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New Zealand Round the World 2007

Leaving New Zealand

Kris went to university around 9am and I sorted through all my stuff, deciding what I needed for the USA and what I could send home. I was left with two bags of stuff to send home, and still a lot of stuff going with me.

I tried walking down to the post office with my stuff, but got about half way there and decided I had to get the bus. It wouldn’t all fit into the biggest box they had, so I had to send a padded envelope to, totalling $250! Luckily, I still had a lot of NZ money!

Afterwards I went for a coffee, which was made mildly more interesting by a woman at a nearby table having an epileptic fit. Then I went on the internet again, before realising that I still needed to close by NZ bank account. That only took a few minutes though, and I walked out with a lot of NZ money.

I met Kris on campus for lunch, then we walked back to his halls so I could get the car. I drove him back to his department, said goodbye and then drove to the airport. Glad I left loads of time to get there, because I took a wrong turn and found myself in the public car park of the airport. I could’ve got out for free except I somehow lost the ticket, and so had to pay $24 to get out. Just for making a wrong turn!

Anyway, I dropped the car off and they gave me a lift to the terminal. I didn’t do too much in the airport – had some food, read Harry Potter. Waited. During the flight I read more Harry Potter and watched Zodiac. Qantas seem to think it’s normal to put jelly-based desserts with veggie meals. That’s the second time it’s happened. And the normal meals have different desserts which I could eat. Don’t get it.

New Zealand Round the World 2007

Auckland, Wasting Time

Crap weather today. Kris and I planned to go to the Waitakeres, but neither of us fancied hiking in the rain. So Kris went to university and I went into the city. Did some shopping and went on the internet, and got thoroughly wet walking around.

I got back to Kris’s halls around 7.30pm, put my laundry on, and then we went to another common room in the halls because it was his friend’s birthday and they were having cake. I already knew two of the girls there (Liz and Vanessa) and got to meet Kim, the girl he likes.

We went back to Kris’s room and he did a bit more work while I read Harry Potter. Then he invited Ambre (French girl) to join us for a few beers. Then Joseph (Austrian guy and Ambre’s boyfriend) joined us. He didn’t stay long, and then the three of us went to Sion’s room to watch some Father Ted before going to bed.

New Zealand Round the World 2007

Northland Day 2

It was blowing a gale in the Bay of Islands this morning: everyone in the hostel who had a trip booked had it cancelled. I spent a couple of hours on the internet, then went over to Waitangi, where the treaty was signed in 1840. I saw a really big waka (war canoe), the house where James Busby lived, and a meeting house which was opened during the centenary celebrations in 1940.

Shame I didn’t come here before playing Trivial Pursuit: James Busby was the answer to one of the questions: who was the first Resident of New Zealand?

After Waitangi, I drove a little further north to Kerikeri. Another place which is best in good weather I imagine, but it was nice all the same. I had some lunch and headed back to Auckland. When I stopped for petrol, I noticed that I’ve lost a hub cap sometime since Opononi. Not too bothered: it was only plastic and I took out insurance which should cover it. I’ve been saying “hello possum” lots over the past couple of days, but it’s much less fun alone!

Back in Auckland by 7.30pm, and read Harry Potter because Kris had work to do.

New Zealand Round the World 2007

Northland: Beaches and Big Trees

On my own for a couple of days now: Kris doesn’t really have any money left, and wanted to get back into doing work. So I headed north. My first stop was Goat Island near Leigh, which is a marine reserve. I took a walk along the rocks and saw lots of fish, and a few seals in the distance.
Next stop was Pakiri Beach, which involved driving along long stretches of unsealed roads. It was a nice sandy beach, and a good place to collect shells, but not really worth the drive. When I finally got back onto the main road, I continued north to Brynderwen, where I turned for the west coast of Northland.

I stopped in Matakohe at the Kauri Museum, where I looked at a few examples of really big trees. The biggest recorded was eight metres diameter, which is painted onto the wall, but it’s still difficult to comprehend. Makes our oak trees sound so small!

By the time I reached Dargaville, I was fed up of trying to find radio frequencies, so bought a couple of cassettes. Unfortunately, they were bad cover versions of hits from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. And you don’t get the whole song either: just about a minute of each, badly mixed together.

