Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Working in the US!

Hey guys, so it's been a long time since I've been able to give an update. I do apologise about that, but times have been pretty busy up to now. Things seem to be slowing down a little now at BallenIsles, and perhaps Florida in general. A few of my seasonal friends have already begun to depart, starting their new journeys up north" respectively. I refer to it as "up north" because everyone has their own idea of where their next season destination will be. Many friends going to North Carolina , a few going to Virginia, some to Philadelphia, and several heading out to New York. This, in fact, is my destination too. This season has gone so quickly. I've gone through an array of emotions, none of which I regret.

Working in the US has been a very enlightening experience. The culture is similar to that of South Africa, and yet there's so much different. Obviously the public transportation is not as great as Europe or the UK but it's still pretty decent, with a very technologically inclined culture. One of the funniest things I've seen, was a drive though ATM. I don't know why I found it so amusing. Perhaps just because I've never seen anything like that in South Africa. The season has been an interesting one. I've definitely learn a lot about both hospitality but also myself.

There have been both ups and downs, but such is life, and it's how we deal with it that counts. My fellow servers have been a very friendly bunch, with a huge variety of different social groups, ranging from South African, to British, to Filipino, all the way down to a mix of South Americans and Europeans. I have enjoyed meeting these new people I would probably have never been exposed to in my normal every day environment back in SA. I am grateful for the staff I was placed with, both the managers and other servers have been very helpful and most times very entertaining. We have attempted to keep high spirits, even during some of the long nights where we had to prepare for major functions the next day, but we got through it all.

In fact, recently - just last Saturday - we threw the "Bon Voyage" party for many of the members, as they return on their way to their respective Northern clubs. I've attempted to save as much money as possible, and I was so happy when I got the call informing me I had the opportunity to go up north, to New York specifically. This will obviously
extend my stay in the United States by another 6 months, with hopefully a lot more amazing experiences and great people to meet along the way. It's actually quite saddening now, getting to the end of it. It's difficult to develop
relationships with other people that you see and work with, and even live with, on a daily basis, and then have to say goodbye after the season. I'm still waiting on visa extension approval, but if all goes to plan I have been informed I will be heading up to New York in the next 2 weeks or so.

In closing I'd just like to thank some of the guys I've worked with. There may have been tension at certain stages, perhaps even the odd arguments, however at the end of the day we always had a good laugh and kept solid. The best way to relieve stress was to work it out on the football field (or as they call it here, soccer field - with a good swim
afterwards and then lay about till the sun goes down. I've attached a photo with some of us guys just after one of our famous Monday football practices. Even though some of these guys are gone, and that we may never even cross paths again, I will always appreciate the time we had, and the laughs we shared together. Keep well guys, and I wish every single well of you the best of luck in your future endevours! All I can say, is that if you're reading this and you're still unsure about whether you wish to venture out into the scary world, namely the United States, I can only say - do it! Whatever happens, you won't regret it, and it'll make you so much stronger and wiser for your future. Stay tuned folks, I'll be blogging relatively soon again, just letting you guys know how my move to New
York is, and once I've settled down I'll give you the inside scoop.

Author: Michael Elliot

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