Monday, September 26, 2011

Some Unfortunate News and My first day--totally unrelated

Alright followers, I have some sad news. My cousin C has decided to return back home. This journey wasn't suited for her. And after sitting in Accident and Emergency for 4 hours yesterday, and getting a medication that gave her hives, she decided it was time to go home. She leaves tomorrow morning before the sun is even up. So we've said our goodbyes so she can get some form of sleep. I am sad to see her go as I was looking forward to this journey with her. But I will be fine, don't forget originally I was doing this journey alone anyways.
On a better note by first day was bloody brilliant. It started with a class room like setting where we did an ice breaker, went through a powerpoint where I learned a canadian owned and operated the resort. Then we had an amazing 3 course meal starting with sweet bean and tomato soup, then braised beef with beans and potatoes and finishing with a chocolate raspberry mousse! It was delicious! Then we took a tour of the whole resort which took over 2 hours! This place is massive. So tomorrow is all health and safety and then we go over details of our first shift and then I am moving into my new house! I am very excited and I plan to unpack ASAP! No more living out of a suitcase, then I plan to explore the town because I need to pick up a few things like towels, an alarm clock, a converter and I need to find the local grocery store. It should be a good week!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cloud Nine

So we are here! We are in Wales! We both woke up way to early on Saturday. We were up at 9 and didn't have to leave till 12:15. So by the time we had gotten up, eaten the last morsel of food in our house, cleaned up and packed up, it was only 10:30. So I read and she did crosswords puzzles until our ride got to our flat. We went onto the Autobahn which was expectionally busy because there were 3 accidents! All involving two small cars going way to fast! So we got to the airport and loaded all 5 suitcases onto a trolley and checked in. Checking in at the Frankfurt is very different and futuristic. They have a bank of yelling machines that look like ATM's. In actuality you scan your passport, pick your seat and print your boarding pass. Then along a wall that has to bee close to 300 ft, you check in your luggage. I did not have to pay over weight which was amazing because my suitcase was definately over the weight limit by like 11 or 12 lbs. So we went through the security which is way more slack than Canada or the States. I could keep all jewlerry on and shoes. Then from there we went a grab and fly food spot because we were both ready to eat our fingers off, that's how hungry we both were. Then we went to board. But as I was going through an attendant stopped me, picked up my carry on suitcase and said "Uh-Uh, its overweight and too big, it must be checked." and he whisked it away from me. Thankfully it did make it to our desination. We sat on the plane, me on the aisle of course. It was a quick small flight. So when we landed in Heathrow we were dumbfounded at how big that airport is! We must of walked miles and miles! So we had to fill out this landing card that asked us our UK address, well we didn't have one and we still don't have one yet. So we explained our situation to the Visa/boarder crossing lady and she was so bitchy!! Just because you hate your job and you have terrible hair doesn't me you have to hate the whole world! "She was like, if only I belived you! Put your first hotel address in and then maybe you can go through." Well now I am stressed through the roof and panicked! My nickname on High School council last year was Stress Bomb. I love travelling but not the actual act of getting from point a to point b. So we managed to get through the assistance of a very nice chap. Then we walked another 1000 miles to get our luggage which was out right away and the first thing I did was check to make sure my laptop hadn't broken during the flight in my carry on. We then made our way up to the bus station where we waited. The bus came and we got on it. We rode the bus for 2 hours and then got off at the Newport Bus Station. Now this is where I almost went into cardiac arrest. My mother had booked us into a B & B close by. So when I went online to get the address I just typed in the name and UK. Well that was my first mistake. I went to a taxi driver who told me that address was 2 hours away and I almost crapped a brick. I thought he was mistaken. But he said that's where it was so set of on our 2 hour journey but by some miracle of god  (and I don't believe in god so that was a miracle in itself) we stopped at a gas station where a cop car was. He went and got gas and I went to talk to the police officer. And at this point I am trembling almost in tears so I explain to him " Look were both canadians and were trying to get to this B & B  but the taxi driver said it was 2 hours away and my mom told me it was 5 mins from the bus station." So he called it in and asked HQ and they gave us the proper address and the taxi driver took us there and it was indeed the right  B&B. We got there and everything worked out! Then we walked to the local 7 eleven type store and bought dinner. Then we ate it and went to bed. And toilets here are so confusing! Then the police officer we talked to earlier that night dropped by to make sure the " 2 young canadian girls" made it to the right place and we weren't whisked away somewhere. Now in the midst of setting the alarm for the morning I changed the time on the clock. I thought we were going to be at 12:15 but it was actually 10:15. So when we got up at 8 to shower and stuff it was 6 and breakfast wasn't being served till 9:30. So we crawled back into bed for 2 more hours. We had a typical english breakfast consisting of a hashbrown, toast, baked beans, mushrooms, a funny looking bacon, sausage and of course black pudding. Needless to say I had a very small breakfast. Then the owners Cathie and Ross got talking and we found out that Cathy used to be snowy owl in a brownie unit in Wales. I was so excited to have that connection with her and I am looking into hooking up with a unit. So we took a taxi up to the Celtic Manor Resort where I am sitting now and absolutely loving it! It's like the first 2-3 days in home alone where he has no parents and is excited about it. Or it's like pretty women minus the prostitute part. I have a whole big room to myself and its' fancy. All expenses paid, I don't pay for the room or food or anything! And tomorrow night I am going to zumba class after induction and then for a swim and sauna! I've posted photos on fb. So excited to be here! The bell boys are adorable especially with their accents and I can't wait to start work!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Updating the World