So after Dargaville was Waipoua Forest. I stopped at the forest lookout, which had great views, but creeped me out because I was the only person there, and hadn’t seen anyone for miles! So I took a couple of photos and got out of there again. Next stop was the visitors centre, then on to see some really big trees. Time was getting on now: I was hoping to be in Opononi on the other side by 5pm. So I picked the two shortest walks to see the trees. Creeped myself out again when I went ten minutes into the forest to see the Four Sisters: four Kauri trees growing really close together. When I reached Tane Mahuta, the Lord of the Forest, I finally saw some other cars! I didn’t think I’d have time to appreciate the size of the biggest tree in the forest, but it really was surprisingly big: I stopped in my tracks when I first spotted it. Stayed and looked at it for a while, then drove onto to Opononi.

I got some food in Opononi and phoned a hostel in Paihia in the Bay of Islands, then carried on driving. Reached Paihia by 7.30pm, and spent the evening reading Harry Potter.

New Zealand Round the World 2007

Caves and Glowworms

Waitomo is famous for its glowworm caves, and that’s basically the only reason tourists come here. Most of the caving activities, like tubing and abseiling, were too expensive for us though, so we settled with Spellbound: a bit of walking, followed by sitting in a boat in one of the caves, followed by another bit of walking through another cave. If it’s good enough for David Attenborough, it’s good enough for us.

We got picked up at the I-site, and driven about 25 minutes into the countryside. We had a five-minute walk down to the cave opening, and had our photos taken with our hard hats on. We walked a bit of the way into the cave and switched off our torches: it was pitch black, as we expected. We put them back on and walked a bit further, where we saw glowworms with their sticky threads that they use to catch prey. Then we walked a bit further in and climbed into the boat.

At this point we switched off all the lights, and spent 20 minutes going up and down this stretch of the river, looking at the glowworms on the roof of the cave above us. As our eyes adjusted to the darkness, we could see more and more. It looked like a starry sky, which is the whole idea behind them catching their prey. On the way back out, we left the lights off and stopped at the same spot as on the way in. Now that our eyes had adjusted, we could see daylight and even a few glowworms, where it was totally black before.

We had coffee and biscuits before moving onto our second cave, The Cave of the Spirit. There were very few glowworms in this cave, but lots of stalagmites and stalactites, and some bones of animals that at some point got trapped in the cave.

Once back in town, Kris and I went to the museum and then for pizza, while Freddy and Inga went to The Shearing Shed, where they shear Angora rabbits.

We left Waitomo around 3pm. Kris has had this thing for a few days now: he wanted to make a video of us all doing a Dame Edna impression (“Hello Possum”) when we saw a dead possum on the road. He finally got his chance to make it today! It is quite funny, but probably more so for us!

Anyway, we dropped Freddy and Inga off in Otorohanga, because they were catching the bus south, and Kris and I drove back to Auckland. We continued the alphabet game, and I got a little lost by Hamilton, but otherwise it was quite uneventful.

New Zealand Round the World 2007

Taupo to Waitomo

We checked out, but weren’t planning to leave Taupo until 3pm. Rainbow Lodge lets you stay all day after you’ve checked out though. Kris and I played Scrabble, which I lost badly, but didn’t have a terrible score. Then we went to Taupo’s mini golf, and both did better than yesterday. I even got two hole-in-ones! Kris had another go at the golf game on the lake.

We went back to the hostel and had another game of Trivial Pursuit (lost badly), had lunch, and I finally got round to writing in my diary for the first time in days!

We left Taupo at 3pm and headed for Waitomo. Played “eye spy” and went through some scary hailstones. We checked into Juno Hall Backpackers, which has a bit of “school field trip” feel to it. The four of us walked into “town” – Kris saw half a dead cat – and got some supplies. Freddy and Inga walked back while it was still light, and Kris and I went for a beer in the tavern. Walked back in the dark, then I spent the evening reading Harry Potter.

New Zealand Round the World 2007

Napier

Went to an internet café early and copied my photos onto CD to free up memory card space. Also found out that my second memory card had a virus, so I bought a new one to replace that.

Me and Kris went to Napier today. It wasn’t really worth the two-hour drive. We looked at art deco architecture, got an ice cream, and played mini golf, which I lost badly. We went up to Bluff Hill Lookout, then had fun trying to open the petrol cap on the way back. I had to phone the rental company and got a bit angry with the girl on the phone!

Horrible weather on the way back. We amused ourselves with “eye spy” and the alphabet game. Once back in the lodge, we played Trivial Pursuit (back to the good old days!) which I won, and a few beers and supper. We went to Mulligans around 10pm and had a few beers there.

