I’m spending a couple of days in Resort Town right now, before I return to Spackle Manor to greet 2012 with Clan Mondo and special guest the Major (Ret.). So today I wandered down to breakfast, where I noticed something I’ve observed on previous visits here: The hospitality industry around here is dominated by folks from way out of town. I don’t know who owns the hotels, but the people I run into who actually deal with the customers in restaurants, souvenir shops, and the like are more likely than not to have come from other continents. Eastern Europe seems to predominate, but I also hear Latin, Caribbean, and African accents on my visits. (What that says about the suitability of locals for these gigs is a discussion for another time.)
In any event, I wasn’t surprised to hear an Eastern European accent from the restaurant’s manager/maitre d’/cashier, even as we talked about the NFL (I was wearing a Bengals T-shirt). So when I was taking care of the check, I asked him about his accent. He told me he was from the Czech Republic. I also noticed a couple of books he kept at his station. One was on hospitality management, and the other interested me as well. I asked how long he had been here, and he lit up: “Long enough to become a citizen of the greatest country in the world — the United States of America!”
“Congratulations,” I said. “We’re glad to have you.” I don’t know what I’ll do in my remaining 40 or so hours in Resort Town, but I think I’ve already had a highlight of my trip — and I’m going back for breakfast tomorrow.