As most of you may know, I recently got employed by The Flying Pig Backpacker Hostels in Amsterdam!
Under the WHAP (Working Holiday for Accomodation at the Pig) – or as we are called, ‘whoppers’- I will be working approximately 5 hours a day for 5 days a week in exchange for free accomodation and breakfast. Along with a lot of other great freebies such as free drinks, staff prices and discounts for other bars and clubs around Amsterdam, The Flying Pig is one of Europe’s most famous and well known hostel for backpackers, meaning it is also one of the most fun and crazy hostels that I get to live in!
This contract goes for 2 months. That’s 2 months of living with 7 other ‘whoppers’ in a dorm room in Amsterdam’s most popular hostel. 2 months of craziness, and 2 months that so many previous ‘whoppers’ have extended into a year.
The work here involves cleaning. Sometimes I’ll be on beds which means I’ll work with a team to change all the beds of the departing guests and tidy up the room. Sometimes I’ll be on vacuum which means, evidently, I’ll be vacuuming the hostel. Sometimes I’ll be on bathrooms cleaning the vomit off the floors from last nights rager and sometimes I’ll be on breakfast or dinner shift, whizzing around cleaning up the bar and kitchen.
All of this might sound like unfriendly and un-appealing work. I haven’t had any days so far where I’ve had to clean up something nasty – I’ll get one of those soon enough, I’ve heard plenty of horror stories from the others here – but what makes this such a desirable job to the many travellers who come to Amsterdam is the atmosphere and lifestyle of a ‘whopper.’ Here, time doesn’t seem to exist. Shifts seem to fly by in no time at all and the rest of the day and night is there for you to decide how wild you want to get. Theres always something happening down at the bar, be it beer pong tournaments, pub quizzes, neon parties or Hawaiian T-shirt parties.
The social scene at this hostel is out of this world. Everyone is here for a good time, and they sure know how to have one. For me, I have to be honest and say it’s a lot to take in for an introvert. As my last post suggested, I’m not the best person in the world when it comes to socialising with strangers. Most of the guests here are cool. Most of the whoppers here are also cool. 2 of them are Aussies, almost too Aussie and too typical. All I hear these days are Australian accents. This place is crawling with them! Some variety wouldn’t go astray, but I’ve been enjoying getting to know the different personalities of everyone who works here. There’s definitely a lot to get used to for me. A lot to learn, a lot to experience and a whole bloody lot of stepping out of that comfort zone of mine!
Until next time – I think I’m going to be a busy boy for the next few weeks!