It’s a funny place the Flying Pig, it seems to get under your skin somehow..”
This is an often used expression by many a traveller who finds himself sipping from a beer in our traveller’s bar. The remark usually triggers several confirming nods from behind other beers, followed by a comfortable silence of reminiscence. On one of these occasions I actually found myself nodding from behind my own beer thinking:
“It’s true, being here does something to you”. So many people come through the door with the intention to stay for 4 days and who later realize they have been here for over 4 months. It got me wondering about what could be that secret to the Flying Pig’s success...
Could it be the company philosophy, the upheld policies, the owners’ creativity or their marketing that keeps us here? Or is it the management and the pig-lines they set out that make people come back for more? As I slowly come back from my mindly wander, I find myself staring profoundly at the yellow content of my glass. Suddenly painfully aware of my surroundings I smile to the person next to me and take a large swig of my brew.
Funny enough, that’s when it hits me: Of course! It’s the fruit that makes the Fristi and not only the suit that makes the man. That person next to me is one of our staff members. He is a Brazilian lawyer and judge-to-be who chooses to clean toilets in Amsterdam because he wants to learn more about the world around him. He’s sitting next to our English published poet, who just finished cleaning those same toilets. He is deaf on one side, but has decided to see this as his gift to writing because it forces him to play around with the spoken word so he can make sense of them. He’s currently talking to the Irish couple, a hairdresser and professional painter, who travel the world together. They came to us from New York just to get the chance to clean the toilets with a poet and a judge. They are all laughing about a joke made by our Swedish girl, who wanted to find out more about the Dutch blood that runs though her veins. A good friend of our Spanish Princess, who is eager to learn about the hardships of a cleaner’s life. They are joined by our French marketing major who has grown so much in his use and understanding of English and our Canadian rebel who turned out to be an accountant of all occupations! A joint is handed around by our English Iron man, with his big mouth and tiny golden heart. The grass is finished by the Irish young one, full of energy and lively wit right when our Hungarian little helper walks in. He can not work for us but is often lovingly referred to as a part of the Pig furniture. As I’m sitting there, amongst this crowd I already look forward to the story our newest addition will bring: A Greek English teacher, who wants to live in Holland for good.
This is just a small tip of the iceberg of what has made the Pig in the past and has remained to do so today. Of course the whole atmosphere has been set by the policy and philosophies behind our Flying Pig. But it has been this mix of very different characters, personalities and nationalities together in this small place on this huge planet called earth that keeps us here. Well, that is what has made me come back for over 6 years now. What’s your excuse?!