I love Legos. I’ve never stopped loving Legos. On the hypothetical deserted island, I’d have a crate full of Legos. In fact, it’s pretty disappointing for me that on this trip yet, I haven’t been to LegoLand yet. But this story isn’t about Legos. It’s about how playing with Legos all the time inspired me to grow up into an Architect. But with one careful sentence, that dream bubble was popped as I was told, “You need to know how to draw.”
Trust me when I say that my camels resembled a bowl of asparagus more than any creature, that even might have ever lived. It was from this moment, that I gave up on becoming an architect. Besides, a software architect has just as much fun and it pays better.
However, my burning flame to create was never completely put out. Recently, with the help of Kathy, I’ve discovered my passion for food. I’ve even gone far enough to create dishes that have their own names like “Coonass Chicken and Taters”. So, when I found out that a cousin of mine, living in Stuttgart, Germany is opening up his own restaurant, I jumped on the opportunity to be put to work and learn some of the trade.
My cousin, Bill Butler is an outstanding person. While his presence can be intimidating at first (he served in Afghanistan, taller than me and strong build), he’s takes care of his employees and has earned the respect of everyone there. It’s a sizable kitchen on a military base. All of the customers are in the Service, or family of someone who is. So, of course, all of the bartenders are young, cute, buxom girls. I tell ya, the guy knows how to run a business.
He’s also supported by his great wife Lydia and his childhood buddy Brian who all live together in the same place who all put in a lot of effort into the business.
In the kitchen, I listened to about 50 different stories from the 76 year old black man, who’s only answers to 2 names. T and Mr. T. In the few hours I got to spend next to him, I learned enough about cooking to keep my brain full for days.
I worked for about 12 hours and loved it. I learned a lot, assembled a grill, made a Thai peanut sauce for 150 people, chatted with some great people, was in the company of Americans, and got paid with alcohol. Which made getting up the next morning all the harder to leave for Cinque Terra. I haven’t decided yet, but I’m thinking of coming back here once my rail pass ends. Although, the thought of working harder during my vacation, than I do back home does make it a tough decision. And the fact that you come home from the restaurant hungry, makes it even more confusing.
I think my friend’s Greg’s shirt sums it up the best: Indecision is the key to flexibility.
Back to Legos. As I matured and cooked more, I entertained the thought of opening my own restaurant. But after seeing everything that goes into it, I believe that bubble has popped once again. But that’s ok. I love what I do, and I now have developed an strong respect for those who chose that path.
And the path I choose for myself now leads me to Cinque Terra. And a Panini.
April 27th, on a train from Zurich, Switzerland to Milano, Italy.