Friday, January 9, 2009

Establishing a grounding!

As with movies there comes a point when a bit of back story is required. Therefore to provide grounding for my adventures, cue the wavey picture and nostalgic music. I lived in Oz until i was 21 and began an adventure that followed an adventure. At 18 I travelled around Oz, circumnavigating the country in 6 months, living like a backpacker but with our own car. My friend Valentino and I explored some amazing locales and in order to save money on food caught our own fish and sometimes crayfish and picked mangoes off trees and well lived a good life. I worked in a topless restaurant in Darwin for a month for some spare cash working not as a topless waitress (which would have been wrong) but as a kitchen hand. Although I already loved cooking at this stage I was messmerized by some of the lovely dishes being concocted by the chef. I helped with preparing salads and chopping vegetables but it was the baked barramundi with balmain bugs in a garlic and ginger sauce that tantalised my tastebuds as well as my cooking desires. As for the topless waitresses - a mild distraction I must admit and nothing more needs be said on that subject.
After the Australian adventure, I worked for a few years in banking and then plucked up the courage to fly overseas. Los Angeles being my first destination (boy was i wet behind the ears). But I met some cool locals and soon discovered that although I was not working my way accross America like a tourist and traveller I was experiencing life in LA like a local. One friend I met (a fantastic hippie by the name of Michael) showed me visions (sometimes with the help of mind altering drugs mind!) that delighted and thrilled me. I drove in a Tucker, a rare and incredible car which I was told was priceless at the time and boy did we turn heads driving down the esplanade on Hermosa Beach. I learnt to cook artichoke's with a mint yoghurt dip (although marajuana was used instead of mint on the first encounter), steaming the artichoke until the fat meaty leaves could be easily dislodged from its heart. Then dipping the meaty leaf into the dip and biting off the soft flesh from its mostly inedible tough exterior was both exquisite and dreamy. From L.A. I soon travelled to New York, on my 22nd birthday to be exact and there I fell in love with the Big Apple. Its mad and bustling streets and amazing collection of restaurants. I met Valerie a wonderful woman who will enter this story again when I return to New York and hopefully you will all come to know her as my guaradian angel. We ate Ethiopian one night and the meal was an eye opener (apart from the "do they have any food in the restaurant" type of pun) it was a delightful experience. Sitting on small stools, no table, no cutlery and an awfully sweet apricot coloured wine, the food arrived in one huge bowl, our portions distributed around the bowl all on a thin layer of what initially looked like tripe but was actually partially cooked bread. This bread was then used to scoop up mouthfuls of the delicately flavoured curries. Oh and the wine was delicious with the food and we ended up all being very merry and polishing off about 5 bottles between 4 of us.
I then arrived in London (skipping along quickly I know but some experiences can be relayed at later points if necessary) and soon re-entered the world of Banking as a means to an end. I lived in London for over 16 years and was lost in a world of love and happiness. I cooked, I laughed, I loved, I DIY'd, I worked and eventually all these things came to pass (wow that's one way to skim over 16 years of my life isn't it!). I did manage to complete a degree in film and literature which i used during my spare time to write movie reviews and eventually restaurant reviews with my best mate of all time Neil Davey. You would have heard us complimenting each other in previous blogs.
I then left the world of banking behind me and moved to Turkey to try my hand at holiday property investment. Wasn't that good at that, but became really good at being a bum. The beach and the holiday landscape was like a drug to me and my old world evaporated like dream. I continued to cook and love and play and met some great people along the way. One such woman, Sam I will introduce you too hopefully in Thailand. She is a fabulous cook and we shall try our hand at a Thai cookery course together before I shoot off to New York.
Turkey had a natural ending to it as I could not be a bum all my life. I did attempt to join a sailor on a jouney in a yacht from Northern Australia back to Turkey, which would have been my grand opus or been the sure fire death of me. Arslan the skipper had second thoughts at the last minute and decided a non experienced sailor on his boat for three months was too much of a responsibility and perhaps at that point he saved my life. But as a consequence I ended up in Australia again before heading to New York and here I have visited family and friends and begun my preperations for my next journey - New York.
So hopefully that gives you all some small background. The filler story between future adventures. Some basic knowledge of my jounry so far. I have seen and done much in between but I will leave them also for filler story when I feel my dear reader is waning with boredom or I need to make a point about something I discover or encounter which relates to a past event. Until then I hope you are enjoying (something!).

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