Alas. I am sitting here in the "resort", it is definitely not what you would consider a hotel, lobby, drinking a glass of the wine made from the "resort`s¨ vineyard, a red wine. Bare with me, for my lack of correct punctuation, as I DO not know how to use this keyboard. The time is now 23:18, or as we Americans say 11:18. Back to the start, no?
Boarded the plane from Philadelphia to Washington after a grueling few hours in Reagan International. That flight was good..If I remember. Ah yes it was half full(all the memory is now coming back to me) My bad din´t fit in the area and I was confused and then the flight attendant told me the flight would´nt be full and I could move to the back. I sat near some pilots, and when we were landing, some Asian guy had to go to the bathroom. The flight attendant told him no, to sit back down, he din´t listen, went anyway, got arrested when we left the plane. Drama. Then, as that flight was a little late, I had less time than expected in Philly. I wolfed down a Philly cheese steak, walked to the...what Do you call it, I´m thinking two other languages right now, also. Gate? Yes. Called my people to say goodbye, charged my phone, had to get my boarding pass ¨"stamped?" and then pretty quickly boarded the plane. I took a video that was SUPPOSE to be with that lame post from Philadelphia, but for some reason it didn't´t work. I even had tried it before to make sure it would work. It was a funny video of me walking through the terminal talking to myself (my phone) so people were looking at me. Perhaps I will get it up here sometime. Onto the plane to Madrid: 1. There was a stupid/fat Mom-Sister-Grandpa sitting in front and to the left of me. The mom and grandpa who wasn't that old by the look kept complaining "I have NEVER been in a seat this small, OMG" I laughed. There was nobooody sitting next to me. That was nice, I listened to music, watched "Love Happens" but fell asleep to it. Good movie!!! The part I saw, Jennifer Anniston is beautiful. I barely slept, which sucked. Almost everyone on the flight was speaking Spanish, so already I was confused. "Dinner" (I barely ate it) was Tortellini? With spinach mush, 5 pieces of lettuce with carrot sticks, potent Italian vinaigrette, and a fluffy chocolate something. Oh and a packaged role that was good. I took a picture of it as it to me was kind of ironic, a cook on a plane going to cook, and getting served that POS. One of the flight attendants was kind of mean, and yelled at me for not saying please first.
Finally in Madrid. After 2 hours of ansy-news, we finally landed. Beautiful, the Spanish country that we flew over. Groves/vineyards everywhere, and MOUNTAINS. ! There were mountains surrounding the Madrid Airport, which by the way is HUGE. Got off the plane, with a 3 hour layover, pretty tired. After a bus ride with a man who I thought was going to the same place(the guy was from Miami) he was going to "Las Palmas" which is in some islands of the OTHER coast of Spain, not in the Mediterranean. I didn't know that. Good thing I didn't board his plane with him. Went to the food court, and immediately it struck me. Spain is food centric. It is AWESOME. I mean, orange juice freshly squeezed by some compounding machine, it must take 6 oranges for a glass. Iberico Ham, (the GOOOD stuff) being sliced to order for a baguette by some girl who decided to get a job at the airport cafe. Awesome. At the duty free shop, a whole refrigeration section dedicated to iberico ham and manchego cheeses. Iberico ham to those in the not know, is like proscuitto, or salami almost, but much much better. The fat ribbons melt on your lips. Take a little bit of this stuff, keep it in your pocket, and you will never need chapstick again. I don´t know if you can say that you have eaten unless you´ve come to Spain. So I hung out at the Madrid airport for a bit...began To get very tired. My first meal in Spain was a Baguette with Iberico ham slathered all up inside. Very good! Some old man came up to me and said "Nordsk?" which sense I have Scandinavian connections, I knew meant Norwegian? And I said no, and he proceeded to ask me ins Englisch if it was free internet in the airport, and I said no, I had my laptop out. Lame Madrid, even Richmond has free internet.
So, then, when they released which gate would be my flight I went to that gate. Sat there for a while, people watched, listened to music. After a while I looked at the monitor that displayed where the flight was going. GONE. What?! This is where I was suppose to be. Ok. Went back, looked again, 6 gates away. Ok. Went there, began to get VERY tired. That was when 5/6 was hitting me. I was getting so tired that I was scared I was going to fall asleep and not wake up, so I set my alarm on my phone. By the way, there were people all around me speaking every language, I truly think I was the only American.
Finally the time arrived to start boarding, about two minutes when we were suppose to start boarding, a HUGE group of old people got in line. They were obnoxious/oblivious. And of course the person over the intercom saying which zone was boarding spoke spanish very fast and English very fast with an accident low so that I COULD NOT UNDERSTAND. I just boarded. They let me on aha. I sat next to a couple, from Ukraine? We didn't talk on the plane/I passed out.
I awoke, began to get excited since I was finally on the island. All was good. Until I started looking for my bag. Went to the first belt that it was suppose to be at. Nobody else came. Looked again at the screen, it was the WRONG belt, a different flight from Madrid. But on the way there I saw a plane had come in from Paderborn, which if you really know me would know I have a friend from there, it is a small German town.
