Meet the Flying Pig Uptown Bartenders
Meet Wendy. Our intern from the Dutch school of Tourism. She has come to the Pig to learn about the industry.
She was born in Ghana and has spend most of her childhood there. She lived with her mom’s family in Suhum for most of it, since her dad left for Europe in the 80’s and her mom followed him begin 90’s. It took 9 years for them to be able to pick up Wendy and bring her to Holland. Without any brothers or sisters in Suhum she remembers how she used to tell her family “my parents will come to pick me up. You’ll see”. After a couple of years, nobody believed her anymore. Look at her know! Her mom and dad have separated and Wendy and her mom have lived in Amsterdam ever since. Wendy initially wanted to become a lawyer, but when she found out how much you had to read, she changed her mind. She knew she was good at communicating with people and loved to be outside, so why not tourism? Now 22 and after a rough start in Holland not speaking the language or English well, she’s now happily talking both fluent! (a lot!:)
Question 1: Most beautiful country in Europe?
“Switzerland. Because the landscape is beautiful, the air is clean and it’s quiet there”.
And in the world?
“Jamaica. I don’t know, just because you can do everything in your own time. No stress, as long as everyone is happy”.
Who do you think is the world’s nr 1 nobhead?
“Bush. Why? Well, because I think that if you do something, you should be able to stand for it. It should always serve a point. I mean, he went to Iraq for a reason. Why the hell is he still there now?”
Who do you respect the most in this world?
“My mother. Because even though I am a pain in the ass she still always stands by me. She takes care of me and my little half brother all by herself, while she is still also financially supporting her 5 sisters back in Ghana”. “Wow, sounds like a strong woman indeed!“
Who would you like to have a beer with in the bar?
“Kofi Anan. I just want to ask him a lot of questions and that is always easier over a couple of beers haha”. “What would you ask him?” “Hmm I have questions like; how did he think of wanting to become the world peace maker (when in the UN) but also what is he doing now that he quit there?”
What do you think the world needs more of?
“Good people with open hearts”. “Ugh! I say, well spoken”.
Who’s the sexiest woman/man for you?
“A person that is not really into looks and fashion. You know, beauty is still on the inside!
I don’t really idealize anyone that way. Is that bad? I mean I am insecure enough as it is. If I would have to look at all those pretty people it would only get worse”. “I say out with the Glamour magazines! I am with you Wen”
Most romantic evening in Amsterdam?
“I was 18, working in a shop on Saturdays when suddenly a regular customer asked me out. I didn’t really like him but he lived around the corner, so I did know he was good people. I thought what the hell and said yes. Next thing I know I am picked up from my house with a limo who drove us to a great Chinese place on the Rembrandts plein. And after the limo dropped me back off and we are friends ever since”. A limo just wasn’t enough hey, haha!
Favourite Dutch word?
“Maakt niet uit”. It’s the one thing that can make my mom go mental. It means something like “whatever”. And I use it often when she gives me unasked advice. But I’ll still follow it up, don’t tell her I said that!” “People! You should know better by now!”
If you could be anything for one day, what would you be?
“A Queen. Because I am already a drama queen but it would be great to be a legit queen for a day!”
Name one thing that is really Ghanian?
“Kente. It’s a traditional way of dressing that is specific for Ghana. It’s worn a lot outside of Ghana too. Remember the high pitched voice boy in Sister Act 2? His hat was Kente”.
“When can we expect Kente behind the bar Wen?”
What do you miss most about Ghana?
“My family. The house was always full of people and life. Oh and the weather of course!”
What typical Dutch characteristic do you hate?
“When it is dinner time in the South and you come by unexpected, you are not send home but you do not get any of the dinner either! Yes, a cracker maybe. But they eat the food themselves”. “What? My mom would kill me if I did that!”
And what do you think is great about the Dutchies?.
“They are open. If they don’t like you, they will tell you straight out. If they think you are crazy, they will show it. You know exactly what to expect from them”. “Crazy, I tell ya”.
What is the funniest situation you can remember since you started working here?
“My 2nd day working here, the toilet overflowed! I never saw anything like it I in my life! And crazy stuff like that is normal in the Pig! If the toilet in Ghana is full, than you just can’t flush it anymore and someone comes and picks up the content…” hmm now who has the better plumbing…
What makes the Flying Pig unique for you?
“The freedom that guests have here, you do not get in many other hostels. Even as staff you get more freedom than in any other work place. It’s like if you want something, you can achieve it as long as you go for it!”
What makes Amsterdam unique to you?
“That different cultures can all live together in the same place. The Dutch politics sometimes can make this seem impossible, but in the streets this is still very much the case. I know everyone in my neighbourhood and we lived there for 11 years now”.
What major lesson have you learned when you leave?
“Make something of your life”.
What have you found out about yourself here that you did not know already?
“That I can achieve more if I put more effort in it”. “Wow, you got it!”
Which nationality do you think is nicest to serve?
“I don’t really mind. A nationality does not determine who you are, an individual does”.
“Oh come on…it’s the Dutch isn’t it!”
If you could change anything about the Pig, what would that be?
“Nothing! It’s perfect as it is. I was thinking maybe not changing the staff, it is hard to say goodbye all the time. But then again, that would not be the Pig!”
Could Holland become your home base?
“It is my home base. I do not want to back to my country, I miss it but no”. Funny how you see Ghana as your country and Holland as your home base. “Yes, you see I fear that maybe someday I might need to leave Holland for whatever reason, and then I need to be able to go somewhere else. But I definitely do not feel as a visitor in Holland”.
“You are a homey, girl!”
A famous quote from Wendy?
“Okay, don’t sweat. I’ll do it”.