Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why everyone should, at some point in their life, work in housekeeping.

Getting back on track to make my blog up to date, I'll publish the last post that I have access to that I wrote before the unfortunate break-in. There were 4-5 more I hadn't published yet, but they will have to be re-written in time. For now, try out a little housekeeping with me!

I’ve heard people say that everyone should be a server at some point in their life. I have always been appalled when people treat waiters and waitresses poorly, blame them when food is not up to par, and (in the states anyway) tip according to the quality of the food rather than the service. I worked as a server for a few months before I came to NZ and had a bit of a slap in the face while learning how difficult of a job it can be! People are demanding, chefs can be moody, hostesses might seat too many tables at once, and you might not sit down once during your shift. While I agree that everyone should experience this type of stress at some point in their life – in order to better understand how you should probably treat others in similar positions – I have since experienced another job that is just as important for the average consumer to consider walking in the shoes of those on the other side.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Post I Never Wanted to Write.

Well, the inevitable happened. Everyone will tell you that if you travel for long periods of time, there are a few things that are guaranteed to occur. What I think rates as number one is: you will get sick. Well, we addressed that one in my last post. When traveling alone, you will probably get lonely. And with extended travel, you will probably at some point be pretty tight with money. I have definitely touched on all of the above during the past year. The other thing is that, no matter how prudent you are, you will likely experience theft. This is why travelers are encouraged to wear those stupid body wallets under their clothes, why they sell all sorts of locks and chains and armoured gear, and why they tell you never to leave valuables in your car.

For most of my year, I got by with experiencing NZ as a relatively safe place. So much of the country is made up of farmland and small towns where you might not even have a key to your house. Yes, there are travelers everywhere so you do need to be careful, but for the most part I was fairly removed from feeling vulnerable or unsafe. I did have a couple food items stolen in one hostel, and a pair of trousers disappeared from my belongings at another, but I'd say two encounters with petty theft in a whole year is pretty darn good. I always kept my things packed away in my bag, even if I was staying in a hostel for more than a night. I preferred top bunks in busy hostels where I slept with a bag containing my laptop, wallet, and passport. On road trips I kept valuables with me - or, if necessary, hidden in the depths of my things. I lived by the notion of "out of sight, out of mind" and, near as I could tell, it worked. As they say, "opportunity creates a thief," so I made a good effort not to allow 'opportunity' to come knocking.