Finally got to the right belt, after everyone else had come and gone. My bag was nowhere to be seen. But the Ukrainian seat passengers were still there. Where are our bags!? I was super scared. Almost started crying ahhh. The Ukrainian girl went to look around, and apparently since we weren´t from the EU our bags were suspicious and sent into this gated belt. We had to get them scanned again. Thank goodness for that couple, or else I probably wouldn't´t have found my bag. If I could have read the signs, I might have gotten it, but ALAS.
And then, out into Mallory looking for the Chef´s wife that was suppose to pick me up. Couldn't´t find her. Walked every which way, no sight. So I tried to call her. Couldn´t get the payphone to work. At this point I was getting pissed off/nervous. I tried and tried to get the payphone to work. I had the right money in it. Of course it was in Spanish and had no German. No budging. I pressed all the buttons. Agh.
Then, I walked to all the booths and asked if I could PLEASE use their phone, I couldn't get the payphone to work. Finally a German tour type of group girl let me borrow her phone. She was nice and cute, and I talked to German to her. Everyone, speaks German here. It is amazing. Finally reached the chefs wife, Sarah, I don´t know if she didn't´t come or had come and gone, but she was no longer there. I had to take a cab.
An experience that was. He was of some different origin than I am aware. He played cool music that was rappish/rockish, of which I could not understand. That does not however, rule out German. He drove fast. Weaving in and out of cars, on the highway. And then we get to the closed in Spanish roads, which are curve and you can´t see past that curve. That didn't´t mean he slowed down. Good times. I saw part of Palma I think¿ Quintessential Spanish looking place. It seemed as though every house/place had their own grove/vineyard, we drove past so many. It was amazing. I have pictures of the ride in, but my camera is upstairs/don´t want to upload on this computer.
Finally to the Resort. This is becoming quite a long blog post. Entschuldigung(sorry, don´t know if that's how you spell it in German?) Saw it from a distance. It is so beautiful. Walked in, and Chef Felix was standing there. Awesome. Then came the rest of the restaurant crew. (Bless your heart if you´ve read this far, this must be boring.) I met three of the cooks then, Marcus, 22, from Germany. Very nice, it looks like we will be good friends. He is very funny, don´t know where he is from. Has a girlfriend from the island, who is 30. Told me some crazy stories of what happens on the island. Is currently playing poker with Chef Felix, told me he goes out everyother night. Went to sleep last time at 5. 5! Woke up at 10:30 to start cooking. I am not ready for that, I am still jet lagged for **** sake! Marcus speaks German, ok Spanish(better than anyone I know) and good English. (In Europe, they say their English is OK, or their Spanish is OK. But it seems they are MUCH better than we are at other languages, I can talk almost how I feel and he can understand me. Crazy. They are insecure about their speaking of other languages.) The other cook who I worked today also was Marco. He is from Venezuela. Speaks Spanish, perfect English, and no German(although im sure his German is better than mine.) Felix speaks perfect all three languages. Marco is 26? Martin is Spanish? And around the age...30? I don´t know. After I arrived I talked for a little, and then went up to my room...a Room IN the hotel, queen sized bed, nice EVERYTHING, kid you not. ! Cheese diese ist zu laange! (shit, this is getting too long.) Unpacked my stuff, hung up all my shirts, (kid you not mom) unpacked everything. The restaurant people were going to play soccer against another hotel, as they do every Wednesday. Apparently they lost 12-6. They were excited when I said I though I was pretty good and would be of assistance next week. I was suppose to meet back downstairs for a meeting/food at 7:00. Set my alarms. For sure over slept them. I was soo angry. I knew how much it would mean for me to wake up for them. Aagh. Woke up around 830? And found out that none of my lights/electricity were working. They have a very weird system for the room, there is a box in Spanish, and then a card that you have to slip in to turn it all on. I didn´t have the card. Went downstairs, got Malcolm (English? The hotel is owned by English people) and he got me a card. But agast, I can still not get my plugs to work even though I have one transverter, and a borrowed one from the lobby. Must be something else with the plugs. I will ask another day, I am too embarrassed currently. For now, this lobby computer suffices. Finally after getting the lights on, I took a shower and was invited down to eat at the casual area and have a drink. I had Mango Risotto with Duck Confit, stir fryed vegetables and a spicy sauce. It was extremely good. Before I had house cured olives, if you have not had an olive in Spain you have not eaten an olive. So amazing. With a yogurt chive spread and olive tapenade. All amazing. And a huge "Becks" beer to go with it. I tried to pay for it, but apparently if you work here and are eating, alle ist freu. (All is free) The bartender/my server was Slovakian and spoke English, German, Spanish, and Slovakian. Blows my mind.
After eating I went into the kitchen after they had just finished up. We had some more beers outside and talked and they smoked cigarettes like they were nothing. 5 or 6 a piece, crazy. Felix, Martin, and Marco left, and it was just I and Marcus. Again we talked, he is very nice, we are going to be good friends. As customary in the kitchen, you are always playing jokes on eachother, saying nasty things. Today I already made a joke about Marcus´s sister. ha ha! Aso, before Felix left, he told me to meet down in the kitchen at 11 ready to go. Already?! What!! I still have jet lag! Ok. Chef.
