HostelLife: Conversations with guests – Hattie

Hattie is a young and brave Australian girl, living in Rome on her own.  She had a long stay at The Beehive (about 2 weeks in total) while waiting to move into an apartment.  I ran into her at a food event, Easter Pop-up kitchen, at the Latteria Studio in Trastevere, where she works and got a chance to talk to her about her stay at The Beehive and how it compared to other hostels, as well as her interest in philosophy (which in Melbourne they don’t teach in girl’s schools for some reason).  Here she is telling me a bit about what she’s doing in Rome.

21 March 2016

HostelLife: The Beehive family – Yuli Novita

 

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The Beehive wouldn’t be The Beehive without our beloved manager, Yuli Novita.  She’s been with us almost since the very beginning and is an integral part of every aspect of our daily operations.  No job is too big or small for Yuli and she is an incredibly hard worker. Like everyone at The Beehive, she doesn’t have a perfectly formulated job description, but just does what needs to get done in order for The Beehive to run smoothly and for our guests to be happy.  Yuli often goes above and beyond the call of duty for our guests – the stories I could tell!  Yuli has a wonderful smile and an easy going personality – she has a memory like a steel trap.  Return guests will walk through the door who haven’t been back in years and she not only remembers them and often their names as well, but can also remember personal things about them.  I truly envy and admire this about her as it’s a wonderful skill and gift that I sorely and embarrassingly lack.  Without Yuli, things would not be the same at The Beehive, she is truly a treasure!

Yuli is the first interview in a series I’m doing about our staff so people can get to know them a bit better.

Where are you from?  Indonesia

What brought you to Rome and how long have you been here? I married an Italian.  I worked as a nanny for an Italian family who worked at the Italian embassy in Jakarta.  They brought me to Rome to take care of their 8 year old son.  It was May 1999, I still remember the smell of spring and wondering why Italians had such small cars (in Indonesia it’s all about the big family car).

How long have you worked at The Beehive?  16 years, since the end of 2000

Do you remember how you heard about The Beehive and how you got your job? I heard about The Beehive from a former employer who was also friends with Linda & Steve.  Linda & Steve were looking for a housekeeper after just having had their first child and so first I worked as a housekeeper for them at home and then Steve offered me a housekeeping position at The Beehive.

Tell us about your most memorable experience/guest at The Beehive.   I have had so many good experiences working at The Beehive!  Recently one of our guests asked for directions to Stadio Olimpico where Real Madrid & AS Roma football teams were playing the champions league. I gave her directions and  afterward she mentioned that she had three free tickets and if anyone wanted to go with her.  Steve and Linda couldn’t come so my daughter & my partner and I ended up going with her.  It was like a dream!  We were welcomed by a symphony orchestra into a big ballroom full of food and lots of wine (even though I don’t drink), beautiful, fashionably dressed women in high heels showed us where our seats were.  It was more like going to a fashion show instead of a football match.  I had made a mental note to get us a slice of pizza after we watched the match, but what I found instead was a huge buffet with all kinds of food and drink and we found ourselves with all these famous and beautiful people while I came in just my gym clothes.  We had so much fun with Cristiano Ronaldo & Francesco Totti just a few steps away from us.  We had no idea that we were going to be in the VIP area!  It turns out our Beehive guest works for the owner of AS Roma!  My daughter was just in awe of the experience – she’s quiet, but  I could tell how was she was feeling from her twinkling eyes. 

What is your favorite thing to do in Rome?  Rome is so beautiful, it’s almost a sin if you don’t enjoy it!  One of my favorite things to do is biking along the Tiber river with my family.

HostelLife: Conversations with guests – Dave and Denise

Dave, Denise and I talked about quite a lot on their first stay as I joined them for dinner in our cafe.  Mostly it was political (sorry for my ranting!).  When they returned, the first thing they told me about was a sign in Brooklyn that from Manhattan reads “YO”, and from Brooklyn, reads “OY” (or do I have it mixed up?).  The second thing they told me was…..

11 March 2016

HostelLife: Conversations with guests – the Langers

What I love about this little pet project of mine is how it proves that you don’t have to dig too far under the surface to uncover interesting and unique things about people.  Sometimes I feel like I barely even have to scratch the surface to uncover something unexpected.

1 March 2016

HostelLife: Conversations with guests – Pat

Patrick and his friend Axel came to stay in the dorm last week. Friends for 25 years, and frequent travelers, they had the energy, enthusiasm, and playfulness of teenagers.  One morning, Pat brought out a stack of canvases to show some guests (and later me) his photography art.

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A New York native, Pat has made photo art for years and makes a living selling it on the streets around Manhattan.  He uses various techniques: some images are photocopied and transferred to paper or canvas. Some include collage work, and some have paint added before and/or after the transfer. Sometimes the images are transferred multiple times, creating layers of texture that make his images look like a cross between a painting and a photo. The pictures are haunting, nostalgic and emotional, and best of all, they are unique and one of a kind and require patience and practice.  In a time when anyone with an iPhone and a good eye can produce beautiful photographs, it’s nice to see someone using analog techniques to manipulate their images.

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Unfortunately, the video I made that explained the process and showed more of the work, was deleted (thanks, Apple), but you can see his work on his website here.

If we’re lucky, he’ll get some good shots of Rome and we’ll have some at The Beehive someday!

26 February 2016
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