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Thank you, Europe

punjab Updated: Jun 29, 2013 22:50 IST
Rameshinder Singh Sandhu

I love my job in the hospitality industry since I get the chance to meet people from different parts of the world. Every minute, it's someone new from a different country. The experience of being connected internationally is both exciting and inspiring.

However, when I meet guests from Switzerland, Germany and Austria, it feels special. I get nostalgic because I studied hospitality management in Switzerland for three years. I got the opportunity to learn German as I was based in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Being in the front office, I get a chance to interact with guests at the outset. So when I introduce myself in German, the guests are surprised and we strike a chord instantly. I love answering their queries and telling them about my experiences during the internship in Swiss hotels, where most colleagues were from Switzerland and neighboring Germany and Austria.

Besides learning a new language, Switzerland was a platform to explore other destinations of Europe. Every holiday break would be a journey of exploration. Every European city offered a new experience. They say travelling is the best education. It has certainly helped me connect better with guests.

When someone checks in from Paris, I ask, "Don't you think the Arc de Triomphe looks like India Gate in Delhi? They agree and are quick to add, "Have you been to Paris?" Yes, I have and I must say that it is a beautiful city. I love to talk about the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and the breathtaking view of the city from Eiffel Tower.

When an Italian guest checks in, I recall my visit to the unique city of Venice. The Duomo di Milano, one of the world's largest cathedrals, is another unforgettable landmark that we invariably end up talking about.

And when a guest from Austria arrives, the conversation revolves around Sachertorte, a type of chocolate cake, or torte. One can never experience its perfect taste anywhere except at the traditional Sacher cafés in Austria. The torte is one of the most famous Viennese culinary specialties. It's not long before our conversation veers to Vienna, where the famous St Stephen's Cathedral or Stephensdom (in German) is located.

The interaction with guests from Munich is incomplete without sharing our experience about the Oktoberfest beer festival celebrated there.

A mention about the hustle and bustle at Piccadilly Circus helps break the ice with guests from London. I am quick to remind them of Southall, which is an example of a typical Indian street.

When our guests are checking out, I ask them about their travel experience in India and how they found their visit different from their countries? It is equally exciting to listen to their stories.

Yes, I believe travelling is the best way to open doors, minds and hearts.