New Zealand Round the World 2007

Rotorua to Taupo

Checked out and went back to Te Whaka for the cultural performance. It was quite interesting having half-dressed Maoris stamping and dancing, and making weird faces at us. Anyway, that finished around noon and we got on the road to Taupo. We stopped at the Wai-O-Tapu thermal reserve on the way. We wandered around looking at the thermal activity. Most of it wasn’t that exciting to look at, but the whole idea of the thermal activity and Champagne Pool were good.

Back on the road to Taupo, and we stopped at the Huka Falls before getting into town. I’m still awed by the sheer volume of water gushing over the falls: two swimming pools per second. Once in town we went to Rainbow Lodge and dropped our stuff off, then wandered into town.

Kris had a couple of tries at a golf game on the lake, then we went to Breakers for some food and a few games of pool. Then we went to the Irish bar next door for a couple, then back to the lodge. We watched Donnie Brasco and I finally got started on Harry Potter 7 – which Freddy gave to me – before bed.

New Zealand Round the World 2007

Rotorua

Started our day with a walk around Rotorua. There are a few thermal reserves around where you can pay to look at geysers and mud pools and have a guided tour; but there is also thermal activity around town. We started in Kuirau Park, looking at bubbling mud and steam coming off ponds and lakes. It was quite interesting, but there is only so much time you can spend looking at steam.

From there we walked to Ohinemutu, a lakeside Maori village, with a meeting house and church. We carried on along the lakefront and came to the waka, or war canoe; then past the museum and government gardens, a quick stop at the supermarket, and then back to the hostel for lunch.

After lunch we drove to Te Puia on the edge of town to see the Pohutu geyser, which is pretty much always exploding water into the air. When we got there, we found out it was $50 to get in, because you get a guided tour and cultural performance and stuff. So we drove out again, and went to Te Whakarewarewa instead. This is a Maori village on the other side of the Pohutu geyser, only costs $23, and you still get a guided tour and cultural performance. So we had the tour and went for a wander, and we can come back tomorrow for the cultural performance.

We went back to the hostel, then Kris and I went to find a bar. We ended up in The Lazy Dog, which was much nicer than it sounds. After a few drinks we got a pizza and went back to the hostel for another spa, and were joined by two Irish girls.

New Zealand Round the World 2007

Travelling Again

Walked down to get the rental car at 11am: it’s a red Toyota Echo. Nice car but took a while to get used to the clutch/biting point: lots of boy racer starts! I met Kris’s Welsh friend Sion, and turns out he’s from Mold and worked in Denbigh before heading over to NZ.

We left the car by Kris’s place, then went to see his office, then met up with Freddy and Inga for lunch. Kris had to leave for a meeting, so we walked down Queen Street and then sat in Albert Park for a while. They walked back to their hostel and I waited for Kris, then we got our luggage into the car and drove to their hostel.

We left Auckland around 5pm and drove to Rotorua, which took just over three hours. Not a particularly interesting journey: it was dark. Really notice the smell once you hit Rotorua though: that lovely rotten egg aroma! Once in the hostel, Kris and I got some beers and went for a spa.

New Zealand Round the World 2007

Leaving National Park

Monday. Last day! I had to show Elisabeth the ropes. All done by 1pm, then spent the afternoon doing the usual TV and puzzles. Went to Schnapps around 8pm. Had supper there because it was being bought for me. Hamish wrote “Happy Travels” on the side of the plate. Ange gave a reference that I asked for: it was really good. Bought a few cocktail shakers and shared them out. Spent most of the night chatting, until I decided I wanted to change the music. Put Rage Against the Machine and Metallica on, and moshed with Connie and Ange. Bad idea: serious case of “mosher neck” afterwards. Disapppointed that Ashleigh and Anna didn’t show up, but still had a fun night. Ange got very drunk and it took Zeus ages to get her home. Me and Ray threw drinks on each other. And finally everyone left by 2.30am, so Ray, Amanda and I had drinks and were the last to leave.

Tuesday. I was packed and all ready to leave by around 11am. I had so much stuff that I kinda looked like I was moving out! Went over to Schnapps, partly because I was bored and partly because Spud didn’t join us last night. Said “bye” to everyone again, then Cy gave me a lift to the bus stop. The south-bound bus arrived and told me that the north-bound bus had broken down and would be at least another hour. Luckily Clare and Zeus arrived at Basekamp (near the bus stop), so I waited inside with them. Got to Auckland around 9pm and took a taxi to Kris’s place. Good to see him. We chatted for a while, then headed out for some drinks with his friend Liz.

