Jules

Written on 8/26/2007             We’re on the second flight of the day and I thought I would take the time to tell you about someone. Julie is a wonderfully soft British woman whom I met on the way from the UK to Addis Ababa. She happens to be one of flight attendants for BMED, a franchise company of British Airways. Most fight attendants give the everlasting plastic smile that is maintained even throughout incidents involving overly angry guests, but not Julie (her name is Julie, but her nametag says Jules, just in case you were confused about the title). Smiles are frequent but not disgustingly omnipresent. She was assigned to the emergency exit doors at the center of the plane and I just happened to be seated facing her since her special flight attendant’s seat faces the rear of the plane. As we conversed with random small talk about what her job is like and where she gets to travel, it came up that she had never been to the United States. In an effort to show her what Seattle looked like, I took out a small photo album from my carry-on which I had put together to remember all the things and people I am going to miss. On the first page is a stellar view of the Seattle skyline taken from Kerry Park. Not being my intention, she flipped to the next page, and then the next. She asked who was in each picture and I ended up giving her a name-by-name tour of my life. A few pages in, she saw a picture of my mom and my brother. She asked if he had leukemia. Surprised that she knew exactly what he had at the time the picture was taken, I asked her how she knew. She said that she noticed he looked puffier than in other pictures she had seen, which led her to believe that he was on some kind of steroid and that she suspected it was prednisone, a common steroid used for leukemia patients. It was exactly as she had said and it came up that she was a nurse for a number of years but had found a new profession due to its depressing effects. So depressing that she and her husband went through some hard times that ended in divorce. She is now a flight attendant and has been for a few years. Her aspirations are to become a personal flight attendant for a celebrity or wealthy business owner. Apparently the money is a lot better and the planes are much nicer to work in. In the near future, she and her new husband are renovating a barn on two acres in the south of France to become a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home. They bought the property and the barn for £30,000! That’s only about $60,000! The south of France seems pretty nice. I’m not saying I’m moving there, but it doesn’t sound bad. Almost to Addis,Joshua 

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