crazy week day 2 (2004-07-21 - 1:43 a.m.)
Day 2 of my crazy working-far-too-much-and-not-sleeping week. It's going better than I expected so far. I feel extremely tired, but not too sleepy (more or less alert), though it's early days (nights!) yet. I found it easier than I anticipated to go straight to work at the kitchen after the night shift this morning. I guess maybe the natural light on the way to work helped.
I've decided I actually kind of like the night shift. It seems to usually be fairly quiet and the door's locked, so there's nobody coming in off the street (I only can let in people who show me their keys as proof they're staying here). The only part I hate is turning people away. For some reason Paul, the manager, won't train me to check people in, so even if there's space I have to tell people to go away. There are three other hostels I can refer them to, but they always look so desperate (and I've been in that situation before) so I wish I was allowed to just let them in.
Working at the kitchen is okay too, I've decided, though I won't be making a career of it. Someone finally asked me what my name is, so I'm no longer "Christine". Probably just as well, since now there's an Aussie temp called Christie working with me. Would have been confusing! I notice too that they've now taken to calling Magda "Martha", rather than "Amanda".
Luckily the work is pretty physical and there's lots to do, so the time tends to go fast. I think if I had to stand still I'd fall asleep. And the abundant free food goes a long way toward making the job more palatable (pun intended). In fact, I think I've become the kitchen charity case. When they heard about how many hours I'm working this week, they packed me up some of the leftover bagels to take home with me. Sweet!
I definitely have to pick and choose what I eat there, though. That place buys its mayonnaise in 10 litre drums, and they go through most of one a day! Cannot believe how much mayo they use. Most of the salads are 90% mayo. I actually saw one girl order a tuna sandwich (ingred: tuna, mayonnaise, onions) with mayo on the bread, with a side of coleslaw (ingred: mayonnaise, cabbage, carrots). Ew!!
I came home after my kitchen shift and did manage to get a few hours sleep crashing at the hostel. Unfortunately it's pretty noisy, though, and it's still hard to sleep in the afternoon. I'm wondering how long I can keep this up, but so far so good.
Anyway, it's 2 am so I have to go kick everyone out of the common room and close up. A bientot!
Was talking to a 10-year-old missionary kid earlier who's staying at the hostel. He's technically American but grew up mostly in Africa. We talked about movies, Lord of the Rings book vs. movie, and the old vs. new version of Risk (apparently in the new one you don't have to conquer the entire world, just certain continents or something). Scarily, it was the best conversation I had had all day. The girls at work talk about a). tv shows and b). tv shows. They were quite horrified to hear that Magda doesn't have a tv. They couldn't get their heads around that concept.
I've had this Buddy Holly song that Steve used to play in my head all night. The chorus goes "Annie's been working on a midnight shift". Would be perfect for tonight... except it's about a girl who turns to prositution to make ends meet. My midnight shifts are not nearly so colourful.
There is also a large wad of annoying Americans staying at the hostel. Gah, they wonder why they have such a bad name abroad. One of them, upon spotting the coffee machine, told her friend, "Oh my GAWD, I have TOTALLY never used one of these machines!" Thanks for sharing, hon. These people have managed to make being completely inane into an art form. If it hadn't been for Rob (who managed to be American and also very cool) I think my latent anti-Americanism would be flaring up into something quite scary.
Actually, I guess I've met a couple of cool Americans on my travels. It's just that they get overshadowed by the airheads. I think this is why Canadians tend to plaster their bags with maple leaves, though - just in case someone jumps to the conclusion that we're American.
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