Wednesday, September 25, 2013

To Morocco I Go

Two free baklava, one Moroccan nutmeg espresso, and a million people asking me if I´m Moroccan. This is what happens when I go to the Moroccan pavilian. (I vaguely remember this happening in southern France, too....)

It started as just a visit to see a friend, but turned into this. Bien chance, eh? ;)

Merci beaucoup et shukran!

Flashback provided by Kyo (French boy band, just give them a shot) :

working for the mouse

I´ve been a Cast Member at Walt Disney World Resorts a little over a month now and I´m starting to see a trend.

Let me start from the begining. I work at All Star Music Resort for this internship. Most of the resort is nice, nothing special--spacious pool, budget prices, easy access to the parks, and what would a Walt Disney location be without giggles galore. But behind the chipper smiles is a not so happy place, Intermission Food Court. Here you will find employees who´ve been forced to serve hoards of Brazilian tour groups. These tour group can be up to 200 people. Imagine that. Not just 200 random guests, but 200 intercontinental guests flying together with a common goal.  I´m baffled as to why this many people would hop continents together... But now I just feel bad for their airline. And my family reunions......

The resort next door is under reconstruction . What does this mean, you may ask? This means that Intermission Food Court´s occupancy level has regularly been reaching to 160% capacity for the past few months.

Yeah, bugga.

At around 8pm is when we have a steady stream at each station. From around 8:45 to 10:30 is when we all develop Dr. Jekll/Mr. Hyde personalities. Picture it.

At least Mr. Hyde smiles.

The most curious part of life now though is all the strange bruises, pains, wounds, sores, and sprains I find after I leave Intermission Food Court.


I tried flossing after I got home from a grueling night on the job. To my surprise, though, the tips of my fingers were scorching. With floss strangling the circulation out of my fingers, I looked in the mirror and I noticed a dark purple bruise on the back of my wrist. Both of my knees feel like a soccer player jumped on them with their cleats on.  Then there´s the strange avacado-shaped bruise on the side of my leg and a red  cut/bump on my wrist.


There´s a few more but I won´t go into detail. In fact, I can´t go into detail because my alternate ego likes to keep secrets from me (scroll up to picture, man on left).

So now that you all think I´ve lost it, I´ll leave you with this, the latest hit single in Deutschland. It soothes my alternate ego´s soul.

monkey-ing around

This is what happens when I find Rafiki...

best friends forever.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

parte di il tuo mondo

The only thing that made me spend an evening of my life in Epcot was the world showcase. Last time I went was over ten years ago and as a five-year-old, it had made a magical impression on me. =)

Anyway, I skipped through Norway, trekked through Deutschland, and dived straight into Morocco. One place that hit an unexpectly tender spot was Italy. Go figure.

I walked through the shops and practiced my Italian with another College Program student from Rome. We had a deep and meaningful conversation about where he was from, how North American´s don´t speak Italian, and how I go to school in Lugano (because remember, my command of Italian is limited to the present and future tenses).

Even though I´ve been dying for a latte macchiato or a Melange since January, I flew past the coffee kiosks and went for the gelato instead. I was giggling at the thought of having "una coppetta" of seasonal gelato, like fig or pistacchio.

The kid serving gelato and I had a very special bond, he is from Bologna and I lived in Ticino. That makes us, get this,  "northerners".  He chuckled, I smiled, more magic (kidding).  After discovering they only had chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, I refused any gelato at all. He supported my decision and told me there will never be any such seasonal gelato in the United States, ever. Thank you Paolo, for setting the facts straight. We parted, and it went something like this:

Him:  "Ciao"

Me: "Ciao"

Him: "Ciao, beeeeella." insert animal-like growl

Me: smile-over-shoulder-because-I´ve-done-this-before

I found my new hangout spot.

Never Have I Ever...

1. ...watched the film Grease twice in two days, until now. My six roommates must have brought every DVD they own from their respective homes. How do I know this? Well, just look inside the two crates they keep next to the tv; they´re filled with every chickflick and Disney classic since Mary Poppins. I thought indulging my musical senses like this was unreasonable and excessive, until I watched Beauty and the Beast twice in three days.

I can justify this
2. ...thought that seven females could live together, and function.

3. ...seen so much Disney appareal (and Mickey Mouse ears) in Walmart. Yes, you´ll always find that one section of Disney regalia, but not rows and rows of Mike Wazowski t-shirts and Goofy hats with ears.

