Flying a Boeing 737 and the story of the dessert

Day 3 began early with breakfast at the hotel. Then, I was ready for a tour of the Singapore Airlines Training Academy. The Academy is close to Changi airport. It’s the place where young men and women are turned into ambassadors of the airline and the city-State of Singapore.
Our guide was Juat Fang Foo, Assistant Manager – Cabin Crew (Training).
Practising evacuation on land.

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Mockup where cabin crew practice evacuation on land

The Academy has mock-ups of several aircraft. Food and drinks are just one part of the training. A lot of time is devoted to safety measures, including evacuating passengers in an emergency on land and water.

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The pool where crew practises evacuation in water

Obviously, it’s not an easy job. Pilots and cabin crew travel long distances. Different time zones and weather can take a toll. So, how do they look fresh and energetic whether they are welcoming you on board or bidding adieu?
I don’t know. I simply admire their energy.
I would hate to step out of an overnight flight and walk out of an airport alongside the cabin crew of Singapore Airlines. Me looking like a shipwreck and they looking fresh as a daisy, not to mention full of energy.
Actually, that’s what happened at Changi airport when I landed.
I wonder how they do that!

In the videos below is the lady who grooms the crew.

Training the crew in the art of presentation of meals

It’s very unfair. Most unfair. The Singapore Girl did not reveal any secret at the press event and now, I was being short-changed at the Academy too. The only word I heard in the form of an answer was: Training!
Tell me about it, then!
But for that, you have to get past their interviews and other tests to qualify for training as a cabin attendant.
Is that a very courteous way of saying ciao? You just can’t beat cabin crew in polite conversation!
So, what do I do? Get it over with and move on, buddy.
On returning to the hotel, I stepped out right away and walked towards the Singapore Flyer.

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The Singapore Flyer

The city’s version of a giant wheel. It has big cabins and must offer a great view of the city, but it was not what I wanted.
I went to the Flight Experience. It’s where you get to fly a Boeing 737. Yea, a real one. Oh well, almost real! It’s a simulator. That’s the closest I can expect to get to a cockpit. So close that my instructor Wai Keat would not let me crash the flight!

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That’s me landing the Boeing 737 in Hong Kong

Before I landed in the city, I had no plans to pick up anything from the duty-free shops in the airport, but something I had seen in Singapore made me change my mind. I had seen a packet of Tim Tam, an Australian speciality, in one of the shops. I tried my luck in the duty-free shops. But I did not see any. Luckily, I sighted a packet of Jelly Belly (jelly beans), which I love.
Again, the tide had turned in my favour just when I was kicking myself for not picking up the Tim Tam from the shop earlier.

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Appetiser: Seared Scallop with Mesclun
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Main Course: Lobster Thermidor
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As in the case earlier, I had waded into the dessert before I realised I wanted to take a picture of this Fruity Mango and Lime dessert. It takes a team of chefs 70 steps to come up with this delightfully yummmmy dessert. I wiped it off it less than seven strokes
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Luck again was on my side as the hostess offered another helping. This time, I held off till I got a good photograph of the 70-step wonder

Dhiraj Shetty

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