Sorry Sir, no pets allowed!”
Thank goodness for Mondays, that’s what I say! I know that most of you out there would disagree; Monday being the furthest day from the weekend. However, for me, Mondays can be compared to a Bank Holiday, where everything temporarily fährt runter (winds down) and most of my colleagues can afford to stroll rather than power walk through the restaurant. Even Christian, A.K.A. insomniac / workaholic, has been taking frequent cigarette breaks today. I swear I actually saw him sit down for 5 minutes briefly! I can’t say that I was completely prepared for how busy the weekend was going to be, I mean I had some idea, but without doubt it was the toughest yet since I’ve been here. What helps life in the hotel to run smoothly even during the “go go go” / “power power” periods (as Bernd always says!), is that the customers here are always memorably pleasant, and considering that we have 5 interns working here including myself, that consideration is really important. Anyway, today has served as a much needed break (even though we’re still working), and it gives me a bit of time to talk with you, the lovely readers :).
I admit that I would be lying if I claimed that everybody breezed through the weekend; yes, we were all of us very stressed at various points! Not even Stefan could stay as cool as a cucumber from Friday to Sunday (and he’s one of the most friendly people I’ve met), indeed we all felt the strain. On first hearing that we were expecting two whole coach loads of O.A.P’s at one point, I confess that I was too complacent, and I quickly realised how much effort it can take to cater for a bunch of golden oldies. Yes, sometimes they can be really sweet, but in a fast paced environment like a restaurant, they are SO SLOW! On the Saturday and Sunday we required some extra hands, so Bernd’s dad Lutz (Herr Vogl) and another waitress called Katya came to the rescue. Although everything went successfully and we clicked really well as a team, come the evenings we were all rather grouchy with each other and bed time couldn’t come quickly enough. However, it was a job well done and things probably won’t get much busier than that until next Spring!
So, I thought that I’d shed a bit of light on the team that I work with for you; would you be interested in hearing?! Here goes anyway :). Not that he can be classed as part of the working team, but without doubt he’s one of the most loveable characters in Göβweinstein and hence he deserves a mention, it’s Charlie the dog. He’s Bernd’s best friend, very hairy, and occasionally very cheeky; as displayed only yesterday when he left diarrhoea (not sure whether on purpose) all over the shower room floor. We’ve forgiven him mind you (it’s hard not to because he’s so cute), and the mug shot you can see above is that of the guilty culprit, baring an uncanny resemblance to that of Jim Morrison in my humble opinion! My boss, whom I’m mentioned often enough, is obviously Bernd. Total legend in my opinion. He’s got all the characteristics that make a great boss; he’s strict enough so you’ll always do what he asks to the best of your ability, however at the same time he’s completely approachable and extremely generous. I already know that I’ve made a friend for life there! Stefan is probably the most reliable employee that exists, he definitely possesses some form of super-human quality. It is neither here nor there whether he’s working 2 hours a day or 12, he’s invariably there to save your bacon and take on a handful of tasks simultaneously. He’s got the nickname “Hammy” at work as he’s always rushing about like a squirrel and only seems to possess 5th gear; check out the linked video to get a taste (and then just imagine his face on top!). Christian, quite possibly the hardest worker going. Despite being only 22, Christian could easily run a hotel single handedly, his gastronomic knowledge is ridiculously good. He’s also really funny and always calls me “halbes Hemd,” figuratively meaning ‘weak man’ LOL. Anke is both the loveliest and politest waitress in Göβweinstein. You will most likely discover her charming the customers in the restaurant! Our two main chefs are Ingo (Harry Potter lookalike), and Wolfgang (The Godfather lookalike). These two are absolute heroes, I just cannot find enough superlatives for them. It may well be absolutely manic in the kitchen, but despite that, they will ALWAYS have time to make dinner for us the workers, ALWAYS. I’ve never ever seen either of them looking stressed, no matter the weather, they’re so cool!
I must apologise briefly for the above photo, it was taken around 1am after work and we’re all looking a bit tired (Stefan in the centre and Christian) and rightly so :).
What with the upcoming winter season, we’ve been having to consider how to make room in the barn for all the outdoor chairs, tables, and shades which are soon to be put away. Believe you me, it was a lot harder than you might think! The barn, (it’s just like how you imagine it), was absolutely full of the oddest assortment of rubbish / antiques that you could picture. David Dickinson from Bargain Hunt would have had a field day if only he was nearby. However, for us the boys, the past few days we’ve been spending numerous hours shifting and clearing inside the barn. Although at first it didn’t feel as if we were getting anywhere (simply because there was so much stuff), eventually we began to reap the rewards and found enough room to stack all of the chairs and tables. What made this seemingly mundane task a bit more bare able (not including Stefan’s dashing about everywhere), was that we were able to use this really cool pully / crane thing, onto which we tied lots of stuff and then heaved up to the 2nd and 3rd floors of the barn. Oh yes, it was a multi – storey barn! On a more pessimistic note, I must state for the record that I’ve now seen enough empty bottles to last me a lifetime (despite being here only 4 weeks). I’m sure that Mike Oldfield would have appreciated the empty bottle situation, as quite possibly he could have used some of them on his “Tubular Bells” album, but for me it was a bit overwhelming. The Germans are really into their bottle recycling, and I mean REALLY, although at 3.10 Euros return for every complete case of bottles, it does seem worth it.
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been here for 4 weeks exactly already! So much has happened and time has flown by, although it only feels like yesterday that I was boarding the plane. I’m sure that most other year abroaders feel the same?! This Saturday Grace is coming to visit for the first time (and I CANNOT WAIT), so I’ll be showing her about and treating her to some good old German hospitality :). I do not recommend not seeing your girlfriend for 6 weeks! Shortly after mum and Ella will be coming to see how I’m doing too, so this coming week will be full of familiar and lovely faces. I must be making some form of positive impression on my colleagues here as Bernd promises that he’ll be taking me, Stefan and Christian for a Männerabend (jolly boys outing) in Munich during the winter. So for now, everything is looking well, so there are no complaints from me. One final word of wisdom before I bid you farewell. Don’t bother sweeping up leaves in the middle of autumn (or at any time for that matter). Recently I spent approximately 2 hours clearing one of the Biergarten’s of all its fallen leaves, yet I returned the next day to spot this unwelcome site…