Skating in Swindon
Last night as I was working, I got to talking to a lady on the bus. Somehow (I don't recall how) we got to the subject of what I missed about living and working in England. Now, first I think I need to give you a little background information.
I moved to England in 1992, almost straight after the Club Med winter season in Tignes-Val Claret. It was the beginning of June and I arrived with two overloaded suitcases. I was shown to my room at the back of the kitchen and loved the fact that I had my own bathroom. By the end of June I hadn't made many friends yet, but it was my birthday anyway. No money, no friends, not even a phone-call from home to wish me happy birthday: I was miserable. Fortunately it picked up though. I was invited to my boss's home for a barbecue, I started hanging out with the other foreigners working in the restaurant (I worked at reception) and slowly I began to find my place.
In early spring of 1993 I got fired from being a receptionist on account of my English: it was too good! I was allowed to stay in the hotel and chose to work in the restaurant, where I stayed until October 1994. I made friends with several of the waitresses and waiters, I always had my lunch at the same table as the gardeners and maids, I passed my driving test and got a car. I was happy.
However, during the summer of 1994, my happiness was diminished. My male Italian colleagues found it quite hard to work for a woman apparently and during work it was often hard for them to do as I told them to. Besides that, because of my elevated status I wasn't allowed to do any of the 'fun' stuff anymore. Every day was the same. By late September the stress was really getting to me. I drank coffee as if it was water, which in turn gave me massive migraines. I had to go home on one or two occasions because of it. When I went on holiday to Ibiza early October, the only thing I could think of was: "I've got to back to work in two weeks". And not in a good way. After my return, I wrote a letter of resignation and on November 1st I left.
I arrived home on November 2nd and immediately knew I had made a massive mistake. During the Christmas period I was homesick and living at home was (apart from getting to know my sister) not all it's cracked up to be!
So, what do I miss? The camaraderie, the togetherness, the fun after work. I had it during my two seasons working for Club Med and I had it in England. And I miss it. I love being on my own, but the fun and laughter and 'we're all in this together'-feeling is something I would love to have again!