It's been a few days since I've blogged so I figured while I had the computer I'd jot some stuff down. Classes re-started Monday but in a different format. The remaining students that didn't leave on Friday night were split into 2 classes. Class 1 (my class) had classes Monday and Tuesday from 9-10:45 and we had free time and lunch till 1:30. Then Class 2 was 11-12:45. Once lunch is over we have to wear our black and white outfits and head over to the Academy's resturaunt- The Scotland Yard where we have service training. We have all new teachers and girls in our class that weren't before but I knew who they were. So in my morning class we are learning a program called Fidelio. It is a hotel program used all over Europe. It is for making reservations, checking in, checking out, billings, wake up calls and everything else under the sun in a hotel. I have greatly succeeded at this. I did lessons 1,2,3 in the first hour long class. I'm not sure if it's because it's easy or because I am good at computers but I find it fun and easy. Then after lunch we have service training. Now this entails loads. So far we've set tables, folded napkins, and many other things you must know for working in a restuaraunt. Then for the last half hour of each class we do Cocktail mixing. Everyone picks a cocktail they wanna make and we do it and we each test it. I chose to make a butterfly which is orange juice, blue couracao and cointreau. I have to say the after taste is much better than the actual drink. We've tried lots so far, Mai Tai's, London Fog, Raspberry Daquiri, Sylvia, Julia, White Cloud. Loads of alcohol however anything with Gin I do not drink. And now since I am out of the house, saying this story I don't feel I'll be punished but Mom and Dad I love you. The last time I had gin, I put half a jigger into my juice and finished the whole thing. But before I even got to the bottom of the glass I was on the floor writhing in pain. My body cannot handle gin! Therefore I don't drink it. However sweet things like Mudslides, Margaritas, Pina coladas, that's all up my alley and oh beer. I love beer, its something I have inherited from my mom. So we have class Thursday, Friday and then Saturday we move countries again! Saturday we take our flight to London Heathrow because that was actually the cheapest. From there we are taking a national express bus to Newport. From there we are staying in a cute B & B. Then we move to the hotel were working at to sleep there for the night. Monday morning is induction day and then after that we move into our permanent housing for 10 months. Well 10 months for me, my cousin C is debating but she seems to like the figure 6 months. After we settle in we have to go shopping. We need alarm clocks and towels and depending, maybe a pillow or two. Then we have 2 more days of induction then I become a working girl for the first time in my life. I never really worked in high school, between keeping my grades and basketball and soccer and dance and skating and babysitting and last but not least Girl Guides, I never had time. So this is going to be new and exciting and yes I am a little nervous I am going to hate work and sometimes when I get into a must work mode I work without eating or drinking and I just go. For those of you who know me well that is a cause for fainting and that does worry me. And my shoulder worry's me that I'll overuse it and it's all a play by ear game. We shall see how all goes. I am unaware of our internet situation when were in wales. I don't think I'll be posting till late next week. It'll be a long post to catch everyone up!So people who follow my blog I shall talk to you later!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

