Like a lucky Dream
by
Jochen Kern

St.Maarten 1982

 

THE SHORT NEW WORLD CHAPTER

 

A week later, I received a telephone call from my former F&B Manager, Wim Stoorevogel who had asked me to come directly to St. Maarten in the caribbean Sea, a recent take-over by Sheraton.

In New York the haze at the lousy Kennedy Airport and its unbelievable unfriendly custom officers (maybe bad luck) was terrible. The poor custom officer in his untidy and unproper uniform looked so worn-out that he nearly fell asleep on his counter. Maybe during the day, he has a part-time job as a hamburger cook or a toilet cleaner.

He must be having such a tough time that he transmitted his irritability onto my wife and me.

No joke! This was the welcome to America!

There was nothing to see in this new world except a disorganized, screwed-up system, with a lot of aggressive folks. The next day, we touched down at St. Marten, the beautiful island with its unbelievably crystal blue waters and peoples who were still friendly like they were thirteen years ago when I was here with the ship.

The Mullet Bay Hotel also remained unchanged; it was not repainted or probably never saw a paint brush since then. That is what happens if you have no money and screwed-up poor folks. What kind of future lies ahead when everybody only sucks out of them.

No wonder, there were so many strikes. I was working without a salary and also with an unrealistic Area Food and Beverage Manager whose name was Pfei***. He was unable to gauge the no cash-flow situation at that time, but there were still crystal glasses for the ice-cream creations.

Nescafe, meanwhile was served from sample sachets. We had to use aluminum spoons bearing the Maxwell logo or to go without spoons as there was no money reserve for the purchase of a stainless-steel spoon.

It didn’t make any sense to continue working here and I got easily frustrated. There was no salary but only a hope of being upgraded in this hotel.

But there was the no money, money, money problem....

After talking to Mr. Pfei***, it became clear to me that I should leave this hotel! This was because this clown was unable to comprehend and see the naked truth. It was a short visit and shortly before my probationary period ended (3 months), I left the hotel - luckily!

Six months later, Sheraton also withdrew from the mullet Bay Hotel. The only thing that Sheraton had accomplished was to put up their logo on the front door, and they also probably spent more money than the previous company. Besides the hotel, the island, the people, the cooks and everything else was so beautiful.

I would have liked to work here for two years but under the normal conditions!

 

 

 

The local Recipe

 

RAW CAN BE DELIATE / CEVICHE

TAKE A FRESH, WELL-WASHED FISH FILLET AND CUT INTO NUT-SIZE PIECES. MARINATE WITH LEMON JUICE AND WATER, PEPPERCORNS AND SALT, ONIONS, CHILLIES AND FRESH BELL PEPPER. LEAVE IT TO MARINATE FOR A DAY AND SERVE WITH FRESH GREENS.

The option of folding the marinated Fish with coconut-milk after is a refreshing touch from the close pacific side . Don't miss a little chopped red chilli.

 

 

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