I think today is the craziest I’ve seen him, so far, says one of my fellow trainees cautiously. She glances nervously in the direction of the kitchen, where we can hear the sound of Czech words being screamed over the clattering and clanging of various utensils. It’s not an angry kind of screaming. This is the thing about the Happy Chef. Maybe he has, on previous occasions, flipped his lid and gone on a furious rampage, but in general he just seems to be a bit excitable. Passionate. An artist, you know.
The odd thing is that his wife seems to be the most timid, quiet, delicate critter in the entire country. I’ve yet to hear her speak in anything louder than a whisper, and then she tends to scuttle away as quickly as she can, to hide in the kitchen. I dunno how that works. It’s like if a performing circus chimp married a field mouse.
The kitchen door bursts open and Happy Chef springs out like a giant colourful Czech jack-in-the-box. Ah, dobrý den, it’s 10.45, you are needing the second Hayley Coffee, yes?
Ano, prosím, I reply with a grin. That means “yes, please”, by the way. Confusingly, the Czech word for “yes” is pronounced “Ah, no!”, which has not been at all helpful, to be honest.
We switched tutors today, and I’ve just had my first experience of teaching in front of a tutor other than the one I’d become comfortable with. It could’ve gone better, and I give another frustrated growl as I finish talking about it to my friend. I’m a big giant ball of stress! I exclaim as my Hayley Coffee appears about 2 seconds after Happy Chef saw me. He waves away my money. Pay some other time, I have not the change. Here is a big wooden spoon.
I am somewhat bemused.
Is good for mixing! he exclaims impatiently, thrusting the wooden spoon at me.
Erm… OK…. I accept the proffered spoon somewhat tentatively, fearful that he might start whacking me with it if I hesitate any longer. Everyone is too polite to ask. People just accept that I am being given a big spoon.
Suddenly, Happy Chef snorts with laughter at his own wit. I hear you say you are big bowl of stress, he explains, looking delighted with himself. Mix it up!
All CELTA students should have a Happy Chef to get them through the stressful times.