Alex is the kind of best friend anyone could ever hope for.
Since meeting the boys a few weeks ago and having witnessed them working, hanging out and interacting with people – Alex seems to be content to hang back a little, dodging the limelight Luis feels so comfortable in.
Whenever Luis had the floor, Alex was content to sit back, wait his turn and enjoy Luis’ enjoyment – it was nice to witness how well these two guys compliment each other. It was easy to see how well each understood the other like only childhood friends could.
Talking to Alex, I noticed right away, he’s a deep thinker, torn almost as to whether he should really be enjoying every minute of this amazing year or two to explore what Australia has to offer or if he should in fact be working towards his future. Questioning, not quite out loud, whether this year will be wasted or regretted down the track.
In the span of a short conversation on the topic, he was 100% committed to a year of adventure in Australia, never really committing to a second year just yet and then the discussion turned back to his future in a more realistic view of what might lay ahead for work, skills and job prospects.
Although trained and qualified as a chef in a Michelin Star restaurant… he hates the work and says his apprenticeship wrecked his love of cooking.
I asked, what could be so bad about learning to cook in such an amazing restaurant?
Alex told me that he was never physically hit, punched or hurt but the phycological punishment was soul destroying.
He says, “If I made a mistake at work while cooking, the chefs might not shout or scream or do anything outwardly bad but they wouldn’t talk to me for a day or two days, their punishment was worse than being hit. It wasn’t a nice place to work.”
I asked what made you decide to become a chef?
Alex said he loved cooking and food and experimenting with how things would go together.
He told me his father was a chef.
Oh, I said, so that’s why… It was your fathers influence?
“No, no”, replied Alex… “He warned me to never, ever become a chef and that I’d hate it. But when the job became available and at such a good restaurant and without many other options, I said yes and took the job.”
After having Alex and Luis staying with Linda and I sporadically over the past few weeks, it was difficult not to give Alex what I thought was good advice, just as I would my two boys.
Whether or not any of it stuck, I don’t know, but my hope for Alex is he enjoys every single minute of his travels around the country. I hope he keeps his brain active, writes something every day, a journal or something and to rest assured, life will present all kinds of options – there is no need to worry and plan too far ahead now that you’re here and have this year already put aside for adventure and good times.
Safe travels Alex, live for and enjoy the moment but keep moving towards some kind of goal.« Stranger #36 - Dan the Scuba Diver Stranger #34 - Luis the German Backpacker »