Today’s challenge is a character study of the most interesting person or group of people i have met so far this year.
To me this is definitely an interesting prompt, having been travelling and other exciting adventures this year it was a dilemma to choose just one person or even a specific group of people, largely because the people i met were not all together it was whilst i was away…
Going travelling means that you get to meet all kind of people (not that one wouldn’t in ‘normal’ life but you are almost catapulted into meeting new people whilst away) and in my month away i met several significant people not only fellow travellers but locals as well. As i think its unfair to choose between my two favourite places i will write about them both because they were very significant to me.
The first was in Vienna whilst i was staying at the hostel, the bar manager Pris was just the most lovely passionate person i have ever met, a spanish girl of my age or a little older she ran her bar like i complete pro and was insistent that everyone had to meet each other whether they eventually made friends or not. Every new person who ventured through the door she greeted with enthusiasm and introduced everyone else sitting in the bar, her long blonde hair (clearly black or rich dark brown as most spanish girls are) tied in a loose ponytail with her soft lips encapsulating every smile and every word she said and her big brown eyes meant that you couldn’t help but get lost in her personality alone let alone her beauty. One night i came down to the bar and found Pris looking somewhere between sad and angry, her personality means that she cant hide her feelings very well, upon discovering she had been arguing with her boyfriend before she came to work i felt compelled to stay with her and at least cheer her up (i hate to see people upset) over the next few hours i met lots of people and it was truly fascinating speaking to the Australians and the far Eastern people, although Australia is not that different from Europe it is still interesting hearing about their cultures, and the Korean guy i met (embarrassingly i don’t know his name to this day) truly made me think about how i feel about my life, in Korea their way of life is so different, so ridged in many respects its fascinating. By the end of the evening (3am to be precise) not only had i had a great evening but Pris was starting to feel much better, insisting on telling everyone how supportive id been and how much she loved me to bits and i felt good about it; we reminisced about Barcelona and Amsterdam and all the places we had visited in our lives and educated as many people as would listen! We are now firm friends on Facebook and i intend to visit her again hopefully in her home town of Barcelona. Truly she is one of the most important people i have met possibly in my life not just this year.
The second person i met on my travels and to this day i’m ashamed to say i don’t know her name is the Chef at the Carpe Diem restaurant in Skopje, Macedonia. My first day in Skopje was fascinating, having been so excited to be there (the destination which had prompted my to travel for a month) i was anxious to explore as much as possible; as i learnt throughout my journey it seems that my stomach was prepared to choose food based entirely on the aura of the place, in this case it meant an hour of walking round Skopje investigating various restaurants none of which seemed to come up trumps…at the point at which was nearly giving up and going to get bread and cheese from the supermarket i came across a little restaurant/cafe called Carpe Diem, i could hear music reminiscent of my childhood holidays in France, i was instantly sold. I approached a petite lady with blonde curly hair who i could only assume was the waitress and asked if it was possible to eat still (by this time it was gone 2pm and i wasn’t sure if they had stopped doing food) she jumped up and said yes of course and scurried off to find me a menu. As i took a seat she came back giving me the menu and settled down at the table next to me with her cigarette and her paper, i asked what she would recommend and we decided on the ‘Carpe Diem’ salad, at this point she jumped up and hurtled into the kitchen, to my surprise she was the chef and owner not the waitress, as i sat and watched her work sipping my water her husband arrived with some shopping and was immediately sent out to get some more supplies which she was short of, i had to laugh as she was a typical Chef and he was typically meek and submissive (the complete opposite to her) when the salad came i was over joyed, truly the best salad i have had in ages with local traditional ingredients all beautifully combined and presented. As i ate she continued to sit next to me and we chatted at great length in English about many different topics, it turned out that she had been Oxford educated in Alexandria, i explained to her what i was doing and she told me that she too had been in the same boat once, she had felt exactly the same way as me about her life and the result of her quitting her job had been the lovely little restaurant i sat in that day, it meant the world to me that afternoon and it only reinforced my desire to carry on exploring and rediscovering myself, after some hours and another amazing meal of local traditional Macedonian food i made my excuses and went back to my flat feeling amazing (even if i was very full of food)
I hope you enjoyed my thoughts, any feedback is welcome of course.