January 10, 2012 § 7 Comments
My first resolution this year was fulfilled on the first day. I quit my job as a pastry cook in a local Californian/French restaurant. It has been something tugged in my heart for a long time, though I wasn’t even there for long. I learnt the meaning of focus. Some would think that not being able to hold a job down is a sign of irresponsibility or undisciplined. I beg to differ. I have goals to achieve and walking on a rocky road would only hinder this ride. So I’m switching lanes and going on a different route.
“What are you going to miss the most here?”, asked the pastry chef.
The kitchen crew makes the best lunches I ever had. Despite being the only vegan at work, they were willing to embrace the whole idea. Why? I was not so sure. But some had seriously lost weight since I stepped foot in; some realize that eating meat or butter all the time was not exactly healthy. But there were days such as, after Thanksgiving , where indulgence was the only fulfillment after working 13 hours the day before.
I did not mind eating beans, rice, corn, tomatoes, tortilla, cilantro and avocado, drenched with sriracha sauce everyday. However, what we ate didn’t matter as much as how much Hispanic culture I learnt. Though we celebrated every American holiday, behind the curtains, they took delight in traditional festivals. Over lunch, they spoke of busy streets, unkept wet-markets,endless walking from one place to another (which seems to be unusually normal), eating food just to survive and not to please the palate. Once young boys who work religiously in family farm so that they deserve to eat. Once sons of mothers who do not know anything better than to help provide for the family, and still do, 40 years later. Now, they slave in restaurant barely saving or earning enough, so they can serve regular Americans food and read them bitch on Yelp. Having not seen their parents for years and currently fathers to their own kids, they yearn for a better living. Caught in between fast food joints and improved education, they try their very best to conserve heritage and equality.
They all have their own story. Unique in so many ways. Respectable in every spectrum.
Indifferently, their upbringing seems similar to my parents. A drop of sweat for every penny. A fight for every right. An unrevealed smile for every success. Their hardship is ingrained in me. As I continue my own journey.
What entails ahead? The unknown.
It’s going to be a lot of photography and writing with quiet evenings and bright sunlight.