Kinga Michalec Malaga October '21
Kinga Michalec (Restaurant & Bar Management)
My workplace is a small but very posh restaurant La Revuelta, located only 3min from the beach.
Although I have to take a bus to get to my work, it's a very pleasant ride alongside the sea and after work I can always stop by the beach before heading home. I would say that this makes the location perfect!
The restaurant is run by an extremely talented chef Arnold and his wife Marta. He loves to prepare fusion style dishes, wish a strong influence from Asian cuisine, especially Japanese.
My first day was a bit challenging as Suzie who was supposed to show me the ropes couldn't speak any English and I can't speak any Spanish. Luckily both Arno and his cook help Diego were able to help out with any additional explanations in English. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly! Without knowing any Spanish I wasn't able to interact directly with the customers as that could damage the restaurants reputation, but I was able to assist with preparing the tables and drinks, as well as all the cleanup.
My lunches are also absolutely delicious as they're all prepared by the talented owner!
Although not knowing Spanish can be quite stressful and makes me feel less useful, everyone made sure to be welcoming and helpful so overall I still had a good experience.
Looking forward to learning more!
Already managed to pick up some essential Spanish words :)
I found it very easy to adjust to the culture as it wasn't that different to what I'm used to in general. And any other differences weren't a big obstacle either so I felt very comfortable staying in Malaga and really enjoyed my time. The biggest thing that I found surprising was the type of customer service that they give. At first it gave me a bad impression, like they don't care about their customers at all and having to serve is a bother to them. Compared to what I'm used to it's not a good quality of service but after seeing more of it I got used to it and learned that it's just part of their culture and their personality and not an actual sign of bad service for their standards.
In general people of Malaga are very laid back and don't stress over the details which can be pretty refreshing in a way. They may appear rough at first glance but they are very friendly and wcoming if you respect their culture.
As I have never studied Spanish before my knowledge of the language was pretty much non existent. I did manage to pick up some useful phrases at work but since I didn't know any basics I was unable to pick up anything just from listening and couldn't improve my level of Spanish at all. I hope that next time I have a chance to come I'll pick up some basics first!
Most of the time it was just me and the Chef with his assistant so there wasn't much work to do together. I was mostly independent with my work and all I needed was few pointers on what to do after which I had a free hand to work my own way.
I have definitely learned to solve problems better without being able to communicate using language as there where many situations in which I couldn't speak the native language and the other person couldn't speak English. As I have already travelled a lot before and lived abroad I was already used to adjusting to life in a different culture so that wasn't a challenge and not a new experience but the people of Malaga proved to be quite unique. It was a great experience that let me see their everyday life more than if I came just as a tourist.
Seeing local people more from the perspective of their everyday life, being able to learn about their personality and culture more in depth than as a tourist. Being able to enjoy good weather everyday. Being able to challenge myself in a work environment where I couldn't use native language so had to think outside the box and find new solutions to work around the lack of communication. Everyone was very welcoming and always tried to help out even if I didn't know the language. I was very happy with the hosting organisation as the people in charge of our group were both extremely friendly and helpful.
There weren't any negatives to my stay as I enjoyed all of it and everyone I met was very welcoming and friendly. The only regret I had was not knowing Spanish language which made me miss out on knowing the locals better and communicating more. I felt bad for not knowing any Spanish so I couldn't be as useful at work and I hope that next time I visit I'll learn some basics.