After we have introduced you to Annika and Jonas in February, you’ll get to know our cook Jan today. I asked him some questions about the hostel and about his personal interests.
Norma: Hello Jan. You are our cook and you are making sure that our guests get enough to eat. How long have you been working here?
Jan: I started working here about one year ago in March. In the mornings, I prepare the breakfast and make sure that everything is there. Then, the guests come and eat breakfast. Meanwhile, I take care of the dining room and check that everything stays clean and that the guests are behaving. From time to time, we get really lively school groups and then, it’s important that everything is properly organized. In my experience, it’s important to never get short on coffee during the weekend. Everything else may be gone but there always has to be coffee. For our Berlin weekend guests, coffee is the must-have.
Norma: And where do people mostly find you in the hostel?
Jan: Here in the kitchen, of course. In my “gourmet temple”. (laughs)
Norma: Is there anything you like about Industriepalast especially?
Jan: Andreas‘ workshop (laughs). (He is talking about the garage of our caretaker). Jokes aside, you have to look at the whole context. Of course, the kitchen team is the best team inside Industriepalast, that’s no matter of discussion. But if you look at this question objectively, every department plays its part in making our guests stay as comfortable as possible. The working atmosphere here is very relaxed. I mean, we are no island of bliss and we have our points of conflict but all in all, working here is great.
Norma: Did you ever experience something funny at Industriepalast?
Jan: Yes, once, there were some guests dressed as witches in the breakfast hall. Also, we had one guest who had some drinks too many and always used to sit here at breakfast sleeping, eating and then sleeping again. I mean, he was a very quiet person and never did any harm. Sometimes, I also witness very funny conversations between school kids arguing about who is the coolest or most beautiful of the group.
Norma: A lot seems to be going on in the kitchen. What are you interested in privately?
Jan: I love to go by rail. I’m writing a blog about my railway trips which is published at “Drehscheibe online”. And I also love to cook – who would have guessed that?
Norma: Even though you’re preparing food every day at work?
Jan: Of course, that’s something completely different. At home, I can get creative and don’t have to watch the time. At home, cooking is relaxing for me.
Norma: Can you remember a nice holiday by rail?
Jan: The first time I went on holidays by rail was in 1999. I went to Switzerland where I stayed at a wonderful youth hostel next to a lake. In 2006, I went by Trans-Siberian Railway for the first time. Back then, it took one week to go from Berlin to Novosibirsk. I left Berlin on a Saturday and arrived in Novosibirsk on Wednesday. Thus, you were on the go for four nights.
Norma: Cool. So your favorite hobby also harmonizes with your holiday plans. Thanks a lot for the interview, Jan.
Jan: You’re welcome.
… now you know who is baking your bread rolls and makes your coffee in the mornings. Soon, you’ll get to know even more team members of Industriepalast.
Until next time
Your Norma, blogger and receptionist at Industriepalast
is Berliner by choice and a passionate backpacker himself. As a receptionist he knows the real hostel life; as a blogger he's been writing for Industriepalast Hostel's Berlin blog since 2014.