Confessions of a Hostie 3
not knowing where she was or the time. After taking a
few deep breaths, she collected her thoughts. She was in Hong Kong,
having arrived late in the evening. She was exhausted, downing a
glass of wine before going to sleep at around one in the morning.
When she awoke she checked the bedside clock to discover it was
almost seven o'clock. She decided to have a shower, get dressed,
and then go downstairs for breakfast. When she arrived in the hotel
lobby she discovered it was pitch-black outside. It was seven
o'clock alright, but not morning, it was seven o'clock at night.
She had slept for nearly 18 hours.
    Julia brings up the subject of dreams; not
dreams in hotel rooms, but dreams onboard the aircraft. On
long-haul flights there are designated crew-rest areas. Some
aircraft have little bunks, usually located in the tail. They are
not exactly king-size orthopedic mattresses with satin sheets and
feather-down pillows, but at least it is somewhere to rest away
from the main cabin and passengers. On a 12 hour-plus flight it is
    I struggle to sleep on an aircraft, yet on
the few occasions I have; I dream - and they are very different
dreams to what I might have in my own bed or even a hotel room.
When Julia mentions her dreams in the crew-rest area, they are
eerily similar to mine:
    'I dream that I am in an aircraft, the one I
am working on, and we are flying along a road, not high in the air,
but just above the ground' reveals Julia; 'and a bridge is
approaching. We fly under the bridge, then make our way toward an
approaching city. The aircraft flies between buildings, avoiding
light poles and signs. We don't crash, but the crew are looking out
the windows - and we are terrified.'
    Of the five of us, four have had the same or
similar dream or dreams - always while on the aircraft. I had never
discussed my dreams with others before. I have goose-bumps thinking
other crew have the same experience as me. One of the guys reveals
he dreams of flying in a large tunnel; the other girl tells of
flying through a city, with her description uncannily similar to
Julia's. The one common denominator in each dream is the aircraft
appears destined to crash, but doesn't. We all reported that we
awoke before we know the outcome.
    Four out of five had the same or similar
dreams. Is it an amazing coincidence or could it be the same for
many other crew? It is a topic I'd love to revisit sometime in the
future. We all live virtually the same lifestyle, yet we often
react differently to certain situations. I know Mary-go-round
handles jetlag differently to me. The fact her body has an array of
different chemicals swirling around may have something to do with
it. Even so, there are often similar reactions to certain
situations, like those dreams.
    I am not a psychologist, although I think we
opened up a whole can of worms.

sometimes sleep can come at
a cost
    Dreams continue to be a subject of poolside
discussion. Julia sometimes has the weirdest dreams after having a
sleeping tablet. She does not elaborate, yet confirms the dreams
have nothing to do with aircrafts or flying. I must admit there was
one prescription sleeping tablet I tried which gave me strange
dreams. I stopped taking them, preferring more natural
    All five of us admit to taking sleeping
tablets. I can't vouch for all international flight attendants, but
I'd be surprised if most didn't take something to get some sleep or
dull the effects of jetlag. Some of my flying friends swear by
melatonin, a naturally produced chemical in the body, available in
tablet form in some countries. It doesn't work that well for me. I
keep relaying that everyone is different; what works for some
doesn't work for others.
    I am no goody two-shoes, yet I am not really
into prescription drugs. I'll avoid them if I can. If my doctor
says I need to take a course of antibiotics, I'll take them if I
need to, but my preference is to dodge them. The word drug is loosely defined. I

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