100 Strangers Project - 25/100 / by Michael Pung

I was out on a picnic with friends watching over the London Skyline at Primrose Hill when my friend Emma exclaimed that she's found the next stranger for my project!  The individual, who would later become my next stranger, was a man who had just finished running up and down the steep hill not too far from us.  He must have done the trek at least 5 times.

Kitted out in his Chelsea Football team gear and despite being exhausted from his run, he agreed to take part in the project.  His name was Darius and his companion: Tessa.  He indicated that she was a crossbreed between a German shepherd and a collie- he then went on to explain how simple it was to train her (they are among the top 3 smartest dog breeds after all!).  He named her after Tess of the d'Urbervilles who is a character from the titular Thomas Hardy novel.  Curiously, I asked him about the inspiration for her name and he explained to me that she was a strong, young female lead.

Darius stated that he runs his own IT company which in part was due to inspiration from his father who also works in the industry.  He then went on to say:

"I got into the University of London at 18. To do a foundation course and later a BA in art direction, with the idea of getting into the fashion industry.  But I sort of weighed up the options and it was during the time that the iPhone was becoming a real success. It was the rise of Apple again after years of Microsoft domination. And I sort of thought I could combine my art experience and my knowledge of programming to take advantage of the market at that point.  I started a company then that did mobile app design and 5 years later, it's quite a big success... It was a manner of luck with how early I entered the market and with a couple of lucky deals I did early on, it gave me some sort of footing."

We also spoke about a few other things such as about how he is passions (he listed, among other things: sports, old philosophers, video games and animals), football and about the fact that he sees cats as ornaments.

Thank you Darius for being a part of the project!