In reference to my post on January 7th, Career Choices, it got me thinking about "hearsay" and how we make choices based on rumour instead of fact. (Yes, this is going to be a juicy one) :)
Years ago, I was reluctant to apply to a charter/cargo company in Halifax, Nova Scotia (my home town) because other pilots labelled it a "kind of unsafe" operation. (See pic on the side). Well I did heed their words for awhile, but eventfully I went knocking. They hired me as a part time Navajo pilot. Sure some things were a little "dubious" but the company launched mine and so many other pilot careers.
Here are a few urban myths out there.....
Don't visit Israel...it's just too dangerous!
It turned out Israel sat on my list of "best layover destinations." The history, sights, religions, people...made it a place to "pin on the map for must sees." This picture is along the highway enroute to the Dead Sea with my wife who tagged along on a three day layover.
(Someone once asked me...we all know there is a "mile high" club, but is there a "below sea level" equivalent?) lol
I do have pictures of me playing in the dead sea mud, but it wouldn't do much for the mostly male audience out there. :)
Actually on one layover, the captain and the first officer (I was the cruise pilot then) were more interested in getting pictures of a flight attendant who...ahem...filled out her bathing suit to the nth degree. Later that day I had the pleasure of walking the streets of Tel Aviv with her. She stopped traffic. :)
On one layover I did walk past a restaurant in Tel Aviv which had a situation a few weeks after. I'll leave it at that. :(
Don't go to Japan, the food is too expensive!
There are tons of eateries where you can get a nice meal which includes a beverage (notice I didn't say BEER) for about $10 to $12. And that includes taxes and there is absolutely no tipping in Japan (a pilot's haven). It's deemed a slap in the face.
(In the picture, the special of the day is 580 yen...about six Canadian dollars)
Can't read Japanese? No problem, many restaurants have waxed displays of their food. The system was developed years ago when much of the population could not read. And it's exactly, "what you see is what you get." The details are so good they even include the bubbles in the beer. Ooops there's that BEER word again. Heaven forbid I allude to the fact a pilot may have a beverage on a layover. (Yes, I'm directly my shots).
Don't eat the food in India, you will get "Delhi belly."
I absolutely loved the food in India! I've been there at least 30 times and not once did I get the equivalent to Montezuma's revenge. Well I did get some back end turbulence once, but it was due to a crew meal. I know of so many crew that would hide in their hotel room possibly for two days with canned goods and other food and would never venture out. What a pity!
They didn't get to see the Taj Mahal nor the infinite layers of India. Yes, India has many layers (I know of a few people that fall in that category). :) Actually, I must post in the future about the "shoe shine boys." If anyone saw the movie "Slum Dog Millionaire" there sure are some great parallels.
Many times when I returned home it made me realize how bland and boring our North American diet is. Sure some crews succumbed to intense intestinal discomfort and some even had to be hospitalized. Yes, you would be tempting the food gods if you ate from a kiosk located on the street (see above picture) but some of the restaurants were out of this world. In fact our hotel hosted one of the top restaurants in the world. Dignitaries including U.S president Bill Clinton paid it a visit.
The backstreets of Delhi. At the time an A340 F/O
Don't go to Quebec, it's filled with separatists.
Yes, here in Canada we have our political issues. My first experience of "la belle province" saw me in grade 12 at age 17 making a fool of myself at "La Carnival du Quebec" in Quebec city during February. (I'm starting to have flashbacks) :)
One of my best years saw me at McGill university in Montreal where I joined a fraternity. Hmmm.... I'm starting to think where my middle daughter (diesel daughter) got her "party gene."
In fact, I sent "diesel daughter" in the heart of separatist country (Chicoutimi) this past summer. She flew stand by on airline passes via Montreal by herself. She loved it!
Nadia you have a beautiful province!
Don't even think about going to the Middle East....especially if you are a woman.
I won't mention how my kids still talk about their trip to Dubai, UAE.
My eldest daughter had the opportunity to visit a colleague in Kuwait city these Christmas holidays. But wait a sec, didn't they bomb the heck out of that country 2o years ago? My daughter could not believe the time she had. Sure, she had to adhere to local customs. She wants to go back and yes she got there on standby passes and flew via Washington, D.C
What I'm trying to say is...one should determine first hand...what a place, people, food, culture, etc are like. And this includes aviation opportunities!
Like my nephew who runs a sea kayaking company on the east coast says...."go out and play!"
and if you do...fly Air Canada. :) :) :)