Hey there. My name is Bálint Kulacs. I was born in Slovakia on the 10th of April 1994. Finished college as a cook and right after I stayed in the Hotel where I used to make my practises and become a chef. Was quite exhausting and tiring to lead a whole kitchen alone, making menus and cook for 100+ people daily. However I learned a lot, especially how to cook :-)
Then I decided if once a leave my workplace I want to leave the country too. It happened within a year of working there. Right after my cousin came out of prison he asked whether I would like to join him and visit his mom in London , U.K. where we might be able to grab some work opportunities.
My answer was a definite YES. Right after we began to worry and overthink:
-But how will we communicate and understand without knowing a word of English ?
-How will we be able to find job like that ?
-What if English people won’t like us as immigrants ?
And so on and so on. By this time I realised that all the worry was a garbage, but because we acted anyway and it didn’t let us STOP here I’m writing this article in a different language. Just wait until the end ! It’s a real story about to come.
So on the 32nd of March 2013 we landed on one of the biggest airports of London which called “Stanstead Airport”.
My auntie welcomed us with a warm hug and fresh meal in her shared apartment.
Because it was very late night, almost morning, she had to go straight to the Hotel where she was working as a housekeeper for a minimum wage which I can’t remember well but I think it was £5.70 per hour it’s about $6.00 .
We woke up first morning in London holding our heads as we still haven’t realised to understand where we exactly are and what we are going to do here.
The saved money we brought with ourselves €75.00 we spent the next day on local sim, food and necessities.
The first month we were struggling and all we ate was portions of Nutella with portions of mature cheddar cheese and toasted bread.
Looking back – it was a lot of fun. But because the period of getting the U.K. National Insurance Number (NIno) was a month we had to sacrifice .
After we finally received our number and we run straight to the first cleaning agency we had offered by my auntie’s friend which was (ACT-clean).
As hungry immigrants we filled up a form and ticked off every possible sections were there to apply for :-) since we didn’t really understand those sentences it was even easier to just tick everything. haha
One day after, my phone rang and with a very clear accent someone from the cleaning company asked for my name and I got scared so I handled over the phone to my aunty who quickly found out that the man was from Slovakia :-D they were both extremely excited and happy until I mentioned that wait a minute I don’t speak Slovakian neither :-( Yes My Mother Tongue is Hungarian. But in the end he said it’s fine.
During the night my phone rang again and a very very fast speaker man from Nigeria asked me if I can come to the particular restaurant I’ve been informed to come to.
Well since I didn’t understand too much, but thought if I don’t go I can loose this opportunity so I went to get lost in the city. Eventually I got to the restaurant and met the site supervisor called “Friday” who introduced me to my colleagues. Quickly realised that I was the only white European in the team, but fortunately the definition of racist has never come to reality. Never believe what mass media try to feed you with. Since I live in london had never experienced racism.
So, done my first ever trial shift from midnight to seven in the morning. I must say I wasn’t feeling tired at all, in fact the supervisor kept telling me to slow down and relax :-)
Well I couldn’t, and after only five months I outworked everyone there and became their supervisor.
At this point I was responsible about my team members and made the rota for every week, including chemical that I had to check and make reports to the management. Received my first ever company phone and my wages raised from £6.18 to £7.00 per hour
I was the happiest person on the planet and thought I’m rich, haha. Compare it to the money I made in Slovakia working Chef working from 6am to 4pm and sometimes extra 8pm to 10pm I used to earn the maximum of €400 / month, where as here I could easily make more in two weeks with 7 hour shift, it was quite decent.
After getting payed more obviously my expenses started to raise too. I started to spend more money on clothes, food and went home to visit my friends and family more often.