4.  ...had a flatmate that shares my love for salsa and bachata. The first morning we were together I, and the rest of the house, could hear her blasting Romeo Santos from her iPod in the bathroom. It was a beautiful moment.

Below is a freshly-filmed video straight from Lugano, Svizzera. If you were ever wanted to know more about my darling little Swiss school, this is it:

Monday, August 19, 2013

Up, Up, and Away

I´m a little brain dead after my five hour red-eye flight from Las Vegas to Orlando. Not only were we taxiing for all eternity, I was also the lucky gal to be seated in front of a child, screaming his lungs out, in Portuguese.

Other than that, I don´t think I´ve had so much fun on a flight. I use the term¨"fun" loosely, though. Speeding off a tarmac with a full view of everything from MGM to Mandalay is quite a view(for a city-scape anyway). It gets even better when you´re hovering around the tip of the Eiffel Tower. =)

Being above the lights and below the stars is always the best part of the trip. It´ s the point when you try to prepare for whatever you may run into. Whether you´re traveling for work, leisure, solo, or in an obnoxiously large tour bus, you have expectations. But not knowing anything about your destination and shedding any preestablished stereotypes before your arrival can end up being incredibly rewarding. You get to dive into a place that probably won´t share your  views on life, that´ll challenge your religious affiliation, that´ll test your ability to communicate without a common spoken language. It´s challenging, but maybe that´s why people are traveling now more than ever.  Forget about advancements in technology and globalisation and such; travelers do what they do to be challenged. It takes a certain type of person to accept constant criticism and to be confortable in completely unfamiliar environments.

 Then your little daydream of hearts and flowers bursts when you get off the plane and in sets jetlag.

And then you have to run to catch the last train of the night and because it´s Sunday (or some sacriligious event) everything is closed so you can´t eat until Wednesday. Good luck. You get out of the train station to see gypsies and some southeast asian man is yelling at you in his languge for directions. blah, blah, blah. Some series of unfortunate events will inevitably occur. So many love to think about the "romantic" sides of traveling but rarely do they think about the less-publicized sides of travel. The people who can come out of a travel-fiasco without being scarred for life are the ones who get the most from the experience. People who shake off the teachings of their cultures and go to the unknown are real travelers, the one´s who go around looking for something to sink their teeth into (North Americans all too often exempt countries like Albania, Montenegro, Bulgaria from their European travel plans because it doesn´t have some place as beaten into as Las Vegas, Barcelona, Paris, etc.). (I major in hospitality management. I should really try to be less sinical about touristy cities...).

Anyway, I´m offically a Disney Cast Member. I´ll be working Food and Beverage at All Star Music. I just train this week. Work starts next Monday. Time to make some magic.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

hotel life

North Americans like to talk. No doubt about it. We´re the only ones in the western hemisphere who can ramble on to strangers about "how we are" at the grocery store and instantly become besties sparked from a question about how late the pool will be open at a hotel. I was recently a victim of this type of friendly.

I moved out of my apartment because my lease ended, but my courses continue. So instead of driving 40 miles a day, I found a summer special at a nearby hotel. It´s bumpin. For being off the strip.

Enthralled at the sight of a possibly free private cabana, I walked right up to the security guard and I promise, all I did was ask how late the pool was open til. Somehow though, SOMEHOW, we ended up in a discussion about his antique newspapers dating back to 1830 and his salary. It got personal. I wondered if this guy worked too many lonely nightshifts...

We had a few other riveting encounters throughout the week. Once while I was jamming to my Icelandic band in my private cabana and the other at the entrance of my room.


He either looked up which room I was in or followed me. Neither of those are particularly pleasant to think about. He came to my room to talk about his sister this time, I think. Or that could have been the time I was rushing to my room after carrying around my uniform for my culinary course like a pack mule, trying to eat my take-out dinner at 11pm. Oh, and he managed to show up with four water bottles and two cans of beer. I drank the water and left the beer. (Not kidding.)

I go back to Rumor Boutique Hotel for my last week of courses of the summer. Will I have to endure the perky smiles and upbeat cheeriness that every Las Vegas hotel  employee should exhibit? Probably. Can I hide away in a private cabana with an ├╝ber convenient mini fridge and view of a neon sign-filled sky? Probably not.

That middle cabana should have been all mine...


No matter, though. I should be learning from them, following their example. After all, I am studying hospitality management in this fabulous, fabulous city.