Thousands of photos are stored in my Google Photos account from the past year of travel. I selected the 10 best pictures, with the most interesting stories, to give a good impression of my journey. Sit back and enjoy!!
“Look, this is how you do it..” the Sri Lankan chef says while he swiftly makes two flawless circles from the dosa batter. The large grill in front of me radiates an intense heat but somehow feels as my trusted companion. “Can I try to make the next dosas Surenth?” I ask him. He nods as he sprays the ones on the grill with oil and puts the spicy potato-vegetable mix on top.
I’m standing in the large kitchen of ‘Lentil as Anything‘. Not your typical restaurant in the suburb Thornbury, as it stands out with its ‘pay-as-you-feel-like’ flexible menu and rainbow painted restaurant front. Fixed prices are from the past as everybody deserves a seat at the table! The meals are all vegan and made with leftover food from the supermarkets around. The restaurant almost solely runs on volunteers and people connected to a work-rehabilitation project. Somehow it attracts the most interesting, kind, loving, authentic and beautiful people. A place of extremes, of sudden big changes, of many opportunities, and sometimes some chaos ;).
“Two more dosas, please” the Dutch head-chef Lis shouts from behind the order counter. She is in her late twenties, tired of the ‘rat-race’ in Amsterdam and finding her luck in the immense Australia. A beautiful, loving, and warm person that has the will power and strength to endure the hard work in the kitchen. Again and again I’m impressed on how she can balance the stressful kitchen work with tuning in to the people around. This fine balancing act is a joy to see and a gift when working with people from all backgrounds with all educational levels. She is a remarkable talent and knows how to work really hard. I learned many things from her but one thing defiantly stands out; it is the way she can inspire people, give them responsibility, and trusts the entire learning process. It creates a high energy environment where people can freely express their talents. She learned me that by letting go of your own ego, you can inspire people and make the necessary room for them to grow. This I experienced as remarkably powerful and uplifting. I know for sure that without her, my adventure in Melbourne would have looked completely different.
“Yes chef, two dosas coming” I shout back to Lis, making it clear I’m picking up the order. I dip the small aluminium cup in a bucket full of dosa batter. Carefully I pour it on the glowing grill. With the hand motion I learned from Surenth, I try to spread the batter in a circle. At least the best I can ;). I realise that although it looks easy, it is actually really hard to spread the dough evenly. Practise, practise, practise, but one day I will make the perfect dosa, I’m sure of that!