My first day of housekeeping went well. The hostel can house almost 100 guests and normally has four housekeepers working for accommodation and three paid staff. The two owners take shifts at the reception so they’re on-site a lot of times as well. When I joined the team, there was only one other housekeeper and there was a change in staff.
My first day on the job I learned how to make up the en-suite private rooms. The other housekeeper, Lasse from Germany, probably had to do a bunch of dorm rooms, bathrooms and/or kitchen. He’s been working for about a week.
Charlyn, who’s also German, was in training with me as well. She’s on the paid staff and will be taking over the duties of head housekeeper as well as working at the reception. Her boyfriend, Radek, is working at reception and he’s from Poland. It’s nice not to be the only newbie in the hostel.
The two-shift passed by quickly. Who knew my bed-making skills would ever be of such value? But, while the beds look nice and tidy, I could do with getting a bit faster. It was hard to do all the en-suite rooms and some dorm rooms in time.
All in all, this work for accommodation gig is going pretty well. The work’s not difficult and definitely doesn’t tax your mental reserves. It could potentially be gross depending on how dirty the guests are, but hopefully we won’t get them too often. Besides making up the beds and vacuuming in the rooms, we have to clean three shared bathrooms, the kitchen and the common areas. Easy enough.
The day after Lan left was the first day of the end of my vacation. I really needed to find a job now as there would be no more excuses to postpone the search. I got up early to check for any new job postings and found several work for accommodation listings as well as some temporary full-time and part-time jobs. I had long ago widened my search to include work that was not in my field so hopefully this strategy will be to my benefit.
After applying for several positions, I debated what I should do with myself for the rest of the day. A better question would be what to do with myself if I didn’t get a job soon. I still had enough money to hang out in New Zealand for a bit longer, but it wouldn’t last forever and I wasn’t ready to go home yet.
To my surprise, I received a call from Josh at Crank Backpackers in Rotorua a few minutes later. He explained the job to me – housekeeping for two hours per day with a minimum commitment of two weeks in exchange for a bed in the staff’s four-bed dorm, one hour of internet per day and use of the laundry. The offer sounded like a good deal to me because it would get me out of the expensive city and cover some of my living expenses. I decided to take the job and booked a seat on an Intercity bus for the following day.
The next morning I checked out of my hostel and hiked down Queen Street to the Sky City bus terminal. Apparently I had picked up some things along the way because my backpack was bulging at all sides, and it felt like I was carrying a brick house on my back. Despite the oversized baggage issues, I made it to the terminal on time. After making sure the driver loaded my stuff into the bus, I hopped aboard and took a window seat in preparation for the four-hour ride ahead of me.
Even though Lan visited for less than a week, the two of us managed to cover some major ground on our road trip. This can be attributed to our newly found love of the road. I guess we both haven’t had the chance to travel such long distances before. I mean, I can only drive around Oahu so many times before it gets old. And, I don’t even know if Lan’s ever driven around Oahu before.
But with such a short holiday and so much packed into this visit, we really got a move on and thoroughly enjoyed it. Every day we drove for hours and every night we stayed at a different hostel. Some might think this is too hectic and not a vacation at all. But we just took our time and enjoyed the ride.
After hitting many of the major tourist spots in the central part of the North Island, we headed to Northland for the day. Yes, it’s quite ridiculous to drive all that way just to see the Whangarei Waterfall and have lunch in Paihia, but it was the last day we had the car and the day before Lan left. So what the hell, right?
There’s just something about the freedom of the open road that calls to me. It’s not like I’m about to whip on some leathers and join a motorcycle gang, but there is something to feeling as though you have no attachments and can pick up and go at any time. Does this mean that I’m running away from something or is it actually running toward something else? Questions to ponder I suppose.