Four months later I realised that if I want to make more then £1k a month I have to change my job as I started to do some doggy things with the rota. I had sent home my colleagues sometimes and done their job too and asked for cash when the salary came haha. This way I could earn 8–9 days a week. Couldn’t do it for long though as the company policies became more strict. Until one night an “old” man called “Jeremy White” (if you’re reading this sorry about the “old” you’re young af, haha) with a funny face and grey hair came to check the pest activity on site which was obviously zero at the time since we were doing a good job about the cleaning.
First he asked if I’ve seen any mice, but because of my English I couldn’t understand much and I brought him a glass of ice, thought he was thirsty XD.
A couple of weeks later I saw him taking pictures of a side wall which was ridiculously dusty on high reach areas in the main restaurant. The minute I recognised that I grabbed a vacuum cleaner with extra attachment for the hose and cleaned it off before he could even report it to the client. I think he liked my reaction and even though I couldn’t speak much of the language he offered me a job in pest control.
At this time I could never thought I would ever get a job in this profession, believing it’s only for English people.
So we had a little chat (well he was talking and I was like aha, ok, yes, yeah) basically I was a YES man and because of that I got the job. Lol
It was quite easy. From then each time I finished at 7am in cleaning, I went to work a couple of hours with my boss, killing mice.
As soon as he provided me more hours in the week the less job I started to do as a cleaner and eventually I got full time and resigned from the cleaning company.
Now as a pest control technician the world is like opened up to the next level. First I started to do some work with my boss’s brother “Dickon White” and our well educated colleague “Turan Basri” who has a big name int eh industry with a 20+ years experience. I found it very inserting as a profession. Never thought there is a job like that. Soon I discovered central london from a deeper view. Getting into behind scenes in restaurants, hotels, offices and theatres is a lot of fun and hard work. However I was in the process of learning I was very shy and lacking of confidence because I still didn’t understand the language, lol.
Used to write down every single words I heard, translate and use, that’s the way to learn the language, once we start using we never forget.
I started to pick up the accent as well, later on I became more individual. Got a few sites on my own which I was familiar with and got to know the transportation quick.
My boss pays me all the phone expenses as well as traveling which is quite helpful. In london there are certain zones where we need Oyster card to travel with. From zone 1–4 it’s about £170 a month, but it changes (it only raises).
Well I was living in zone 4 back then with my aunty, my aunty’s boyfriend, my cousin and my sister followed us seeing we are improving in life. So she kicked off the big city life with in the same way cleaning etc… she works as a receptionist now in a posh restaurant called The Delanuay at Aldwych.
So I’m working with this quickly growing private company called “West One” and the harder I work the more bonuses I get plus my wages been raised a few times too. I started with £9 per hour as a technician and here I’m after 3 years on £13 per hour.
The more sites we get the more employees we need so we hired a few guys that didn’t stick with us, some of them had another job and couldn’t handle two, some of them we had to fire as their attitude was unacceptable, but all the people I worked with and trained was a good experience and learning curve for me. I do believe that we never loose because we always learn.
Finally we hired a hard working chap who is from Poland. He used to work in one of the sites we looked after and he was just as ambitious as me and I saw his work ethic. It was one of the best decisions we made to employ him. His name is “Lukasz Jendras“ I always seen myself in him and he went through similar path as I went through. Started with no English as a cleaner etc… however he is learning fast af.
Down the line there were so many things changed during the years. Some of my friends came to london to look for opportunities and as always we were here for them to launch their “big city life” provided jobs and made sure they understand transportation quickly.
After living two years in Woolwich zone 4 I had enough from wasting time on travelling and moved with my friend into a studio apartment at Acton (West London) which is a totally different world from the other side where we used to live. It was more attractive and the mentality of the local people is more educated. We liked is so much. However since I know myself I get bored very quick and after a year of living there we decided to move on and my friend found a separate room for his own and me as well and moved to Pimlico which is in the hart of central london zone 1. It was another best decisions I ever made. The local people are fantastic and everything is so close. Easy access to work and simple commute to everywhere.