So I went back to my room and soon thereafter fell asleep. Woke up at ten, opened my window and enjoyed the amazing view of the mountains, orchards, houses. Everything.
Headed down to the kitchen at 10:45, by the way, its just two flights of stairs and I´m to my place of employment. Crazy. The hotel has many rooms that are just for decoration, with all sorts of plates and things. Weird. There is one dog and one cat that live here. I think? I hope to make good with the cat by the end. My room number is 15.
I started by cutting breakfast fruits for the next morning. One melon I have never seen before. As cooks, we get three meals a day from the kitchen, and thus far they have been quite good. During my cutting of the fruits for the next morning, a Spanish waiter asks me if I want a coffee with or without milk and something or another else, my Spanish is good for only 1. Cafe-Coffee. 2. Leche? Milk? I think. I had to translate. Still jet lagged, as this was 5 or so for me, I got to work. Next I worked on small dicing parsnip, and running Salsify along the mandolin. Sorry for you non foodies..Look the terms up, this is a cooking blog. The littlest things were big differences to me, I had to check about everything before I went. We put salsify in Water and lemon, they, in Milk and Lemon¿ What is better? I don´t know. Their plastic wrap is just a roll without a cutter, that caused me the biggest problems. To me, their coriander tastes the same as parsley, I got in trouble for that. I have never used fresh coriander before. This will be a long journey. Along comes 2/3 o´clock. Then arrives tickets for dishes to start coming in. You want me to do what chef, already start being the Entree-Mat for your proteins? I don´t know any of the dishes or even where anything is...agast. So I worked lunch service with chef doing all the accompaniments to the meat/fish. It was long and grueling.
After we cleaned and organized for dinner service, which apparently was much later than usual...around 5:45, we drank cokes and hung out for a few minutes, and then got a 1 hour break. By the way, during the prep time, we were listening to the radio. No no, not some foreign radio, but what I would call Classic, lame, American music. And they all sang to the songs?! What! Any American coming into this kitchen seeing German/Spanish guys singing to...the Titanic theme song?! We are family?! Smash Mouth Shrek song?! Oy, it was funny.
I went to my room, tweeted? Hung out for a few with some sparkling water. Tried to get the electricity to work...nope...read Over the menus or as Felix calls them "cards" and by that time it was time to head back. During break I had imagined how to set a more efficient station, although I had no idea what I would be doing that evening for dinner. What is the main difference for me though, is not having a open "station" that which I have everything set at to pull from. Here, everything is in closed containers, some distance away, with a different language written on them for what it is. That for me has caused problems. Also, my sharpie doesn´t write on said containers?! Agh.
During lunch, I ran a very messy, disorganized, ugly, bad, station, that was quite hectic. During dinner, this was changed quite a bit. Although still a bit lost, it was a great improvement. So I made a few mistakes, I am still an American, who has never worked a hot-line before, doesn´t speak Spanish, doesn´t know anything about the food here, and, is STILL JET LAGGED. I think my work was quite good. It can only improve. I think by the end, I will be ahead of the game. I can make a much more efficient station, with food of better quality. (Although, the products here are AMAZING. Seriously, the lemons, local, oranges, from here. You can feel, smell, taste the difference. It is mind blowing.)
By the way, I forgot to interloop the beautiful English girl I met. I don´t know what her job is. She is soooo beautiful, brown hair, her name is Roma? Ruma? I don´t know. We talked for a little. Ahh.
We cleaned after service, made a list, ate curried chicken/pineapple/pepper/other things over rice. It was good. Had a Spanish beer with that. I don´t think I will be spending much money, as when I am working all meals and drinks are paid for. Awesome. Scrubbed the beautiful range down, it has the name of the restaurants/hotel painted on it. Unlike other kitchens I have been at where it is a line, this is an island, as I have seen only at Metro! Roanoke, great restaurant, check it out if you have a chance. After, I was invited to go and play poker with the other cooks, people, at Chef´s house. But am tired, and weary of losing sight of the cooking, and becoming too tired. I will go out next time with them.
Thus far, the food has been somewhat familiar. The pastries were of a different world, I didn't´t recognize much. I saw a beautiful paella that felix made that I didn´t get to try. Next time. We try everything before we plate it, that makes it fun and exact.
My scabs were worn off during services, I now have bare wounds that are hurting currently while typing. Already, my German/Spanish have gotten better. I spoke a good bit of both today, although most could speak English to me. The hotel is beautiful, my room is beautiful, I hope to get my computer working up there so I can be on more often. I work in the morning, who knows what tomorrow will hold. Hopefully should be a bit better, as 2 more cooks will be there tomorrow.
This was too long of a post with a lack of pictures. Hopefully it won´t happen again. I hope you enjoyed it, laughed, and learned about my first two days. It is now 1:10, and I should head to bed pretty soon as I must wake up around 10 again to start day 2. I thank you sincerely for reading, I hope it wasn´t too boring. The next will be better, I promise!
Day 2 at the beautiful Mallorca awaits! Tschus! Adios! Guten night! Good night! I love you all!