October 29th, 1990

October 29th, 1990

At home

Fresh from SFO, Frankie’s in the house! We talked nonstop for a couple of hours before she crashed, which, after a lengthy night flight is understandable.

I woke Frankie at five and she took her time surfacing but once she did, it was all systems go, starting with the Champagne she gave me as a housewarming gift.

“She drives me crazy,” she sang, dancing around the living room “Oooohhhh oohhhhh, can you turn it up? And what are you wearing tonight?”

“I’m not sure but it won’t be as elaborate and fancy as that,” I said, motioning to Frankie’s partially beaded dress, strewn across the couch.

“You’re so good at that,” I said, marveling at the ease with which Frankie applied her eyeshadow.

“So are you.”

I rolled my eyes. “I only use make-up because we have to for work. Will you do mine?”

“I’ll do a little but you don’t need much, you have a lovely tan.”

“This,” I said, looking at my arm. “This isn’t from the trip I just did, this is from…” I paused. “Shit I don’t even remember where I’ve been recently!”

Frankie cracked up laughing. “Can you imagine going to Hong Kong or New York for like the four hundredth time when we’re ancient, like say, forty?”

“I don’t plan on flying when I’m forty! I think somewhere around thirty will be my limit. If not sooner.”

“No way,” she said. “We’ll be trolley dolly’s ‘til the end of time!”


December 25th, 1989

December 25th, 1989

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Christmas day started out with Frankie bouncing on my bed, in an effort to wake me but unbeknownst to her, I’d been awake for ages and had already gone down to the lobby to ring home.

With the time difference, it was still Christmas Eve at home and mum sounded a bit down and said it was a different kind of Christmas but that she and dad were planning on making the most of it. After I told her David rang, she sounded much perkier!

There wasn’t much time for Frankie and I to exchange gifts before having to get into uniform and meet our crew. I got the impression several of them had been up all night, no thanks! On the crew bus, Captain Alan started singing, “Good King Wenceslas” and we needed no encouragement to continue.

One passenger didn’t show up for the shuttle to Manila and unfortunately he had luggage in the hold which had to be offloaded. It took the baggage handlers absolutely ages to locate the suitcase, after which we expected to be on our way to the Philippines.

There was an issue with the aircraft flaps and the passengers had to be offloaded! The crew stayed onboard and we gathered in the First Class cabin while the engineers tended to the problem at hand.

With satisfactory flaps (!) the passengers came back onboard and right as we were about to taxi, we found out we’d gone out of hours! If we operated the flight to and from Manila (three and a half hours each way) we’d exceed the number of duty hours we’re legally able to work in a day.

Much to the passenger’s dismay (that’s a serious understatement!) an announcement was made, more or less saying, “You won’t be seeing the Philippines today!” At that point I really felt sorry for the passengers and all the disruptions they experienced, more so since it’s Christmas.

Off we went and to add insult to injury, Captain Alan broke the news that he’d received a message from London saying we’d be staying in KL for an extra few days. That news dampened everyone’s spirits and there was no singing on the way back to the hotel.

In an effort to cheer us up, Captain Alan invited everyone his room. I told Frankie I wasn’t in the mood to go but she reminded me that it’s still Christmas, so, off we go again!