Not since I was 2 years old, have I bathed from a sink. As I dab myself with the moist tiny bar mat I really start to worry that we have hit rock bottom. It does seem however that somewhere along the line we have been hired to work as bar and waiting staff at a fancy cocktail bar/restaurant/hotel.
JAG and my experiences behind the bar are limited to say the very least and its hard to keep the enthusiasm up when I’m earning a tiny fraction of what I was before I decided to quit my job and travel around Europe. But this is a working holiday, well so it says on our passport anyway. We have finally dug ourselves out of this money-less hole and on our way to earning some travel money for the remainder of summer.
Orocco Pier (our new employer) seems very much out of place as a very up market bar in a quiet historic town. But hell, it does it’s fair trade of customers and when it is busy, we work our arses off. The weeks begin to fly past and fewer and fewer mistakes are made. Lee works the floor, taking customers table orders against the backdrop of the Forth estuary, and serving plates of mouth watering food, as he is careful not to drool over the cutlery.
Quite ironic however that three Aussie trailer trash individuals manage to gain jobs catering to the needs of a mostly upper-class cliental. So it continues, we cut lemons, limes and oranges. Each fruit has it’s unique way of method of being dissected. We change beer kegs, each one with a different coupling. We bring huge buckets of ice to the bars. We have a quick laugh at someone else’s expense. We empty the bins, downstairs in the cellar. We break a bottle of wine and a bottle of Bacardi. We check our watches. We pass word on that there are 4 hot chicks on table 93. We polish cutlery. We make 9 different types of coffee, in two different sizes. We get hit on by old Scottish women. We get ordered around by younger fellas that seem to be working less than us, but getting paid more. We pour perfectly measured glasses of wine. We shake cosmos, and burn orange oil over the glass straight from the peel. We become friendly with the locals and have banter about the old days, the weather or even the best type of beers. We sweep and mop floors. We get a stern speaking to for not cashing something off on the till. We sign off, have a quick drink and return to our flat only moments up the road.
It’s here we unwind, by looking into our next week. The money is rolling in now, and soon we will have enough to travel again. No more annoying customers complaining how there is too much ice, or not enough ice or the broken glass is cutting their mouth or whatever. In the big picture we will take Van Damme (the new and improved Van Damme) down to Spain for Pamplona. But in the small picture, we will wait here earn some dollars and experience the true Scotland in our spare time.
For me this working part of the holiday is an annoying necessity. But coming from the media industry and a promising career, it has also been again a humbling experience. I think that the governments of the world should make it law that everyone must work in a bar for at least 1 month. It wasn’t that long ago that I was the drunken peanut head behind the bar complaining about the service. I am enlightened now and I hereby appologise to all bar staff that endured my drunken ramblings and complaints, in fact I appologise on behalf of everyone.