My time at EBS (bartender school) Sydney

A couple of months ago i started my planning on what to do while i was out traveling, and for some reason i got stuck on the idé “Bartender”.
I started my google search and what i found was “EBS (European Bartender School)”. So I left my number at their site because i was interested to attend their school, they contacted me one day later. We talked a couple of times, and one thing i remember we talked about was the size of the class. They told me between 20 – 25 at most.

EBS had two chooices of accomandations “Hostel or School”. I chosed the school for i tought that most peopled would do that, and that would be the best way to get to know all the fellow students. But a week or two before the school started i got a mail saying that living in school wouldn’t be possible because of a “firesafety certification” or something similar. So all student had to live at the Hostel.
And i don’t know if it’s true or not but i heard that it’s had been like this for a while. “Rumor”

The hostel we lived at was “Home backpackers”
Our first impression wasn’t the best, most of the students even complained. But after living here now for a while i don’t really agree to all their complaints. But there is some stuff that could have been beter.

The 29th of September the first day of school started at EBS (European Bartender School) and to my surprise, noticed we where more than 25 students. We were 34!

The day before school started most of the students meet each other at the hostel and got to know each other. So the first day was quite easy and not so tense.
The introduction was quite short and it didn’t take long before we had to prepare the bars for practice.

It didn’t take long until the school life once more became a rutin of the daily life here in Sydney.
Waking Up early going to school, getting a’lot of homework. And each day we got about 5 new cocktails that we had to memorize for the next day, and once a week we had a master class that was followed by a larger theory homework.

So a regular day looked something like this (09am to 15-16pm)

  • 09am day starts
  • Name calling
  • Prepare all the different stations (takes about 30 – 40 min).
    • Bar
    • Free Pouring
  • Rotations between stations (Bar, Free pouring, Flaring)
  • Lunch 1 hour
  • Continue with group rotations
  • Around 14:30pm it’s time to start cleaning.
    • All days except for friday we clean what we used.
    • On Friday it’s time todo a more intense cleaning, that also includes the up stairs room that we didn’t really use. “So it felt like we where cleaning for the other people who lived there”

So a school day is around 6 hours long. But there is around 2 hours that is used for preparation, lunch and cleaning. So expect around 4 hours effective school work.
And as you can see here is that you only have about 4 hours of training in school, and this is not much. So what this details is that YOU have to train/study at your own time.

So basically it’s your responsibility!

About once a week there is a master class where you will learn about “Distillation, Vodka, Beer, Whiskey, Liquor, Tequila and Gin” and takes all from 2 to 3 hours per subject.
For each subject except for distillation there is a taste testing.
The taste testing could get quite wild for the whole group was almost running over each other to get to the spirits :P

The taste testing was okey but we where so many people that everyone fought for a place in the line so it didn’t really feel that you got a chance to know what it was you tested.
Like what was the different ingredients in it or what was the name of it. So for the next time i truly hope they goes in groups and split everything up so there is less of a rush and more controlled.

One day we did have a guest that was responsible for an optional “Whiskey and Tequila” testing. I stayed behind and it was really good/informational, more people should have stayed.

After a week or two the group had really become a family, we ate together, we drank together. We did most things together.
Small groups started to form in class, by country, gender, how often they where out. But as long you where nice and friendly there was no problem jumping from group to group.

The school almost felt like a constant party, you are having a great time. Drinking and dancing doing events with the school. But at some point it will hit you that you only have one week left and all the exams are around the corner waiting for you. So suddenly you will find your self and the others studying like there was no tomorrow, preparing for the exams.

So to summarise it all.
I really did have a great month here in Sydney together with EBS. It was a wonderful group of people, that became my friends. And i hope we will stay in contact long after this, but only time will tell.
The teacher’s was amazing, they really did their best to try to teach everyone even if it was a larger group than they where used to. If you had a problem with either their teaching method or a person in class they where there ready to help. Even staying behind so you could do some extra flaring, bar and pouring.
The teacher’s became more than teacher’s or instructors, they became friends/family.

The group and teacher was awesome, but i was here to become a bartender and i paid about 2000€ for this course including accommodations. And that is a’lot of money, and for this reason i can’t really recommend this course.
Why i’m not recommending this course is all about the price and the money you spend after.
* You will not get any equipment or accessories. You will have to buy your own flaring bottle, t-shirt and so one. I can except that we did’t get a bottle but a t-shirt, for me that is token of participating in the course. You shouldn’t need to buy that
* 3 hours each week there is a live cocktail training session where you use real spirits, else it’s training with water.
* There are so many sponsors, the text book you get for the studies is filled with pages about that sponsor. And the recipes is not written with a general name instead it’s the sponsors kind “Rum becomes Barcaddi”
* Mixologi that i really was looking forward to was a competition to create a cocktail that lasted for 2 days, 1 hour per day. And the cocktail could almost only contain sponsored brands.
* All event’s that happen trough the school, is heavily discounted but you still have to pay 20-30 dollars for each event.

The bottom line is that you pay so much money for this course and you really won’t get anything for free, there is always more expenses waiting for you. And most of what you use when it come to sprits is sponsored brands. So they really makes a’lot of money out of you. And from saying that there will be 25 students to 34 is really a big jump, for there where only 3 teachers. So the time they have to teach becomes limited “but the teacher’s did an amassing job”

I also want to point out that some of the students that had a bartender job before school says. That they learned so much more here than they did where they worked.

