Tag Archives: Chaucer

An Innocent Abroad

After graduating from Kansas State, I obtained a work permit, and flew to England. There I found work at a hotel pub for a few months, then traveled around Europe some. It was amazing of course and I’d recommend it to everyone. This letter is a lesson in “Life can be great even if you don’t do all you planned.” Of all my plans listed in this letter from early on at the hotel, most didn’t happen. (I’ve listed those below.) And I still had a great time.

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Thursday 15th [June 1989]

Family, thanks for the letter.  I’ll see if I can’t give you a run down on what’s going on.  Right now I’m on my afternoon break. A typical day starts about 9:00 am with setting up the bar, cleaning a little bit, etc. then there is breakfast. This morning I had egg, bacon, toast & juice. The bar opens at 11:00 am. I tend the bar, keep things clean, pick up, etc. At 3 in the afternoon the bar closes until 5:30. During this time there is a little clean up, lunch–today cottage pie & vegetables, then about 1 1/2 hour break. At 5:30 it’s back to the bar til 11:00 pm–closing time. And usually done cleaning up before 12:00 pm. I get Wednesday off and Thurs am or Tues pm off also–not sure which one yet (neither this week). Yesterday I went to Canterbury with Rob–the manager. Went through the cathedral and then a little Chaucer thing. It was neat. The city itself is very touristy–like a giant shopping mall.  But the cathedral was good.  That evening I watched the film Becket on Rob & Sheila’s VCR–about Thomas Becket and his murder in the Canterbury Cathedral. In a couple of weeks we may go to France for a day or so.  Also I’ve been invited to go golfing at Leeds Castle sometime, and to a cricket game, and to the local church. I’m going to see if I can’t work out church next Sunday morning.

Rob and Sheila are nice people.  They and the rest of the staff have made an effort to make me feel at home. (Rob told me yesterday that if I find a girl while I’m here, she will have to pass Sheila’s approval.) I’m making L120 a week I think. That will be about L80 after taxes. I receive free room, board, and laundry facilities as well. I can’t think of anything I need yet. I bought a tape player.  Also–w pair of black pants, 2 white shirts, and some black socks for work. I am already making plans for travel after I am done working. I’m not sure ho long I will last working over here. It seems to me if you are going to have to put up with England, you ought to be doing something fun–not working. But I will put up with it at least a couple of months–perhaps then I will move on to to something else. Also I will look for BBC stuff. Right now I feel like I should stay awhile, as they are training me and putting up with my screw-ups. I haven’t written anything in my book yet.  Don’t know what to write–don’t want to fill it up with crap. I’ll write more when I know more.  See you later.

Love,

Matt

[I did not: go to France with my boss, play any golf in England, attend a cricket game, go to church across the street, find a girl there, find work at the BBC, or write much more than crap in that blank journal.]