“Avanti e a destra” (English Version – “Forward and then right”)

During the last days my blog had his moment of glory because of my interview on Radio DeeJay, a really popular italian radio.

Click here to listen (The interview starts at 28th minute)

(* During the interview a made a couple of gaffes, instead of saying “I work a bit, save some money  and then I move on to another place” because of the emotion, mistakely I said (in italian) “I work a bit, save some money and then I go forward and right” (this because I was translating my thoughts from English to Italian, really funny, but sometimes I think in English even if I am speaking in Italian) so the Radio Presenters start to kid me around and saying that if I go forward and then right at the end I will get always to the same point)

I was in Melbourne, a year after my experience started, to visit my friend Salvatore when my mobile phone started to ring: it was Chiara Carse, telephone operator from the Radio show “The Network” (a show that tells about experiences of italians around the world)”. She told me that today they were talking about dreams came true abroad and asked me if I was interested to tell my story “live” at the radio.

In few minutes, not even the time to organize my thoughts and my memories of 13 months of intese life here in Australia, I was talking, the first time of my life, about my Aussie experience to milions of italians.

My voice trembled a bit with emotion, my life in Australia is something that I am proud of and I keep it jealously in myself; what has happened here is really hard to explain in few minutes, suddenly and without using that Aussie slang that gives more sense at every word that I use.

During the interview I didn’t express myself very well, I told just a part of my backpacker’s life and about my choice to live a life without stress, away from the competion and the will of making a lot of money but the choice to have a good experience that makes me grow, learn a lot of things and test myself everyday in different fields.

Being graduated in engineering with the best marks doesn’t mean that the right thing to do in my life is living in an office, working everyday in front of a computer and dealing with impatients client.

Office’s life is the same everywhere in the world, from Milan to London, from Rome to Melbourne.

I have always loved what I studied, I did it with passion, with the same passion that I am living my days here in Oz and I am really happy of the results I got in my entire life; but at moment all I want is walking roads that I’ve never done before, paths that I always ignored and discovering new interests; in other word: improve myself.

This is the sense of my experience.

For this reason I put my backpack on and I started to travel by car, autobus, plane and also hitchhiking, walking, etc… with the goal to discover Australia and myself.

So far now I have never refused any opportunity, my first job has really been cleaning bins (** during the interview I made another gaffe, trying to translate the word “bin” from english to italian I used the word “secchio” that means “bucket” and everything sounded really funny, I have been kidded around for this as well). Backpakers here in Australia fill bins of apple, pears, lemons, oranges, etc… and they are paid by the number of bins they filled.

That has been my first australian occupation and it lasted 10 days, I earned 1000 dollars enough to start to travel and going “forward and then right”.

During this experience I have been lucky to meet Salvatore, a 29 year old guy from Benevento (South Italy); he is not graduated at any university, he’s just got a high school degree but he never loved going to school; I consider Salvatore a “Master of life”, a guy that in his life has done a lot of many menial tasks, a guy who knows how to get a job!

He doesn’t like writing curriculums and not even sending them by emails, till last year he didn’t have any idea how to turn a computer on, I did his first email address when we met the first time and for a while he has been thinking that finally he got his own web site; today he loves surfing on what he calls “a portable libriary”: internet!

His English is not the best, maybe not even his italian but his determination deserves a 110 with distinction. (*** the best academic score in an italian university)

He doesn’t look for a job, he just takes the job, he goes everywhere and says, with his strong southern italian accent: “I want to work”; he did so in Oxford and did it again here in Melbourne when it took him 5 hours to get to the nearby Lylidale and starting to work.

At the end every employer is happy of his job and sad when he moves on; because despite of the cultural difference or the life style, I and Salvatore are similar, we are both curious and we always want to learn more.

That said, with my first 1000 dollars “I went forward and then turned right” so I ended to work in a flower farm, picking flowers a little bit outside of Melbourne; as I am a bit colorblind I had small problems while working, I’ve never been able to pick the “pink tip flowers” and I always picked the green ones, making not really happy my supervisors.

I never mentioned my boss about my color blindness, flowers were “my daily bread” and I have been lucky to survive in that farm for 3 months, enough time to save some money for the next trip.

Next destination: “the warm tropical Queensland”, exactly Cairns, a small town full of hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and many letal animals.

Once I got to Cairns I started to look for an occupation, any occupation: waiter, sale person, italian teacher, chef, car washer, brick layer, etc… jobs that I have never done before because I was too focused in my studies.

The chance happened when, after a long job hunting, I got the telephone number of an English Head Chef of an “Italian Restaurant” (actually I was the only italian in that restaurant and the food was a kind of italian-australian food).

I called him and after introducing myself I started to talk about an invented previous experience as kitchen assistant, I think I have been very persuading as the day after I started to work as “Pizza Chef” and “Dessert Maker”.

The first month has been horrible, very hard for me, I used to dream pizzas every night, I felt the pressure every day and I thought many times not to be able to handle it, but “the spirit of survival” and the tenacity of whom lives for his dreams made me to survive the first month and the next three. At the end my boss thanked me and told me that there will always be a place for me in that restaurant.

From that experience I learnt a lot and above all I loved my job, I loved it a lot ; for the first time in my life I didn’t to check the time or make the countdown and waiting for the knock off! Every time I used to speak with my friends about my job my eyes were full of entusiasm.

In the spare time I used to have another part time job: italian teacher, I taught italian to an australian girl talking about the good and the bad of my country.

But as my main occupation here in Australia, as it is specified  in Facebook, is traveller, at the end of October I said “goodbye” to Cairns and I went “forward and then right”.

After a month travelling I ended in Tasmania, this is my recent story, except the first month working quite boring doing weeding  in a organic farm, I worked as labour at the construction of a Greenhouse and for the first time after long time I dealed again with an engineer discovering something really interesting…

The Greenhouse’s designer used to stay almost everyday in the building site, and instead of wearing a suit he used to wear the famous High Visibility Vest (typically of australian workers) and check with “his hand” that everything designed by him worked properly.

Now, after a year, I am again in Melbourne, of course if you always go straight and then turn right at the end you get at the beginning of your path, but here in Melbourne it didn’t arrive the same person.

Here it arrived a person who realized that when you are job hunting mails are important but going directly to a place and say “I want to work” is better, a person who sometimes have to lie to get what he wants, a person who have to work hard and strongly believe in his dreams to make them real, a person who believes that attitude is better than experience, a person who, despite eveerything, knows that being lucky helps.

A person who for the first time has spent a lot of time with people who have never been to university, people who think that  “university” is a big building, maybe too big for them: humble people, sincere, without any prejudice, presumptuouness and arrogance and from whom I got the best life’s notes, because as I often say: the most I learnt, I learnt from my travels and from the most strange teachers!

This article is also for the many young graduated italians who are scared to leave home and worry “to waste their time” travelling around world without thinking that one day these experiences will make them better persons and maybe a better Italy.

Now I need to set off again. Next destination?!

“Forward and then right” of course!

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