People and their cars

Yesterday we decided we were going to sleep in. No alarms and no deadlines. So I woke up around 11 thinking i have about 2 hrs before we leave. WRONG! I had all of 45 minutes to eat, get dressed and get ready. Our german friends were taking us to the Frankfurt Intenational Car Show. I am not a fan of cars, yes they can be pretty but their purpose is to get you from point A to point B. We took the train which to took an hour into Frankfurt and started walking around all the car pavillions. And while I took lots of pictures, the pictures were only of the cars I thought were pretty. We walked from 1-9 pretty much non stop. We went into Mercedes, Lotus, Chevrolet, BMW and loads of other cars. It was exciting to be in Frankfurt and it was good to get out of little Heppenheim and see some other places while were here. The car show closed at 7 so we left then. But we got lost and couldn't find our way back to the train station. So a transit man told us to get on his bus and it'll take us to a train station. So 5 out of us 7 got on the bus and the other 2 got a bus behind us. Well the bus has its last stop at a random parking lot. So we got off and started to walk around. A lovelt man directed us to a train bus station and we waited all of 2 minutes until we go on. So the train bus is interesting, it looks like a bus on the inside but its on rails. We rode that for 20 minutes and it took us to the main Frankfurt train station. On the outside it looks like the train station in Vancouver but on the inside it looks like one in Euro Trip, no lie! It's huge with all window ceilings and lots of stores and food places. So we got on the train back to Heppenheim. But what's interesting is at home we pay to use the bus, or the trains but here you don't. They have a different system. When you enter the city, you pay a mandatory fee which pays for all transport you use in the city. So we payed the student fee of 7.50 Euros and that payed for all buses, trains and train busses. So we managed to get home and C and I were pooped! We walked all day and the excitement took over. So we decided to lay low in bed and I read and we skyped. Then our room mate comes back and tells us they have decided to go out clubbing. We said no because we were already in PJ's and exahusted. So we said have fun and good night. Well it turns out, they took the train again into Frankfurt clubbed till 5, then they waited in McDonalds till 6 when the first train leaves. So they ended up back at home for 7:20. And slept till 3. Now I like to party and dance and all but staying up that late and thats when you all these stories about girls. I am incredibly thankful there safe and I didn't go. Today we hung around because we wanted to rest up for the next week at school. Which should be interesting. It's service training which is like serving people and drink mixing. So it should be fun!

Friday, September 16, 2011

It was massive!

So before I get into updating the world about my past few days, I have to let you know what happened to me this morning. I was sitting on my bed picking out my clothes for the day and inadvertenly I look like I belong in a rapper's video but thats besides the point. I went to stand up and my toe it the floor funny and I thought I cut my toe right open in half. Well I flip up my foot to discover a sliver the size of Italy has decided to make my toe its new home! It hurt so bad! So I pulled out my handy dandy travel nail kit, you know the ones with tweezers, nail clippers, a weird looking file and scissors. And now it gets a little graphic, I cut away at the skin around it so I could somehow extract it with the tweezers. Well instead of that plan I just started cutting the top of the sliver and man did the hurt. But what came next hurt even more! My cousin, who were gonna start calling C grabbed my tweezers and jammed them down my toe and yanked that thing right out. Well now I have a big chunk of toe missing and it's all better. So yes I did indeed perform minor toe surgery before breakfast today. Anyway so we went to the Heppenheim Golf Course yesterday which was one of those field trips you have in high school that are so boring but they turn out fun because of the events that occur on the trip. So to get there you go up this long hilly winding country side road. But this isn't a regular road, this road has 2 lanes but both their lanes put together is our one lane. So I am in this tiny german car with 3 other people and she is driving like there is nothing on this road but her. Well I just about died sitting in the back of that car. I was having mini panic attacks everytime another car came by or we were on a cliff. But we did make it there and back in one piece. So we get there and we start by learning the super basics of golf like that fact that there's 18 holes. Then our teacher gives us a tour of the golf club and the surrounding area. He then plays 3 holes. Well what I didn't know is that on the super fancy golf courses, there is a women's tee and a men's tee. And I thought that was super sexist until our teacher told us its because women's boobs get in the way of their swing and I understand that. But I went and drove from the men's tee anyways :)
We got back that afternoon and had a class about culture shock for when you arrive at your destination and your hotel. But C and I started to giggle because right now being in Germany is the culture shock, Wales will be more like home than here. But then today we learned all about Alcohol. We learned about to properly serve it, how to deal with intoxicated customers and we even did a wine tasting. Where you pour a little, swirl it, sniff it, look at the glass from the side and then you take a sip, but you have to suck in air after you drink and before you swallow. I still don't understand the point of whine but I am working on changing my attitude towards it! Then tonight as in Friday we decided to stay in. Because last night we were at the bad pretty late. I have a diebels dark german beer. I enjoyed it but I still like my corona better! So tonight were staying in, I am nursing my toe and I plan on reading till I fall asleep.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Alright folks here it is....