I forgot to mention that during those couple of years moving around and improving English I got involved a MLM (Multi Level Marketing) company, but because I was lacking of belief in the industry I never made it big, however I learned a lot and I mean a lot which I’m so grateful for, met a lot of different people from different culture and ethnicity. It’s so amazing how easy it is to talk to people from different part of te world. Where else you get this ? It feels like London is the capital of Europe, this is how I would explain it.
So a few years passed by and I’ve been learning, testing, trying new things, grabbing new opportunities while I have my full time job, but I always want more from life.
Started to go to gym and now I’m taking it more serious as I feel that it’s a kind of drug which helps me gain energy and confidence. Done two month of Muay Thai (Thai boxing) as well.
Also- treated a quite few clubs after living here for two years I thought I should enjoy myself and started to go out on the weekends spending £100-£200 on fridays and saturdays. I know it’s a high life experience, but I had my credit card and I didn’t feel those amounts that much until I reached my limits and I’m still paying it off haha.
I would say it was a stupid idea, but in the same time if I wouldn’t have done that maybe I would be doing it now so the quicker we act the better we get as we always learn and improve. I don’t regret it. Met a lot of younger people, started to f*ck bitches and the girls, mainly women and they became more attracted to me then ever. It’s like a circumstance where you are in and if one goes the next comes. It’s madness and pretty awesome.
But it all takes a level of mindset to develop where is less complaining about what we don’t have and less comparing ourselves to people who are more successful then us. That’s one of the biggest mistake that people do and having an unhappy life, because watching others growing and achieving big things makes us feel small and envy. I do believe that we gotta be smart enough to know, whatever we have we should be grateful for and focus on things we are good at. This way we would be happier then if we would always look at things we don’t have yet. Don’t get me wrong I know we gotta set some kind of goals and have the vision the purpose of what we want, but so many of us don’t and it helps a lot when we get to a place in our mind where we accept the things how they’re, realise how many things we got, the skills the health and the ability to communicate and it releases the stress in us and help to move further quicker and stronger m. That’s the way I live my life.
Always move forward, but make sure that sometimes we need to take some steps back at certain times to remind ourselves to be stay grateful.
Ok, I just want to hide a little message here before I forget. I feel like it’s time to say, but hopefully my parents won’t understand since they don’t speak English, so please don’t tell them, but I used to smoke for 10 years since I was 12 and stopped when I was 22. It was ridiculous hard to stop bug my parent never got to know that I’m smoking haha. Smoked for bloody ten years and stopped like seven times until I said no more, I had enough. No more smelling no more coughing. This was one of the biggest thing in my life that I’m so proud of an it gave me a shift and power. It’s amazing. I know a lot of people who smokes and still achieve big things, but what I’m trying to say is the power of sacrificing and staying consistent is the one that brings more joy into our life. It’s mind blowing that how many “magic” happens when we do things on the right way and not looking for shortcuts.
Okay, I think I’m going to end up my story here I’m 24 year young living with Flatmates who are incredible human beings, renting a tiny room but I’m happy with it. As a step by step game I thought I should start document my life and now I’m uploading videos on YouTube and other social platforms. Got inspired by Gary Vaynerchuk aka “garyvee he is a great guy with unbelievable work ethic. Check him out if you have a chance. Please make a review and rate this article or I don’t know how this works. Thai is my first time I ever write this much, but wanted to let the world know how I do. If I make it big in life then all these things will be a blueprint, a proof and it’ll also be a pleasure to look back what I went through. Now I want to stay focused and keep on working, setting goals and experiencing more. I want to travel and make it in the U.S. as well. I will probably do a follow up article after a little while. I’m also doing a lot of selling online such as amazon and eBay. Have a modelling portfolio and signed up with some agencies. If you have a chance give me a shout on social media Bálint Valentine Kulacs @bkulacs
There is a lot more to come.
Thank you for reading and I really appreciate your time. Have a blessed day