New Zealand Round the World 2007

Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th August

Thursday. Woke up at 7.30am, so a grand total of 10 hours sleep in the past two nights. Managed to stay in bed until 10am though (it’s my day off, by the way). Paulina finished work and we headed up to the ski-field. Really shitty weather, so we headed over to Ohakune instead. We had lunch at Utopia Cafe, then came back around 2.30pm because she had work at 4pm. I was going to go to Schnapps to see a band in the evening, but the weather was still crap, so I stayed in and watched a couple of films instead.

Friday. Supposed to be my day off, but Paulina asked if I would mind helping because there was quite a bit to do, she had slept in, and she wanted to move into Clare’s before work this evening. So I worked 10.30-12.30 and just did all the lodge bedrooms, cleaning and making beds. Had lunch, went on the internet, and got ready for work. In Schnapps at 5pm. Worked until quite late, then had a drink with Ange, Amanda and Zeus before walking home.

Saturday. Worked until noon, then had another boring afternoon of lunch, puzzles and TV before going to Schnapps at 4pm, for my last ever shift! Everyone was being overly helpful so I could have a “cruizy” shift. The customers made that awkward. Not overly busy, just ticked over nicely. Spud wasn’t impressed with my last staff meal: chips, cheese and pesto. There was a DJ playing at 10pm, so I spent an hour on the door. Three guys started stripping for me because they wanted free Jagermeisters. It didn’t work. Finished at 11pm. Ange and Anna were saying “last ever time signing out” and looking worried/sad. I stuck around for a few drinks and danced to the DJ. Left around 1.30am, and got totally soaked on my walk home. Nick and Hamish both told me that it had been a pleasure to work with me.

Sunday. Worked 9am-2.45pm. I chose to do motels, which wasn’t a terrible choice, but I did have to refuse to get angry with one couple who left a huge mess in their kitchen. Another unit did leave some Vienetta which cheered me up! My replacement, Elizabeth, arrived and moved into the staff room. I’ll be training her up tomorrow, on my last shift. Had lunch, showered, did some puzzles, and went on the internet.

New Zealand Round the World 2007

Friday 27th July – Wednesday 1st August

Friday. Went up to the ski-field around 9am, and spent an hour and a half in the cafe, waiting for the weather to improve. There seemed to be quite a lot of people skiing, but most of the lifts were closed so they were all using one slope. It wasn’t that bad, but certainly not ideal conditions, especially for learning. So I drove back around noon, got some petrol and groceries, and went back to the lodge. Went into work in Schnapps at 5pm. Nothing special. Walked home at 2am with Jo.

Saturday. Had to work today, even though it was supposed to be my day off. Can’t complain too much – I did get Thursday off. Finished at 1pm, changed and went to Schnapps for lunch. It was quite busy, and Sarah was there so I ended up having lunch with her, and playing a couple of games of pool. Started work at 4pm, and it got busy around 5.30pm, so it was good that Mike arrived early. Once all the other staff came in at 6pm, I tried doing the floor (basically clearing tables), but ended up taking meals, doing a bit of glass-washing, and clearing tables. Getting frustrated with the other staff, but maybe I’m just expecting too much: like Jeff said, I’m a fast learner. It was quite a busy night but everyone left fairly early, so we were finished by 1am.

Sunday. Worked 9am-2pm. I did the lodge and the vacuuming (no beds, hurray!). Had lunch, did my laundry, went on the internet. Freddy sent me a message saying she’d already finished Harry Potter 7, but some evil kid ruined it for her by telling her the ending. I said she wasn’t allowed to tell me anything because I wasn’t going to buy it until I reach the US. Watched Spiderman in the evening.

Monday. Worked for a couple of hours. Went on the internet and found out hiring a car in the US would cost be $1000 before I take petrol into account, so I will now be travelling by bus! Went through the Lonely Planet finding names of the local transport companies to look up. Went into Schnapps around 6.30pm: I was in charge of the pool competition. Thought I’d be in for a real boring/easy night since there are so few tourists in the village at the moment. But it was actually quite popular. We had enough people to go from 7pm to 9pm in the speed round, and then we played two semi-finals and the final. Rick knocked a couple of the more competitive players out of the top four, so they played a couple more speed round to get back into the finals. Ray won the competition and the $100 bar tab though, and bought me a drink. Stayed for a couple more with Spud and Rick too.

