Today I had my trial shift at the restaurant/bar. It was quite busy, which was unfortunate because I had only minimally learned the menu and the POS system is one that I hadn’t encountered before. I don’t think it will take long to get back into the waitressing mentality though, despite the fact that I haven’t been a server since I lived in DC! I worked well over 7 hours and was only allowed to leave when my roommates came searching for me. It was nice to be busy, but I am not sure how I feel about making minimum wage and no tips. The restaurant is certainly more upscale than I am used to; customers order starters, mains and desserts, as well as several rounds of drinks. This results in constant stress that, unlike in the US, does not result in higher pay or any other benefit. I can certainly understand the appeal of working at a retail store or gas station where you make the same amount of money without the strain. At the end of the shift, I was offered a job and they fed me dinner in exchange for my work. I was told to come back and serve during the Sunday afternoon live music. Apparently, this is quite the draw for locals in the area.
My roommates, Dan, Allie, Jenn, Jewel, and Pavla, all came out to celebrate my achievement. We went to a couple local bars (there are only like four in town.) Halloween isn’t a big holiday in New Zealand like it is in the States. There is a small amount of trick or treating among children, and some adults dress up to go out to bars, but far and away the people celebrating are backpackers, not Kiwis. (Although the staff did insist that I wear devil horns during my shift.) We had a lot of fun despite the lack of enthusiasm for Halloween in Paihia.
I feel really fortunate that I get on so well with my roommates. Although, Jenn and Jewel are moving on tomorrow and I will be sad to see them go. Hopefully, the new additions to our tiny space will be nice as well!