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Curiosity Matters

An Exploration of Branding, Design and Cultural Trends

Tête-à-Tête Tuesdays with Molly

From my other blog Curiosity Matters

August 10, 2010 Hello! Today I’d like to pretend I’m not sitting in my New York apartment while the temperature approaches 90 degrees. So I invite you all to take a trip with me around the world as I interview Paulyn, a flight attendant for an international airlines. Good timing? This girl is calm and collected and the only exit she is inclined to make is through an actual door.I met her a few weeks ago through a good friend over copious amounts of Indian food. So please, sit back, and enjoy the ride.

Tell me a little bit about your background. How long have you worked as a flight attendant? And have you always lived in Singapore?
I love traveling. Will never get enough of it. I have been flying for almost 10 years. I have lived in Singapore all my life. I almost joined Emirates in 2004, but the thought of having to live in Dubai all by myself changed my mind. I prefer to live with my family.

What made you want to be a flight attendant and what about it has made you want to stay in the industry for all these years?
I have always wanted to travel around the world.  I didn’t come from a rich family and I never got to travel much when I was younger. I met my ex-boyfriend 10 years ago who was a flight attendant. He always showed me pictures of his travels, so I decided that upon graduation, I would like to join the airline too – to travel for free and get paid at the same time!

What’s a misconception about being a flight attendant that most people have? Is it glamorous? Does traveling to interesting places ever get boring?
The common misconception would be that they sleep around among themselves or with the pilots, which is totally NOT true. More misconceptions are that we are very materialistic. The female flight attendants only want to go for the rich guys, buy branded goods, etc. And worst of all, that we are Bimbos or Himbos – that we do not know the current affairs, except for shopping and eating!!! Some of us, including myself, are University Graduates. Some are working towards Masters degrees. I must say there are some black sheeps, but NOT everyone is like that.
The only glamorous part about the job is that you get to travel around the world every other day. But it is in fact NOT that glamorous when you have to clean the toilet, wipe the vomit, get scolded by unreasonable passengers and have to deal with jetlag ALL the time.
Traveling to the same places over and over again, without exploring newer places of interest, can get really boring. I used to be in a German speaking crew, and I flew to Frankfurt, Zurich and sometimes New York, once or twice every month. But I didn’t even bother to go out. I only went out when I was hungry or I had something to buy. And the layover at the station can be very short, so I would not be able to explore other parts of Germany.

You fly with people from all over the world. Do Americans stand out? How are they different from other nationalities?
Hmmmm… How should I answer this question? I must say the Americans are just another passengers onboard. To me, I would say the Singaporeans are the hardest to please.  Though this is NOT always true, but at least 80% accurate. I would think that this is because the airline I work for is their national carrier. They expect a lot for the price they paid to fly with us. I love the Swiss. I think they are the most polite and they do not need to be told repeatedly about the safety regulations they have to follow, like fasten seatbelt during turbulence, etc.  And they only ask for water during the lull period (in between meal services)!!

What is your favorite route to fly?
To Europe. The Europeans are usually quite well behaved and they often listen to your instructions regarding to safety issues onboard.  Also, I love the rich history in Europe.  I love the castles, the old buildings etc.

Who is the most interesting person you’ve met on your travels and why?
Hmmm… another difficult question.  The ONLY famous person I ever met was Richard Quest from CNN. He is quite a famous person, yet he is so humble. He actually allowed the set of crew to take not just one, but a few pictures with him.  As for interesting person…. I can’t think of any at this point of time.

Is there a country you haven’t been to but would like to visit?
I would love to visit South America one day. Especially Chile and Argentina. I am learning about wines, and heard so much about the perfect weather conditions for wine-growing in Chile.  I would also like to know more about their culture and history, etc.

You have to pack light when you’re traveling. What are some beauty products you never leave home without? How do you keep your skin looking fresh and moisturized during the long flights?
I will never leave home without my moisturizer, serum, eye gel, and my sun block. I’ve gone for a facial once a month, since I was 22. I also do my own mini facial at home or overseas. I bring along my facial masks, etc. It is important, no matter how tired you are, to remove your makeup before you sleep. Otherwise, that is the end of your skin in the long run.  Since I already have slightly dry-skin due to flying, I apply a moisture-sleeping mask, before I sleep.  Your skin absorbs the moisture, while you are sleeping.
The cabin is very dry, so it is important that one have proper skincare, before any makeup. I also carry along my body cream so that I can apply them as often as time permits during the flight, to keep my skin moisturized.

What country makes the best beauty products? Hair products?
I found out that many products that I used are made in California, USA, but are patented in Europe. I.e. Sothys.  I think probably the best beauty products are from Europe. As for hair products, maybe from France and the USA.

And is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers about your experiences and beauty advice?
I think most people forget about their necks. You can do a face-lift, but can’t do a neck-lift?? Don’t forget to take care of your neck as well. One can still tell your age, no matter how good your face looks, if you don’t look after your neck. Apply some moisturizer over it and mask it as well.
Never leave your house without Sunblock!! Even if your office is just across the street!!  Sunblock is one anti-aging skin care you should never forget to apply!!!
Looking beautiful is not just about looking after your skin. What about your hair? Being properly groomed like going for a manicure and pedicure, dressing well, like color co-ordination, etc, having simple makeup whenever you are leaving your house, especially if you are going to meet someone, are just as important. It is the whole package. You can have the greatest skin, but if you are dressed terribly, or your hair is in a mess or your nails are all chipped, you still looked TERRIBLE.  Agree?? :)