Alright so it's been almost 3 days since I've been here. And I do love it, its very pretty and the city I am in is all old fashion Germany. However I do have a few complaints. Everyone who knows me, knows these had to be coming soon lol. First of all, I am not picky with food, there are very few things I won't eat. However butter is not one of them, I am 100% a margerine person. Have been since I can remember, It's more pratical, you can keep it in your fridge and it doesn't go super hard, as well its in my opinion much more healthy. So Germany should totally sell margerine. Next order of business. Our fridge goes up to just below my waist and it's meant to hold food for 5 people. How in the world is that possible? We buy our food 2 days at a time. How much time must that waste? I'll admit our tri weekly shopping trips are a little fun but they are also lots of work. Now for those of you wine drinkers, does it matter to you what your drink it out of? Today in class we went over the different kind of glasses, now I get the generic ones like a water glass, shots, beer pint, wine glass and champagne goblet. But why in earth are there 4 different kind of wine glasses? There's white, red, burgundy, and claret. However in my mind there is 2 kinds of wine- red and white. And for all I could drink them out of a coffee mug. Supposedly it's to do with the smell and aroma and stuff. Now I am soaking up all this info in class as I have to but it totally sounds illoigcal to me. But I am going to a wine tasting on Friday and maybe I  will understand better then, I hope (fingers crossed). What I am really excited for this week is our Golfing Field Trip. Because most hotels the EHA students get jobs at, are golf hotels. Well we can't work at a golf hotel and know nothing about golf so we are getting a lesson on golfing. I plan to learn golf over the next year, come home and school my parents :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

And so it begins....

It's been 2 days since I have arrived in Germany and I love it! The day I flew started with me being dunked at my school fair in the dunk tank. From there we picked up Bryanne, My suitcase, said good bye to my fat cats and left for the aiport. I checked in, where I found out my carryon was over wait but my other suitcase wasn't. How backwards is that? From there we went to dinner with my parents, my brother, Gabby and Bry. I had my last real steak :(. At that point we headed back to the airport where the water works started. I bawled, my mom bawled, my dad got teary eyed, I think Bry was even crying and then GG told me she cried when she got home. My brother on the other hand laughed at all of us crying- typical 14 year old boy. And being the emotional person I am I cried all the way through security and boarding and the whole plain ride to calgary. But once we landed in calgary, i fell asleep and didn't wake till breakfast. Upon landing we had major turbulence which actual made me sick, which doesn't happen often. I got off the plane, met the girl who was to take me to Heppenheim and of course it poured the whole time. I had my first experience of driving on the Autobahn where yes there is no speed limit unless there doing construction then its only 80. We got to my accomodation, where I got my key and met up with Caro, my cousin who is also on this journey with me. We were very happy to a familiar face and to hear english again lol. I don't speak a word of german except for a few words. Once I settled in my bags I was whisked off to the other house where we maed home made soup. It was very good and we had the leftovers for lunch. I however don't really know hot to cook. I can do Mac & Cheese, pancakes with a recipe in front of me and few other basic things. So cooking for the next 10 months is going to be interesting. I just might set the table and clean up and let Caro do all the cooking lol. Example one of I can't cook. We decided to have fried potatoes with our chicken tonight. So I wash the potatoes and cut them into halves or squares and put them in a pan with oil. Well to me they looked ready. So I served them. However Caro then reminded me and herself that your supposed to boil the potaotes before you fry them. So we hate half raw, half fried potatoes with our dinner. Classes started this morning and they were great. We were the new Canadian girls and we did lots of talking and comparing. We weren't neccesarily picked on but definately singled out, which is fine by me. However there is only one boy in my class. Only one! But we have classes from 9-3 except tuesdays is late start so only 9:45 to 3:45. Today we role played front recpetion and learned about the channel islands that I now have a project on. It's exactly like school! So after school we went and bought some neccesities like shower gel and laundry detergent which was so much fun! lol Caro and I speak no German so we were guessing and yes we did buy the right stuff! Afterwards we went and bought a webstick which allows us to have internet through our USB. We then came back home, dropped our packages off and went out for food. Now we have a mini fridge so we can only buy 2 days worth of food at a time. And you buy all your drinkning water and they don't have ice trays here lol. So we bought dinner and then we walked back. It's about 10 minutes and I carried 10lbs of water the whole way back. We got home, cooked and then chilled. Everything is going great so far and I love germany! Heppenheim is a very old town and it's all cobblestone streets and church bells and its so beautiful! Tomorrow we plan to explore the grand church down the road from us after school. All is good. I accepted my job offer for the Celtic Manor Resort and I start on September 26th. However we are done school on the 23rd so Caro and I are gonna try to do a day trip to Berlin for Historical Tours and then head over Wales. I don't feel homesick, I mean I miss people but not home itself. I do wish I had my cat to cuddle with at night thought. Everything is great!