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Themes:     ‘Casa’ & LaPerla (85)    Spirit & Humour (24)  
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Nicolò Wednesday, 14 February 2018

St Valentine’s is not always full of romance for everybody

The majority of us here working in the hotel come from outside the area and need to face the problematics of being away from home: family, friends, and sweethearts too. It is not always the easiest thing in the world to handle.
St Valentine’s is not always full of romance for everybody
All in all, the secret would seem to be to create that situation and those relationships which make you feel a little bit at home.
It is that St Valentine's time of the year! Christmas and New Year celebrations have gone and Easter is yet to come but 14 February is always a date in the calendar. Easter may be not too far away, and then many of us can return to our homes and see our loved ones and in many cases our sweethearts again. However, when Valentine´s Day come around our hearts and minds often drift to those who far away at this special celebration. Even more so perhaps when we see couples enjoying a candlelit dinner and staring into each others eyes and twiddling hands and anxious to open the gifts on the table, often a gift which will cement their future. When all is said and done it is probably best that we concentrate on our work, but even the most disciplined of us find it difficult at times. There are about a hundred of us here in the hotel that are living away from home, many of us quite young. I guess in a way we are sort of immigrants, but in no way am I comparing us to those who are forced to cross seas to survive and are subjected to racism and discrimination of all sorts. Christmas is particularly difficult in my opinion. Maybe it is the fact that there is such a joyous atmosphere around and here in the mountains it really is a celebration of a different dimension, and there are many families rejoicing together in the hotel. All this new technology stuff, from whatsapp to skype, does not really compensate for being far from a person emotionally close to you. Sure social media helps but it is not the same thing. I must say that it is the solidarity between we as a group which helps a lot. A beer together at the end of a shift, at times an exchange of gifts when the occasion merits, or even just the odd knowing word exchanged at times. The spontaneity which comes from working in a group helps a lot, and naturally enough small groupings emerge and of course also relationships themselves come about. All in all, the secret would seem to be to create that situation and those relationships which make you feel a little bit at home.
A relationship with someone far away is not the easiest thing to manage in this world. There is a lot of organizing and planning to do so that reunions are not too few and far between, and it is undoubtedly true that the relationship itself can risk being precarious at times. Take for example Michele, our house sommelier. He is from Piacenza originally and is together with a girl who is from here but who now works in London. I know it is possible that love can always finish from one day to the next, even when two are together day and night, but there does seem to be more chance of such happening when a distance separates the two. Michele tells me that a ´distant love´ also has some additional aspects to it – there is an element of dreams, of planning, of daily exchanges of one type or another which hint at a future together. Certainly, love always has need of projects, of plans for a life together and that the distance between the couple can soon be overcome. Time will tell is the most appropriate adage here I guess. My reflection here is all about what benefits come from a season, and in some cases two, three or even ten spent away from home. Getting to know many people is a valuable part of the experience, the multitude of things one learns is precious too, and time away in a strange sort of way brings us closer to folk back home.

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