I don’t like the fact that I have a bed again. I don’t like that we now have couches and a television and a DVD player with surround sound. I remember back to how liberating it was to let go and realize that we could survive without all these things and yet here we are on the other side of the world and we’ve managed to accumulate the same crap that we don’t need. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining about the fact that we are currently living in a fully furnished, two-bedroom apartment instead of the back of a campervan. It’s just that ever since we decided to spend three months of our trip in a live-in position at a posh restaurant in the tiny Scottish town of South Queensferry, I’ve felt myself becoming softer. Becoming too reliant on things that we are soon going to leave behind again. I find myself taking our washing machine for granted and enjoying daily hot showers a bit too much when in a few weeks we will be showering out of a small plastic bag heated in the sun and washing our clothes in a small bucket full of soapy water. Not too long ago we were used to this lifestyle and loving it but now it’s been so long that we will have to go through that annoying period of adjustment again before we reach the same level of emancipation that we had already achieved after our first fortnight of traveling.
It’s been blatantly obvious that all three of us have all been decidedly restless here. The first two months of our trip were the epitome of freedom. No plans, no rules, no curfews, no careers. Basically, no routine whatsoever. That was until we realised we had no money. It was time to put the “holiday” part of our working/holiday visas on hiatus and earn ourselves enough cold-hard cash to continue our adventure through the rest of Europe. So now we work 13 hour days, five days a week. Now we have a uniform and a roster and staff meetings to discuss how to keep the wine cellar tidy. Now we have pedantic rules on what angle the salt shakers must be set on the tables. Now we have a customer is always right policy and have to resist the temptation to tell annoying customers to go and *$%# themselves. Now we are sleep deprived because we finish work at three thirty in the morning and have to do a breakfast shift the next day. Now we have dejavu and it feels just like we are back home and nothing has changed. It’s hard to keep spirits high when you’re so busy that you’re not even aware that your on a holiday. Were in Scotland but for all we know we could be back in Colac. All we see is work and our apartment. And any spare time we do get goes into working on our TV show, so as you can imagine, it’s quite draining. I can see that it’s starting to get to us all. When we’re really tired at work, we all walk around on a short fuse and the smallest things will set us off. I’ll be behind the bar and if Lee doesn’t say please when he asks me to make him a staff drink I’ll secretly crack the shits and before I know it, I’m angry for the rest of the day over nothing. It only takes one obnoxious customer or one manager telling us to do something were already doing and our day is ruined.
We’ve been working here for longer than we spent traveling through England and Ireland combined so we’re all getting antsy to get back on the road. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve managed to accumulate a decent wad of cash, even on our minimum wage £4.50 an hour salary, so in a couple of weeks we will have enough money to move on. Soon we will be in Spain for the running of the bulls festival. Before we know it we will have handed in our corkscrews and uniforms and we will be running down the cobblestone streets of Pamplona, getting chased by hordes of angry bulls hell bent on goring as many people as they can.
Maybe we would be better off sticking around here for a little bit longer.