Life is somewhat different in the mountains, priorities shift and you find yourself doing things you would completely NOT do at home, like going three weeks without showering. (Joke) Therefore, you meet a daily challenge of sleeping or showering, buying food or alcohol, hitting the slopes or hitting the pillow, punching a guest in the face or calmly walking away…….
To apres, or to napres?
At the beginning of the season, I was told ‘you will never catch up on your sleep for the next 5 months’. I thought she was joking. Turns out she really wasn’t. Sleep becomes the elusive magnificent thing that very rarely happens, so on day off, when everyone is heading to the bar, you are faced with the ultimate Hamlet-esque metaphysical dilemma of ‘to apres, or to napres?’ Do I choose sleep over socialising? Do I drag my unshowered, zombie-brain body out into the daylight? The mind boggles.
Do I use my last €10 on food or alcohol?
Picture this, you’re starving hungry, it’s a white-out blizzard outside, you’re not getting paid for another 2 weeks and you have ten euros to last you. You venture out to Sherpa, wearing enough layers to rival an onion, the bitter cold biting your cheeks and the harsh northerly wind nearly sweeping you off your feet. You enter the shop, breathless, disorientated and now a little bit sweaty. You could buy some dry pasta and a big jar of sauce and be left with change, or you could buy 18 kronenbourgs and be done with it- we all know where that money went.
To pay out in the medical centre or to potentially die
Knocked yourself out recently? Losing a bit of blood here and there? Just go home and sleep it off, nobody has the time or the money to be sat around in the medical centre. Slap a plaster on it and carry on or face a medical bill that you know you can’t really afford. After two stints in the medical centre raising a grand total of €160, it’s safe to say I’d rather lose a limb than pay anymore money just to be told I’m ‘bon’.
To wash the hair or to do just about anything else
It’s a big job. Also because I do not have the funds to get a haircut out here, my hair has grown a substantial amount making it an even BIGGER task. I also failed to realise when packing that 5 months away from home might involve me needing to use a hairdryer at some point. So finding the time to not just wash my hair but also leave it to dry in a towel doesn’t come around very often. (Dry shampoo = best invention known to man.)
Do the conditions look right for me today?
The first time I went on a ski holiday, and admittedly for the first couple of weeks of the season, I was bowled over by the mountains and wanted to snowboard every second of the day, regardless of the conditions. Now if there is a cloud covering the sun at any point I’ve decided it’s just not worth it. I’ll take a look out of my window, and ponder whether I should spend the day snowboarding, or spend the day doing what I do best, absolutely fuck all.
Is this person attractive… or am I wearing season goggles?
Apparently, season goggles are a thing. Like beer goggles but mountainified. Does that person you keep sleeping with really look like Zac Efron or will he look like Shrek when you return to sea level? People are limited in the mountains, but our inhibitions certainly aren’t. Even worse – are YOU the person who is being seen through season goggles? What’s to guarantee that they won’t wake up on the 30th April goggle-less and send you packing…..
Do I wear outfit number one… or number one with a different hat?
I can personally guarantee you that you will wear every outfit you brought with you about 15 times over. You might start to fret that people will spot it, but don’t worry we’re all in the same boat, everyone looks like shit and only has about 1 and a half pairs of socks left.
To contact the outside world, or to remain safe….
I haven’t read the UK news all season, I haven’t heard about what the bitch from high school is up to, I haven’t had to deal with any petty dramas that only arise at home… therefore there is always a risk when you facetime your family/friends that the usual BS might reach you in the Alps.
Walk of shame or early morning adventure
So a lot of staff accom is based inside actual guest chalets, which makes for a lovely cosy living space but a hella difficult stealthy getaway in the morning. Picture yourself climbing through boot room windows, breaking Usain Bolt’s 100m sprint record, traversing down banks and wading through knee-deep snow just to avoid the awkward run in with Peter and Sally from Kent at 7:30am.
*This issue can however be resolved by becoming ‘the girlfriend’ and being introduced.
Should I stay or should I go?
We all have our crap times, and some more than others. You might find yourself at 12am crying into your cling-filmed leftovers because guests are being wankers, because you miss your dog, or for absolutely no apparent reason whatsoever, but stick it out, because when the sun comes out and you adopt the end-of-season IDGAF attitude, it will all feel worth it.