone so I wouldn't look as pathetic and lonely as I felt.
 Finally, Gillian, a large, loud British lady I went through training with approached me with her trademark, "Hello, Darling!".  We didn't really get along that well in training, she had worked for COEX two years ago and kind of fell into a snobby know-it-all role.  Anyway, I was actually glad to see a familar face and we talked for a few minutes about her Canadian tour and she filled me in on what ARC was like before she stopped and said, "We could be talking about this over a smoke, darling."  As we were walking through the terminal a very gorgeous pilot was passing us, but stopped to say "Hello, Darling" to Gillian and asked who her pretty young friend was.  I introduced myself and they briefly chatted then we parted ways.
 As soon as he was out of ear shot I leaned in to Gillian, giggling, and said "Pilots are so cute!"  She laughed at her naive young "country" friend and we turned the corner to run right into three other girls from our training class! 
 I was starting to get jealous that everyone knew where they were going already and I was staring at the phone willing it to ring with my mind like a love sick 12 year old girl waiting for her crush to call.  As soon as Gillian and I reached the humidity and I lit a cigarette, it rang! 
 My friend at Crew Scheduling said he had a pairing for me.  "You're going to Guadalajara at 1200." 
 I KNEW IT!  I told everyone that my first flight would be Mexico... that is just my luck.  I went back to the crew room and whipped out my trusty manual and started to read up on International Documents when the gorgeous pilot I met earlier comes over and asks if he can sit with me.  He asks what I'm reading- "International Docs, I'm going to Guadalajara."  He takes the book out of my hand, shuts it, and tosses it aside.  "You don't need that, I'll take care of ya."  "You will?"  Dreamy pilot Robert is kinda making me feel like a love sick 12 year old girl, too. 
 While we were sitting and talking, some rude bill collector tried to be sneaky and get me on the phone.  When I asked who was calling he said 'Kyle'.  I don't know any Kyles so I told him 'Cecilia' was in the shower.  The same number came up again about 20 minutes later, Robert answered the phone and told 'Kyle' I wasn't home.  Which is true... I wasn't.  'Kyle' snaps at him and says, "You mean to tell me she got out of the shower that quick and is already gone?  That sounds like bullshit."  WTF?  Robert had some snappy comeback I can't remember and added, "And who are you and why are you calling my girlfriend, anyway?" at which point 'Kyle' hung up on him.
 Anyway, Robert was really sweet and stayed with me while I tried to figure out if I was supposed to check in with anyone (no) and if I needed to grab any paperwork or if it would be one the plane (yes) then he walked with me to the gate and told me to hurry and get drinks to people so I could come up into the flight deck and hang out with him and the first officer.
 As I feared, there were only about 5 other people on board that spoke English, so it took me longer than I hoped to pass out sandwiches and drinks... I pulled out the huge bag of International Docs and my manual and tried to make sense of it... I couldn't.  I called the FD and asked if they knew... they told me to come on in and they'd look at it.  The FD is really small, I sat on the floor and tried to keep my dress over my swimsuit areas and we think we figured it out. 
 When we landed, we didn't have enough time to run in and buy cheap booze or smokes so we just stood out on the stairs and looked at the mountains and bullshitted (bullshat?) until it was time to do it all over again.
 This one went much more smoothly than the first and I finished serving and giving people docs in amazing time, so I called the FD and asked of they needed anything.  I brought them some sandwiches and Robert asked if I wanted to hang out in there for a while... The first officer said he had to go to the bathroom anyway, so I could have his seat.  Robert was nice enough to somehow help me into the seat and turn his eyes so I wouldn't show him my undies at the same time. 
 Oh my gato!  The view is amazing, I mean out of the window, not just Robert... We were flying over Corpus Christi bay... those little holes in the cabin are shit compared to the huge windshield up front.  While I was sitting up there, Robert was pushing buttons and different messages were popping up on different screens.  "Uh oh.  That's not good."  What?  That is definitely something I never want to hear my captain say.  He taps one of the screens that has says "Ceci  Duncan- LCH 2:00"  What the hell does that mean?  "It means that two hours after we land you're going to Lake Charles."  Damn it.  I knew my first overnite would be boring.  That is just my luck.
 After about 15 minutes, the FO got tired of the passengers staring at him and asked if we could switch back.  I guess....  back to my office... ready for landing.  Which is kinda weird in the jump seat... you sit backwards, facing the passengers, so when you take off, you slide forward and get pushed back on landing.  I'm sure I'll get used to it soon.  

When we got back to Houston, we had to go through customs... Robert had already filled out my paperwork for me (which would explain why he wanted to know my birthdate) and walked through the line with me, where the guy in the booth told me I was "very pretty and smelled good".  Thank you creepy man in booth.  Robert helped me find my way out of Terminal D and back on my way to B so I could take off to Lake Charles which brings us to... 

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photo by: monky