Today is the day I finally get out of this place. I’ve been working at the only hostel in Veracruz for at least a month now.
By the end of the first week I had been ready to leave.
Prior to having arrived I had exchanged emails with the owner. I was under the impression that it would be myself along with a couple of other volunteers running the place. Instead, I arrived to find out it was only me and one other volunteer running the 24/7 hostel for the next few weeks because the owner was on vacation.
Luckily the job was easy and there was hardly anybody there. The hostel is an old Spanish mansion. Five dorm rooms, four restrooms, three private rooms. It had a nice outdoor courtyard and rooftop area. The place has some serious potential but is in some rough conditions and is lacking some color and character.
All that aside, my work schedule was shit. For the first few weeks I was switching night shifts sleeping in the reception area. Somebody always has to be available. Luckily, I do all of my writing and editing from my laptop so staying in the hostel a lot of the time wasn’t a huge hassle.
About 10 days ago the other volunteer left and the owner arrived. He arrived with another volunteer/friend. For the first few days they just drank all the time and made a mess… I had little respect for him after the initial few weeks running the hostel, dealing with people and hiring a new cleaner. Some of those thing should be the responsibility of an owner not a temporary volunteer.
After the drinking, leaving shit around and what I felt was a lack of attention or consideration to his volunteers or business I lost more if not all respect. I was glad to be leaving. If it wasn’t for the other volunteers I probably would have left sooner.
I ranted for a bit…
Getting back to now. It’s late afternoon and I leave in a couple of hours. I had just woken up. After a chance meet-up with the owner of a local bar/restaurant, I had gotten a photography gig with him. Last night, Thursday, was when he had a live band playing. I agreed to do some work taking pictures of his restaurant, bar, venue and the band. In exchange he had given me a lot of food and beer the first time we met and gave me free entry, beer, food and access to the entire place for last night’s concert.
I wasn’t being paid, but I was happy and my portfolio didn’t include anything like it.
Last night ended up being the best night I’ve had since I left. I was content with my photography shots. I was toying with my camera and came out with some wicked photographs that had the band stoked. It helped that beer was plentiful. : ) At one point I remember walking into the back room and being greeted with the smell of weed and alcohol everywhere.
To some that may sound bad and maybe it is or can be. Either way I was loving it. The band had a great sound, people were dancing and jamming out. I was moving in, out, around and taking it all in.
Toward the end it was myself and the owner in the sound room requesting The Beatles, Hendrix, Zeppelin, anybody really, this group played it all and had their own great music on top of it.
At one point I was left alone in the booth for a while and dabbled with the controls trying to find the lights. At the end of one of the jams the band was laughing a little and made a brief mention of it on stage. haha I decided to stop considering that maybe the audience could tell I was tweaking with the sound settings.
Around 5 or 6am when it was a ll over I sat with the band, their press people, the owner and a couple of new friends drinking beers and shooting the shit. Right before sunrise I went to the beach with an aspiring photographer that I had met. We sat on the lifeguard post talking life, photography and women until the sun came up.
It was one hell of a night and here I am waking up, getting ready and moving onto the next part of my journey.