I’ve got one last shift with Kraken Crumpets before I leave Auckland. The big company that runs all the big supermarkets like Pack N Save do a big Christmas event for their workers once a year. They book out ASB Showgrounds, get in Santa, Superheroes and Princesses, Inflatables, music and a bunch of food carts. All the food is pre-purchased, so the guests can eat as much as they want without paying.
Event starts at two, So I’m there at one cutting up tomato. There’s no bacon and egg today since they take so much time, so the tomato and pesto is back on the menu.
This is a LONG day. Although we start being fairly quiet, within a few hours there’s several orders on the go. It’s even worse for Hamish and Amy, they were at a night market and a morning market before this, so both of them are running on limited sleep. They’re actually grateful to be quiet to start because it means at least one of them can head to the car and nap for an hour before it really gets going.
Next door to us, the Temaki van is by far the most popular stand in the place, Probably because it’s the strangest thing to try (The other vans are churros, fries, pasta, toasted sandwiches and burgers), and sell out without 3 hours. Can’t say I’m surprised, they’re always popular, but means they now have to hang around until 9pm before they can leave.
I eventually get a break around 5, just as we get word that black wristbands can be served (all the staff working have black bands while the guests have yellow), so I immediately hit up the most expensive stands to finally try the foods that I’ve seen at all the markets that don’t always do swaps. The pasta van always sells out, so I was elated I got to finally grab a bowl (very good – can see why they do good business), and then headed outside to the White Lady burger van. These are awesome, but I almost never see them at the same events as the Crumpet van and cost about $14 a piece. Actually manage to grab the last one they’re allowed to sell before 6 (they have to stagger the number they’re allowed to make so they don’t run out). Finally end my meal with an iced fruit tea, and head back onto the van.
By 8pm, lots of the stands are starting to sell out of food. We’re onto our last bucket, and by 8:30 our last crumpet heads out to some of the guys working in the bar. We celebrate by grabbing some homemade meringue from the stand opposite us, and then start cleaning up. It’s a very rush job because we have limited water, but I still end up having to lug an empty tank over to the drinking fountain and spend five minutes filling the thing up with the tiniest trickle of water you’ve ever seen. Thankfully the security guards who had been laughing at me came over and helped me carry it back to the stand rather than watch me drag the thing into the hall.
Kind of sad this was my last shift – Kraken Crumpets has been a lot of fun, if you’re even in Auckland and spot a market, try and give the caravan decorated with a giant squid a try.