Thanks all, for your thoughts. The nanny thing is luckily becoming a distant memory, though I do still have nightmares about it almost every time I go to sleep!
The cool news is that after asking for work in over 20 shops and restaurants in town, I found what appears to be a gem! On Thursday, I received a phone call from the owners of a local hostel, an Australian guy and his wife (who I think is Latvian), and by noon I was working there!
It is extremely laid back and lots of fun, with everyone doing everything in turns and friendly conversation going back and forth. On Thursday I waited tables, on Saturday night I washed dishes, and on Sunday, I cleaned rooms and worked in the kitchen! I go back for tomorrow’s lunch and they want me in the kitchen again for more training! Because I’m a perfectionist, I get a little nervous when faced with a large menu I’m not familiar with, but I do really enjoy the work and the people. The other waitresses working there all love it as well, and have been there longer, so I think that’s a good omen. Besides – during all those weeks of non-working, I watched some great British and Irish cooking shows, so it’s fun to give it a try myself!
Some of the menu is basic – Caesar salad, BLT, Club Sandwich, etc. But there’s a lot of cool stuff that’s unique to the place as well – crepe wraps (for breakfast, lunch, or dessert!), specials like Pork Filet Stir Fry or Moroccan Lamb Cous Cous Salad, and desserts like Sticky Toffee Pudding, Impossible Pie (baked custard with coconut), and Strawberry Meringues with chocolate sauce.
So I think I’ve got it good with this one… I might also be helping out in a local wine store a day or two a week, so I’m boning up on my reds and whites! But I’ll let you know how it goes.
Oh, and by the way (speaking of desserts), I posted pictures of my cake at the other blog, http://www.maryannk.wordpress.com.