10 Years’ Paths

So there’s a 10 year challenge going on somewhere… Let’s see…

In the beginning of 2009, I had been back in Finland for a bit over a year after having lived on/off in France for several years. I had just met Hubby, and I was working as a flight attendant. I was living alone in a tiny but central flat.

I traveled so much in my line of work back then, that when I was at home, I kept automatically reaching for my phone to call room service!

“No one filled the fridge!”

“The service is really bad here! Why haven’t they changed the sheets?”

“Do I really have to take the trash out myself??”

There was some kind of paper industry strike that winter. (That’s a big industry over here.)

It culminated in stores running out of toilet paper for a brief moment!

I remember it was that very winter, because I had just returned home from a long work trip and long work shift, it was the middle of the night and all the shops were closed. I was hungry and my fridge was empty. But I had to wait until the morning for the grocery stores to open.

When the stores finally opened, I charged in so I could buy some breakfast and go straight home and have something to eat. I also did the rest of my normal shopping. But: Surprise! Instead of toilet paper, there was just a note on an empty shelf explaining that a strike had caused delivery problems in all the chain’s stores. (The note was paper. Ironic!)

But never mind! At least food wasn’t on strike!

Working night shifts and always arriving home at odd hours, sleeping til noon to get my 8 hours of beauty sleep (sometimes much, much more), all that meant that I never had any food in the fridge. Traveling away for a week at a time, it would have gone bad anyway. Shops were never open when I would’ve had a moment to visit them. Helsinki was not a 24/7 town back then.

Now, ten years later, things are quite different! No traveling for me, no sleep either – but our fridge is always full. I do my grocery shopping online and have it delivered at our doorstep.

Another thing that’s changed is photography becoming mainstream. Ten years ago, 2009, was just before Instagram came along and made everyone take selfies and apply filters. Sure, people were posting photos on Facebook and some were using their camera phones, but most of us flight attendants were still carrying cheap, low-tech point-and-shoots. (They seemed hi-tech back then because they were digital!)

The airlines I worked for had plenty of rules and one of them was that you weren’t allowed to post work photos on social media (or elsewhere online). Especially not in uniform. It was a safety issue, they said, as well as a company reputation issue.

So, while many flight attendants did indeed pose on the okay-part of a large plane’s engine or smile at the camera while peeking from an overhead bin, those photos were never meant to be published, they were to remain private. Sounds kind of boring now, doesn’t it?!

Also, if a passenger took your photo (not to mention filmed you!), you were to politely ask them to delete it immediately! Luckily that never happened. I always feared that potentially embarrassing, awkward moment.

Now, I don’t have the latest facts, but I suspect airlines would have had to give up on this photography ban of theirs long ago!

Funny how life’s path goes. (Or paths, plural? Am I on the same path or have I already gone down several paths?)

Thank you everyone who participated in the Friendly Friday photo challenge I hosted last week!! I was thrilled, beyond thrilled, to receive so many responses! I hope you all become regulars!

This week, the Friendly Friday party (aka photo challenge) is over at Amanda’s blog, so please hop over there and have a look! She’s written a beautiful post on pathways.

53 responses to “10 Years’ Paths

  1. I remember when photography was not a thing. I felt special back them! Now I feel ill-equiped! Taking photo has become as common has ordering a take away coffee. Almost everybody does it!

    As for the life paths… I guess there has been junctions and cross roads where you decided to turn left or right instead of staying on Main Street!

    Liked by 4 people

          • That is so interesting. Blogging must take the place of penpalling! Yes I think you are right, about the desire to know others from around the world – their similarities and their differences. I gained so much from my penfriends and quite a few of us managed to meet up and become lifelong friends! It is special! Did you have any penpals from Australia? I had one from Finland!

            Liked by 1 person

            • I was writing with some of my childhood friends from Australia, cousins in Sweden, and strangers from all around the world – I must’ve had 100 penpals at one point! I’m still in touch with and Italian girl, though not very often. All the others are long gone – I only remember a British guy and a German girl. The German girl once sent me a cassette with whale songs which I adored! 😊
              It wasn’t considered cool at all and I didn’t really mention it to anyone at school. Funny that those cool kids probably all ended up on Facebook later on and doing exchange programs etc. We penpallers were just ahead of the trend! 😁

              Liked by 1 person

              • Indeed, and I think we probably have a much rounder view of the cultural diversity of the world. I came to penpalling overseas later – prior to that it was childhood friends in Australia or who left Australia to go say to America. I had a 5 penpals in Indonesia and then later, a girl from Denmark. When she stopped writing, my son said to me, just get some more penpals Mum. From then, I wrote to many Scandinavian friends, the majority of whom I still keep in touch with and have met, stayed with or toured around Scandinavia with. Some have been out to visit me in Australia. That was fun. It is such an enriching experience, however, one penfriend just dumped me because I wasn’t able to write frequently enough for her! Oh dear!

                Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahh, excellent, all of it! So much interesting bits about your airline work, and the curious geolocations added! I’d freak! I always freak when I get face recognition or something like that. Yes, I suppose they had to change that rule about photography, hihihi. You’d be upset to tell somebody to delete your picture? I think I’d have much fun with it: “Kindly delete this photo you took of me or I’ll have to kill you.” Maldives must have been amazing. You saw so many places! I bet you can’t even remember all. Those geolocations were called for! 😉

    Also, a funny toilet paper crises story. As I was reading about your eagerness to wait for the stores to open, I was vividly reminded of the time when I returned from California and my whole world turned around, meaning night and day switched, and I was up all nights with the guy I was with in the USA and we had to wait for the shops to open not to get breakfast but to get dinner. 😀 And then sleep. Ahh, crazy times.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh my, this little challenge you mention has me looking back and realizing that it’s been 10 years since I went to China by myself, had kids still at home, and so many other things that seem both very recent (China) and very long ago (my babies at home 😦 ). I loved reading about your flight attendant years and all the rules; that has to be one of the jobs that has really seen some changes over the years. (Random detour: there were some great 60s and 70s posters of Hawaiian Airlines flight attendants in the airports in Hawaii, and they looked so cool in their go-go boots and poofy hair!) Anyway, I hope you are pleased with where you have landed ten years later. I think I am for the most part!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Golden days eh? I like the photos, geotagged or not. 190 years ago I was in the middle of a house expansion project back in Washington State, just a couple of months before visiting Hawaii for the first time!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Other Half works for an airline as cabin crew and, there, the uniform thing is alive and well. She has pictures of herself in uniform, published on social media too, but not of the overhead locker variety. In fact recently some of her colleagues had been dismissed because of the “sort” of photos or videos they did whilst in uniform…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ooh yes, it’s a fine line!! I also had a colleague (male) who was dismissed for appearing at the hotel’s breakfast very hungover, though we weren’t flying for days. I never did do the overhead bin photo… not my style really 🤣I’m a bit boring sometimes!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It is always a pleasure to read your posts, Snow and this was once again, a pleasure to read. Indeed your pathways have taken you to many different places! I laughed at your note paper to say no toilet paper. That was desperate times! We do take so much for granted now. We expect a shop to be open somewhere all the time. And how quickly we forget the limitations of having a finite film in the camera or a finite sim and no cloud storage?
    You are a fantastic co-host! Thanks for your support.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I saw the 10 years challenge too…. And more recently I read that it’s something that Facebook uses to teach its algorithms face recognition over the years…
    In any case, yes, it’s amazing how life can change so much in such a short period! 10 years ago I was a law student in Spain and never though about leaving my country… Since then, I met my husband, we moved to Sweden, got married, then moved to Ireland, then I started to take photos and now we’re in Switzerland!!! All of this is so different to what I could imagine my life would be 10 years ago….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Is your husband Swedish? How funny the algorithm thing! Facebook truly is evil! The reason they ask you to add your phone number is for advertising, too, not really as a back-up for you. That’s why I don’t use FB!! 😁


  8. Always enjoy reading such posts from you, Snow 🙂 The last photo evokes in me a longing to be somewhere warm and tropical and by the water. One can dream 😊 You’ve been to so many places! Quite an experience 🙂 I read somewhere that Finns are the nationality that travel the most hehe!
    Imagine not being on social media and not showing off your pictures these days! Just 10 years things were much different. I feel so disconnected from the mindset of today’s teenagers (like my sister! 😀 ) and their obsession with social media.. although I am in my 20s.
    10 years ago I was a typical teenager getting bored out of my mind in the high school and going through awkward moments and crushes and heartbreaks haha. So cringeworthy to look back on it. It’s scary how fast time flies! I hope that life gets better with age and that youth is not everything!! Because that’s slipping away real fast..

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks dear Pooja! How crazy to imagine you were a teenager 10 years ago (still in Nepal?) – we probably wouldn’t have been having this conversation then, but I’m so happy to connect with you now! 🤗 And no wonder Finns travel the most: the weather is so horrible here (apart from last year when we finally ahd a real summer!) 😆
      I must say I’m much happier now than 10 years ago, more balanced and confident! I’ve also learned to give myself a break and not always expect perfection, which makes life more enjoyable! Good times ahead, Pooja, don’t worry! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t think I realized that a flight attendant would ask you to delete a photo of them back then. But then again, I don’t think I did much flying (maybe a time or two, if that) between 2005-2013. Our kids kept us busy and most traveling was via car. I didn’t even get on FB until 2009 and that was because we had left our hometown and I wanted to be able to share photos with my family. My, my how times have changed. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah I can feel that no-flying period creeping upon us… After seeing people travel with infants as a flight attendant, I have no desire to try it with twins. We wouldn’t even be able sit all sit in the same row because of the way oxygen masks are placed. Sounds like hard work! Not to mention I’d be anxious about my boys’ safety with all that’s going on in the world right now…
      And hey, I’m still not on FB!!! 🤣🤣 (ok, I did use FB at some point, 2008-2013 maybe… but I don’t miss it one bit!)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Such a fun post and challenge! Your life has really changed a lot in that time! Had to laugh about your bad room service back then – I swear it’s the same company that’s failing at their job here too! 😉
    And yes, definitely more living in the moment when off camera, some of my loveliest memories of travels are those where I didn’t even take one with me!

    Liked by 1 person

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