The Stockholm Sheraton


Sometime in October 1972 I entered the Swedish labour market for the first time! I had recently arrived from England to join my fiancée Mona!She had started to study English at the Stockholm University. I lived with her at the student’s room she rented at Amanuensvägen.
The kitchen facilities were shared by other students. It was at this time that I was introduced to certain food that apart from being Swedish suited the purse of poor students. Blood pudding with lingonberry jam, fruit soup and bilberry(blåbär) and even rosebud(nypon) soup were among the novelties. We held a tight food budget, at a culinary price!
Some readers might recall that my father had from Portugal, seen to it, that a letter of recommendation was sent to the director of the Sheraton Hotel in Stockholm. It was with some great expectations that this young man, though not believing he would become a gentleman, something he already considered himself to be, but rather obtain a position where language knowledge could come of use! I will not lie by admitting that I was hoping for some work at reception. Inspired perhaps on Candide’s experiences a hotel job could lead somewhere!
It was with some mixed feelings and disappointment that, on temporary and conditional basis, I was offered a position as a houseman. Provided that I would regulate my situation as far as labour permits were concerned, the job was mine.
What did this houseman work consist of? Very simply taking from the basement and up to the floors, the bed clothing and other stuff that were the very essence of making up the rooms and without which, chamber maids would sit idle! I would soon advance on my short Sheraton career! Most positive in leaving the houseman chores was to skip listening to and seeing ,the unsympathetic and bitchy woman, in charge of these important hotel activities!

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