Everything seems so easy. Natural. No need to spend a lot of effort. Everything is proceeding on its own. It’s just as it should be. This is what happens when you’re on the right track.
Andrej was waiting for me at the airport for almost an hour. Firstly, the late flight. Secondly, the luggage never arrived. He was sitting calmly on a bench. When he saw me, he quickly came to my aid. It was as if we hadn’t seen each other in a month and had to make up for a lot of time.
This happens to me a lot. I’m not sure if it’s me, or the circumstances which lead you to believe you’ve known someone from before. Yes, I’m an old soul. Very old. But this doesn’t mean I know every person I meet from before. A relaxed greeting, a warm squeeze of the hand, an honest hug and being genuine. That is what guides me. And that is what finally brought me my first job.
Never, I said. I’m never going to be a waitress. Why? Because I simply don’t enjoy it. It’s not creative. It’s not genuine. It’s not honest. But still. When there’s nothing left, you have to do what you have to do.
Because I simply don’t enjoy it.
It’s not creative. It’s not genuine. It’s not honest.
It was a wonderful, sunny day. Blue skies above me. A sandy beach. Retirees and families. Waves and surfers. This is Sunshine Coast. I proudly walked from one coffee shop to another, from a restaurant to a pizzeria, and into some pubs. Just to places I liked and would have gone myself. I introduced myself in a few clothing boutiques, where I was kindly greeted by older saleswomen. I guessed they were the owners for many years now and worked there alone, without any additional staff.
Access to the beach surrounded by dunes
Relaxed afternoon by the beach
“Hello. I’m a Slovenian that’s travelling across Australia, and I just moved to Sunshine Coast. I am a communicative person, I learn quickly, I’m ready for any type of work. I speak multiple foreign languages, so tourists will definitely love me. I’m available all days of the week, along with weekends and evenings.”
That’s what Andrej advised me.
I never said I had experience.
“When can you start?”
Asked the owner of the first coffee shop, next to the promenade, with a view of the ocean.
Sunset view from the workplace
I don’t like lies, but I still fabricated the truth
I don’t like lies. I don’t like concealment. So, I looked for every possibility that would allow me to get the experience, which I could then share with the employers. Even though it was for a short time, I helped my father in his coffee shop when I was in high school. So, I did have experience. When you’re facing either working, or ending up without anything to eat, it’s easier to fabricate the truth.
For the next ten days I waitressed on three different locations in three different shifts. Mornings in the coffee shop, lunchtimes and afternoons in a Bavarian restaurant, and in the evening in a restaurant with the best seafood in town.
It wasn’t easy.
Because I did it for the first time in my life.
Because, after three months of not working, I worked 14 hours a day.
Because I tried to remember three different menus.
Three different types of work. Because the employers were exhausting and treated me like a student without a life.
Half an hour before my shift, I got a message saying to come an hour later.
Five minutes before the end of my shift, they asked me to stay for two extra hours.
Have I really come so far that I will be doing something I never wanted to do? That they will treat me worse than any employer back home? That I will be miserable, tired, full of blisters and will not notice the beautiful ocean in front of me even for a moment? No. I don’t have to do this.
The customers loved me. Happy, chatty, with an accent they didn’t know how to place.
“Slovenia? Is it next to Russia?”
They asked, when I was serving them sunny-side-up eggs for 18 dollars.
“Did you use to be a part of Czechoslovakia?”
Asked, an older couple, who came for a Carniolan sausage with sour cabbages, thinking it to be a typical Bavarian food.
“It’s where pumpkin seed oil comes from. I saw a programme on TV, about two Slovenians who make pumpkin seed oil in Australia.”
Said a nice lady, with whom I exchanged a few ideas about how to use it.
The customers helped my days pass faster. There were a few in-between who have already been to Slovenia or had driven past it on their way to sailing at the Croatian coast. They helped me reinforce my belief about how special our little Slovenia is. How quickly people fall in love with our wonders.
I won’t work as a waitress anymore
And how wonderfully they speak about their experiences with Slovenians.
It didn’t last long before I affirmed my opinion that waitressing job just isn’t for me. What do I like to do? What would make me happy? How can I make enough money, so that I could save up for new adventures ahead? I like children.