Tuesday. Paulina’s ex phoned at 3am, which woke me up. Don’t know why she couldn’t just ignore the call, so it took me a while to get back to sleep. Meant to phone Nain this morning for her birthday, but forgot to set my alarm. Left her a message instead. Worked for a whole 15 minutes today! Paulina and Jeff were about to go to Taupo as I finished, so I changed quickly and joined them. We joked that we should’ve just got a bus from National Park, because we saw loads of people from the village in Taupo. We had lunch in a Japanese cafe, then split up. I chatted to Amanda for a while before she went to the cinema, and I went to an internet cafe. Spent an hour in there, then met up with Paulina and Jeff again. I drove back – lots of fun in the fog! Straightened my hair and watched some TV before running to Schnapps in the rain at 5.30pm. Lots more people for the quiz this week: there were 12 teams and I gave away loads of spot prizes. The first round was tag lines from films, where they were given the tagline and had to guess the film. The tag line from City Slickers was there: “Yesterday they were businessmen. Today they’re cowboys. Tomorrow they’ll be walking funny.” One team – The Fuckin’ Nihilists – put Brokeback Mountain, and the whole place erupted with laughter when I read that out. After the quiz, I had my dinner and staff drink, and joined Ray, Nick, Paulina and Anna. Walked home with Anna and Radka.

Wednesday. Woke up at 4am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Got out of bed around 6.45am, got a coffee and phoned Nain at 7am. Chatted for half an hour, then had breakfast and watched world youth athletics until it was time to start work. Both of us should’ve been working today but it was quiet, so it was just me, and it only took a couple of hours. Spent the rest of the day going through the US stuff I got off the internet in Taupo, and doing puzzles. Went into Schnapps at 4pm. There was a strange lady in, who shared a bit too much. Told us she was on a date with a guy, but wasn’t that attracted to him, and wasn’t into casual sex. We later found out she’d apparently escaped from a mental home! It was a really quiet night otherwise, so we closed up at 9.30pm, then headed down to Basekamp where they were celebrating Swiss Day. Aside from the music – which reminded me of Eurovision – it was a fun night.

New Zealand Round the World 2007

Friday 20th – Thursday 26th July

Friday. Bought myself a pair of proper skiing gloves another thermal top (it was pink and only $10). Then went over to Schnapps for breakfast. Eggs Benedict today. Then I spent the rest of the day sat there, by the fire, reading. Jeff also stopped by and chatted for a while. Went back to the lodge to shower and change, and back for work at 5pm. Difficult night with me, Steph and Silvana. The kitchen wanted me on orders but I was doing all the running around. Anna came in with the Snow School crowd for drinks. She cleared a load of glasses for us, so I bought her a slice of chocolate cake. She’s awesome. We were closed up by midnight. Ray came in for a drink, and joked about me staying til September, and he would pay for my flight home.

Saturday. Phoned Mum and chatted for about an hour. It was good to talk to her. Weather wasn’t great, so didn’t go up to ski. Got some groceries from the shop and read. Went into Schnapps at 5pm. All Blacks v Wallabies Tri-Nations tonight, so another busy one. I lost Anna to the bar and Amanda wasn’t working, so I had Steph and Sarah. Very stressful, and not just for me. Ray asked what it would take to get me to stay. And again offered to pay for my flight. I just told him it was time for me to go. Finished work around 11.45pm after the food stuff was all done. Showered and washed my hair before bed.

Sunday. Worked until around 2pm then had lunch. Went to Taumaranui with Paulina around 4pm. I did tell her that it was quite late and most places would be shut, but apparently she didn’t listen or didn’t believe me. So we went and found one cafe/restaurant and the supermarket were still open. So we had a coffee and cake and did some shopping. I watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail when we got back, then we got ready for the staff party for Schnapps and Basekamp. Paulina has been telling me for ages that my hair looks great curly, so I left it curly for the party. Everyone was very complimentary and asking how I’d done it: only people at the lodge knew my hair was naturally curly! Anyway, I felt ill almost as soon as we got there, so drank water for the first couple of hours while Spud forced vodka shots on everyone else. We were all given awards: mine was “Superstar Material: you don’t deserve an award cuz you’re leaving us soon”. Schnapps also lost quite spectacularly to Basekamp in the tug-of-war. And I spent quite some time trying to get Anna to walk home with me because she was drunk and hurt. It was a fun party, but there’s only so much you can take of really drunk people when you’re sober!

Monday. Worked until midday, then we went up to the ski-field. The weather up there was terrible, but Paulina wanted to stay, so I drove home and said I’d pick her up later. I spent the afternoon trying to make scones and chocolate brownies, neither of which turned out like they should have. Went back to get Paulina: someone either stole or moved her snowboard from outside the cafe. Spent the evening reading, doing puzzles, internet and such like. Finished the third of my Rebus books.

