Friday, 17 August 2012

Smile , you're on camera!

'' I can't believe You said I was a pole dancer on national TV! You Italian , my revenge will be huge and nasty.'' I say to '' the last Napolitan''  ( that's the title of the book he s writing so it s his new nickname from now on)

 Giving a photocopy of his id card to a girl he s trying to hit on just to show her his age ,  that's the worst you can ever do to him. And I will one day.

'' It was your last chance to shine Annabelle'' he says , proud of what he had just done.

Yes, The hostel is going to participate to a TV show that's a bit similar to ''come dine with me'' but with people running places offering accommodation.
I was half sick in bed that morning and decided to leave my will power aside for one little morning and sleep in instead of my usual running / writing / working early plan.


Big Sister : '' Annabelle, I kill you. TV is coming today, you 're the one making the rooms up remember ??? Go NOW . ''

So the only day I decide to let go of my will power is the day I have to make beds for the BBC???

One hour and a bit later the hostel was shining and we were ready to greet the lady with the camera. I even dressed in smart black and white ( the french maid in me)
'' Be natural '' Mama reminds us.

Natural seemed a bit daring...

'' Annabelle, don't be too natural'' she adds.

Now that's better.

A camera. That's crazy what you can tell about people according to their reaction to... a video camera. It's like handling a mirror to people.

Now we can all answer the question '' How would you behave in front of a TV camera?''
Some staff ran off to their room, hiding but still really curious of what was going on. ie , quietly taking the piss out of the rest of us. 3 of us bravely stayed out while mama was enjoying herself talking to it about the hostel.

'' I could get used to that'' she says

I did admire her. Her natural and ease, like she was born for the camera. Thank God I did not have to talk to it too much.

What did I think I would do in front of the camera?

Well first , scared to look stupid and totally shy and ......

'' The camera adds a few pounds'' the Dutch intern tells me to wind me up ( they love it)

'' I wonder how many cameras she s got'' I answer, not taking the bait this time.
After a few jokes that I could not resist ( such as '' if you're a tax man , call me'' or '' the male staff is working topless on Thursdays'' ) everyone relaxed and was natural when we were asked to be.

I then cross the room to get some bread for a staff member who was hiding when the girl with the camera asked me for my name again .

I answer, not knowing where to look. Feet? up? The girl? the camera?

Annabelle, stupid on English TV take 1.

'' So , Annabelle, what do you think of your manager?''

Mama was as suprised as me by the question.

I start mumbling stuff but all of a sudden something clicked and I said EXACTLY what I wanted to say to Mama but never did.
When do you tell you friend '' I admire you for being tough and strong and very efficient as a manager'' Ok , maybe after a couple of drinks. But then again you forget the next day.

5 minutes later mama was telling the camera girl what a bitch I was for making her run for 45 minutes every morning at 6am . With the hills and that.

Talk about natural.

5 miutes later I was proving the camera I was not polish by showing the camera my Made in France Tattoo.

Then the chance of my Life came. Me , the misunderstood, the one who wants to be heard.

'' Annabelle, why do you do this job?''

The camera was no longer there. I was talking to some higher forces about my passion in Life.

'' Working in a hostel is not only about checking people in . It's of course about high standard cleanliness but it's also making the travellers feel safely at home, make them feel they belong somwehere, to a huge family of the world to some extend. Only through travelling you can discover that if we are all different , we also are all the same.
Making people feel a part of the family , it 's that's we do here. Because we're all the same and we should not be scared of each other. Travelling is so important. ''

Mama was raising 2 thumbs up behind the camera. I could barely see her, I was so much into what I wanted to say. What I wanted to say to EVERYONE. For a very long time. Me, the misunderstood artist ( tears)

Then I showed her the gifts people offer us on check out because we have helped them.
'' So, Annabelle, you're single ... right?''

'' Yes I am, someone had to '' ( proud look on face)

'' This lifestyle must be pretty interesting!''

'' Yes, I....''

ANNABELLE SHUT UP ( the world is not ready for that)

'' I live a very different lifestyle from other people''

 CALL ME . (wink )

Job kept, dignity same. That was short.

What a day. When do we start '' Kipps Brother'' ? Me and Mama are up for it!

So advice from the wise one : If you really want to say something, say it to the camera and SMILE !

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