I met Yannick at the Victoria Hotel in Brunswick, Australia. We bonded over baking, unemployment and living abroad.
Yannick spent a lot of time chilling in the hostel while he applied to schools in Australia. And since I didn’t have a job for a large portion of the time I lived at the hostel, I spent a lot of time in the hostel’s lounge room as well. We had a number of chats and got to know each other quite well.
Yannick is one of the most unique people I have ever met. At first he seems to be a bit of an abrasive downer. But once you really get to know him, you realize he is loving and lovable.
“A friend described me as a center of sweetheart with a big layer of cunt, and I find it true,” Yannick said. “I’m like an onion; I have layers that make people cry.”
Yannick is: clever, acerbic, deviant
Yannick, 31, was born in Saint-Martin-d’Hères in southeastern France. He said he was a nightmare for his parents as a child. “I was a hyper active kid,” he said, “but like real hyper active. I destroyed pretty much everything in the house.”
Once, as a child, Yannick was so angry with his older brother that he tried to stab him in the heart with an Allen wrench, which was the first thing he could grab. His brother blocked the attack with his arm, and the wrench went straight through Yannick’s hand. But he didn’t even notice for a while after the attack, because he was blinded by fury.
They don’t talk much now. Yannick said he doesn’t know or care what his brother is doing with his life. But Yannick said he isn’t much of a family person; he isn’t close with his parents or younger brother either. Though he does still keep in touch with the occasional email exchange.
Yannick lived in France until 2008. Since then, he has been traveling and living abroad. He has lived in England, Scotland, Iceland, Belgium, Spain and Australia.
But he had a taste of the expat life before venturing away from home so longterm. Yannick’s first time living abroad was in 2006 during his fourth year of university. He lived in Newport News, Virginia for six months doing a physics internship.
He has became quite a student of the world. Yannick has an undergraduate diploma of engineering, a bachelor and masters of physics and a masters of environmental science and management. And he is currently studying for his PhD in global fisheries in Hobart, Tasmania.
Yannick has an inquisitive mind and his curiosity is easily sparked. But whether a topic, task or talent can hold his interest is subject to his whims. “I’m curious as fuck,” he said. “But I get bored easily.”
While a fair share of his studying has been in an academic setting, Yannick said he has learned about people and the world during his travels. “I really like the fact that even if we have different cultures and a different understanding of things, we’re all pretty much the same,” he said.
But not in the traditionally artistic way you may be thinking. Rather, people are all basically dumb and none more so than those who have never traveled outside of their country, Yannick said. “People do not see past their fucking nose, which is a shame,” he said. “I have a very cynical view of the world.”
Yannick enjoys arguing about almost anything just for the sake of it. “Tell me more,” I requested for him to explain his disputatious nature. “Why would I?” he argued back.
It’s this stubborn attitude that drives him. “I will not take no or it’s impossible for an answer,” he said. “I will just do it myself, try it and find out whether it’s impossible or not.”
And he urges others to approach life with a questioning nature. “Don’t accept any predigested way of thinking or doing things,” he said. “Find your own way.”
Finally, Yannick describes himself in three words: logical, argumentative, cunt.