Tuesday. Crappy cold and sore throat. Worked until midday. Had lunch and spent the afternoon reading. There are some kids in the lodge at the moment. The chatty, inquisitive kind. Really bugging me. Went to Schnapps at 5.30pm and got the gossip from Sunday night. It appears Anna fell on the fire and thats’ how she got hurt. Amanda drove her to the hospital and it appears she had third degree burns. Sarah went home, put the heater in front of her door, later couldn’t get out, and so smashed the window. Ange managed to wedge herself between her bed and wardrobe. And Nick has horrible rope burns from the tug-of-war. Anyway, only six teams in the quiz this week: everyone is tired of the same team winning every week. Had a drink with Ray and Rick after.

Wednesday. Worked until 12.15pm, had lunch, showered and straightened my hair, then watched Chronicles of Narnia. Went to work at 6pm. It was a quiet night so I helped Ange sort through the junk in her office. Finished and home by 12.30pm.

Thursday. Cy gave me the option of working or having the day off. I chose the latter, hoping I might be able to shift my cold. Read, watched Match Point and Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Went to work at 6pm, expecting it to be totally dead, but we were busier than last night. Still finished at 11.30pm though. Chef made my dinner tonight and wrote my name on the side of the plate and drew a heart!

New Zealand Round the World 2007

Friday 13th – Thursday 19th July

Friday. Phoned Dad at 8am and caught him before he was going to the pub. Got the feeling I was being hurried off the phone! Went for breakfast in Schnapps around 11am. Had pancakes with berries. Yum. Had a very pleasant few hours reading and chatting to the staff. Went back at 6pm to work. It was a bad night: slow, bad service. Home by 2am.

Saturday. Stayed in the apartment all day, and don’t really remember too much about it. Went into Schnapps at 5pm. Incredibly busy night: All Blacks v South Africa Tri-Nations game. We did about 240 meals in less than three hours. Me and Amanda got the point where we were just calling out numbers when we were carrying food, and hoping someone would answer! Finished around 1.30am.

Sunday. Worked until 2pm, and it went quite quickly. Went up to the ski field with Paulina so she could get her season pass. She managed to lock her keys in the car when we got there. Luckily, a guy in the next car had a key which fitted into the lock of the boot, and I crawled through. Also got a coffee and muffin in the lower mountain cafe, before heading back to the village. We went for a spa, then I did my laundry and showered. Watched some of Chronicles of Narnia and CSI.

Monday. Worked until 1pm. The Dutch girl who was living in the staff room I had in March and April moved out today, so me and Paulina moved our stuff across, and our food to the communal kitchen. It’s kinda cramped, but it’s only for three weeks. Showered, straightened my hair, had supper, and watched Sahara. Went to Basekamp for cocktail training at 10.30pm. It was good fun: quite a few of us turned up, Ange and Clare gave us a bit of info, and then we all had the chance to make a couple. Me, Ray, Ashleigh and Mike ended up staying there until 3am drinking.

Tuesday. Went on the internet before work. Cameron emailed to say the army have cancelled his leave. Arseholes. Worked until 12.45pm, had some lunch, and then had to re-think the US stuff. Luckily I hadn’t started booking stuff. Went into Schnapps at 5.30pm for the quiz. Only 8 teams this week: much easier to look after! Chatted to Spud for a little while afterwards. $700 went missing from his office. Probably staff. Not good.

Wednesday. Worked until 1.15pm. Spent the afternoon in the lodge: not worked many hours there this week, so can’t afford to spend much. Went into Schnapps at 6pm. Me, Sarka (Czech) and Silvana (Argentinian). I was given training sheets for both of them, and decided it was easiest to try to do both at the same time, rather than repeat myself. Finished work around 11.15pm.

Thursday. Paulina didn’t come home last night. She stayed at Jeff’s house (works in Schnapps). Just about everyone knew by the end of the day, which was a source of great amusement, even though it was perfectly innocent! Worked until 1pm, had lunch, went on the internet, and read. Went into Schnapps at 6pm. Loads of staff on because we had a DJ playing later, so I was doling at jobs for everyone. Also trying to show new guy Elliot around. Ange decided I was in charge of tabs, corrections and refunds, and essentially overseeing everything. More responsibility! Wasn’t a busy night though. We had fun dancing, and I got to finish around midnight. Roger (works in the kitchen) told me I was the hardest working front of house staff.