Every time I tell someone about The EAT Team project, their face lights up. They get all excited, and that gets me excited: it fuels my fire. Although I’d do the project without any external validation, it gives me a big boost to know that other people think its as awesome as Hannah and I think it is. And I’m elated that other people are happy and eager to share with me what they know about the places we’ll go, offering recommendations of people to visit, places to explore, and good things to eat.One of my favorite such experiences so far occurred just less than a month ago, on the plane as I flew home to Los Angeles after a year living in Germany
. During the 12 hour flight, I sat next to Lawrence Tolmie: the hippest, most internet-savvy 64-year-old man I’d ever met.Lawrence told me all about his life: about growing up in New Zealand, moving to Los Angeles with his wife in their twenties, his first successful business as a handcarved wooden sign-maker, raising his children, and how he could work from anywhere in his current job as the Site Manager for a large publishing house. As an entrepreneur myself,
I loved hearing about how he does business, and discovering that he could live the nomadic four-hour-workweek
if he wanted, but loved what he did and was happy with how he had streamlined his current life.
I told him about this project, and his eyes grew big when I told him I’d be visiting his hometown. He told me how, as a child in New Zealand in the fifties, British influence was still very strong so he grew up eating lots of fish n’ chips and meat pies and mom’s cookin’, and there wasn’t much else. He also gave me a great list of things to eat while we’re there: Paua (a type of shellfish), Kumara (NZ sweet potatoes), Fijoa (a unique fruit), passion fruit, and fritters. I have no idea what any of that is, but I think I’m excited.
However, the most memorable bit of our conversation was when he told me about the first time he and his wife came to Los Angeles forty years ago, when they were both just 24. Their LA friends had taken them on a little tour, and as lunchtime rolled around, the Americans asked Lawrence and his wife if they wanted to grab a pizza.
“What’s a pizza?” Laurence asked.
“WHAT’S A PIZZA???” The Americans tried to explain to Laurence what’s a pizza. “Well, it’s a round, doughy food with sauce and cheese..”
Laurence was confused, but he was always open to trying new things, so they headed down to pizza hut.
It was love at first bite.
Moral of the story? Having your first pizza at age 24 is better late than never. And don’t ever take your pizza for granted