Random pictures

The first days in Sydney Australia

So after 2 nights in Bangkok it’s time for me to move on to Sydney Australia where i will partake in a Bartending course “EBS”.

The flight to Sydney from Bangkok took about 9 hours and transit time about 4 hours, but all went well. I was a little bit nerves about the custom in Sydney for i heard so many stories about what can happen. Like you forgot to throw away any kind of food, fruit that you brought or that there is problems with the visa pappers.
But luckely there was no problem when arriving, it all went very smoth :)

After clearing the custom and finding my bag i made my first purshase. A sim card from Vodaphone for one of the phones i brought with me, it was about 15$. I thought that was really cheap so i walked to seven eleven to by a pack of ciggarets, 25$ that really shocked me how expanisive it was compared to Sweden.

After buying the expansive ciggarets i am now ready to go to the hostel by train. Upon arriving at the hostel i realize that i’m about 2 hours early to check-in. But luckly i could leave my bag there while i went out for a long walk.

My feet had started to hurt a little, and i noticed that i walked for about 3 hours straight. So i turned back to get my bag and check-in at Nomad Westend where i will be staying around 2 nights.

My stay there was really a pleasent one, i meet my 2 roommates that where longtime stayers “Working in Australia” and we had our own toailet that the room shared. And it was really easy to make new friends there, for all had their story to tell or give pointers about what todo.

So the first thing that happend on the hostel was that they had tickets to the partybus

After that i was told that there was a China Town quite nearby that i missed when i was out walking before

The start of my travel, and the days in Bangkok

It has now been little over 1 day, since i left Sweden for my second attempt to backpack/explore around Asia.

My first stop is Bangkok where i’ll be staying for little over 2 days, before traveling to Australia. All my friends who had been in Bangkok before says that, when you are there you should book a couple of nights in a more luxurious hotel. For one reason only, “take the chance, who knows when the next time is”.

The hotel i booked for my 2 night accommodation is Centara Grand at Centralworld

Hotel Room

So this is my room on the 34th floor.
Except for the bed being quite hard and the prices for the minibar items, i can’t find anything to complain about.


Hotel Room view

This image is of the view from my room, i decided on an angle that don’t show the construction yard next to the hotel :P “is showing in the timelaps video”
Can’t say that it’s a pretty view, but it works at the moment


Hotel View


Centara Resturant Zing

Where i had my breakfast on the second day


Centara Resturant Ginger

My first meal in Bangkok at the hotel, i should properly had a meal that is more “Thai/Bangkok” but after all the traveling i decided to be extra lazy and go to the nearest restaruant and take the first thing i see.


Centara Red Sky Bar

Link for more and better pictures of Red Sky Bar


CentralWorld Shopping Complex

On my second day here in Bangkok i found CentralWorld, that is a shopping complex with hundreds of stores, spread out on eight floors.


Timelaps video from the hotel window

It’s not the best view, but i wanted to test my new GoPro camera that i’ll be using during my travel

MongoDB Training

This is a little late post, but between the 21 January and 20 March i got the chance to participate in two of 10gen’s training course’s. MongoDB for DBAs and MongoDB for Developers.

I would like to give my thanks to both Andrew Erlichson “M101P: MongoDB for Developers” and Dwight Merriman “M102: MongoDB for DBAs” for taking the time and effort to host each class, and a special thanks to 10gen for creating these classes and to give us the opportunity to a fast track learning course into the world of MongoDB and not to mention, making it free. Thanks 10gen

Here is the link to 10gen’s education site, i hope at the time you find this. 10gen is still going strong and offers the free online courses

M101P: MongoDB for Developers: Certificate
M102: MongoDB for DBAs: Certificate

Doctrine 2 integrity constraint

If using Doctrine you have probably come across the error message “SQLSTATE[23000]: Integrity constraint violation: 1048 Column ‘column_id’ cannot be null” at least once. This error occurs on doctrine persist when using a entity that both has mappings for a ordinary field and an Doctrine relation field (many-to-one, one-to-many) with the same name.
Read More…

Studying for PHP 5.3 certification

For a long time now i have thought about taking the “Zend PHP 5.3″ certification exam but never got around to it.
Every time i come up with the idea to take the exam, i start with reading the php documentation “php.net” and the study guide that zend provides for free to help developers with their training.

I don’t know how many times i have read the “study guide” but every time i do it, i come across something new that makes me want to read more about it that often results in more knowledge about php in general. Even if you are not planning to take the exam i can really recommend everyone to read the “study guide”.
One more thing that the “study guide” contains is a training version of the certification exam. But a problem i noticed with this was that i started to learn the questions by their designation “1.a, 2.b” and so on. To over come this i created a simple javascript questionnaire to randomize the questions and answers to make it impossible to learn the designations and force me to learn the actual answer.

Unfortunately i can only share the javascript questionnaire and not the content because of copyright permission, i mailed zend to ask them if i could share this but wasn’t allowed.

I will update this post later with the link to javascript questionnaire on github for download

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