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Dubai is calling!

27. August 2015

The task allocation is quite simple: My future employer organises visa, flight and accommodation whereas I am responsible for everything that needs to be done at home. The deal is to emigrate to Dubai within 130 days. Read how I experienced this time.

I bet myself…

… that I will not be able to pack the suitcase at least a week before departure. In my defence: I am a woman and 80% of my suitcase consists of clothes and shoes, which A) I use daily and B) need to be thoroughly selected for such a trip and therefore this takes time (Every female reader will agree with me on that). In my case the packing part was even a bit trickier. I will need the long coat for Moscow as much as the summer dress for the Maldives. Not to forget about all the little stuff for my upcoming backpacking trips. For the winter months in my case was somewhat difficult. Quite a challenge to pack that in two suitcases with a total baggage allowance of 50 kg!

About bureaucracy and the shrinking purse

Last year, about 747’000 Swiss people searched for their luck abroad and left their home country. The reasons for a long-term stay somewhere else apart from home or to permanently move away are numerous. From a new job, to love or simply the dream of pure independence, all may lead to this decision. The fact that I already count myself to be a part of this aforementioned statistic, still makes me pause for a moment.

Such a mini-emigration also comes with a lot of tasks and administrative hurdles. The more I was astonished how easy it actually is to deregister from a city. This feeling of astonishment became even more, when I received the invoice for translations and notarial attestations. This time in a less excited sense tough. Yes, Switzerland truly lives up with its name of being one of the most expensive countries in the world.

Dress code: Business casual

You don’t go to work wearing your baggy trousers or short little dress – most of us are clear about that. However, I keep my styling ‘lèger’and stick to the ‘less is more’ – rule in terms of make-up. For this reason, it will be quite a change for me to adhere to a dress code in my new role as a cabin crew. I honestly consider myself as a bloody Deux-Pièces-Virgin. Ever since I got the job, shopping became an absolute nightmare. I feel lost while looking for knee-length skirts, wrinkle-free blouses and the right den-strenght for a pair of tights! Thankfully, my keen-eyed auntie Anita, wife and self-constituted ‘lady of the 90’s’, quickly noticed my dilemma. With her valuable expertise in fashion she significantly helped me to change myself in a well-dressed woman.

Why I consider myself a living bacterium

‘Cabin Crew is a demanding job’, said Mira at the cabin crew assessment. Although you are not required to run a marathon, fitness and good health plays a significant role in a flight attendants life. Apart from that, it is mandatory to be fully checked by a doctor before joining any airline. I don’t remember how many times I went to see my doctor for taking blood-test or recording my previous medical history. When I just think about all the vaccinations that I have got, I literally feel like a living bacterium, wandering around the world.

Get ready for take-off

I am looking forward to eight weeks full-time training after my arrival in Dubai. In order to familiarise yourself with the new role as a Cabin Crew, every new joiner receives some documents and tasks to go through. Since then, I use my free time to memorize airport abbreviations by heart, fill out questionnaires about my learning type (with questions like: If you try to remember a person, do you remember A) his face but not the name or B) his name but not the Face?!) and become acquainted with the aviation language. Don’t worry! I haven’t gone so far as to practise an evacuation on one of the slides on the kids’ playground or I also did not have to inflate a yellow west in the swimming pool.

Dubai is calling workbook ek

A sought-after woman

The feedback about my new job and the movement to Dubai is immense. Being a cabin crew and the life nowhere but anywhere still seems to trigger a certain fascination among the people. I noticed that my new adventure automatically broke the ice on day-to-day situations. May it be at the drug store when buying sun protection for the heat in Dubai or buying a new pair of glasses at Fielmann. Unfortunately, a journey like this is always associated with a farewell. Farewell to the dearest, the former work colleagues and all the great people I have met in the past. Those many great evenings which I spent with family and friends will leave lots of beautiful memories behind.

It would not be true to say that there was no sceptic about my job and life in Dubai. But I agree with Elizabeth Gilbert who once wrote:

If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself… then truth will not be withheld from you.


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