Okay, let’s get this out of the way. Alex moved to the UK from Transylvania but no, he doesn’t do all the night shifts at Sansaw Dairy and he doesn’t sleep in a coffin. Happy?
He laughs as he talks about home and how everyone mentions Dracula when he tells them where he’s from. But in truth, as he shows off some images from the nearby city of Sibiu, it’s one of the prettiest places we’ve ever clapped eyes on. It’s known for Germanic architecture in its old town, the legacy of 12th-century Saxon settlers. Around the city are the remains of medieval walls and towers, including the 13th-century Council Tower.
“Yes, it’s pretty beautiful,” Alex says, nonchalantly. Does he miss it? “Of course, but I have things to do and I needed to move to make my own mark.”
Confident and relaxed for someone so young – he turned 21 two days before our chat – Alex is spreading his wings.
“I could have lived in Romania my whole life but I thought I could try something else,” he explains. “I had no farming background when I applied for the job but I said to James that I was willing to work hard and make the most of the opportunity.”
He’s been at Sansaw for eight months and although he admits it was hard in the beginning, he’s loving the challenge.
“At the beginning I spent a lot of time inside the dairy sheds but I’m much more at home outdoors in the fields so now I’m enjoying herding the cows, especially as I’m on a quad bike.
“I’m learning all the time and it’s a fun place to be – everyone on the team is fantastic and it’s incredible now Bruce has come on board. He’s amazing.”
Travelling is one of Alex’s main loves and he’s got an adventurous spirit now that he’s cut the umbilical cord between him and Romania.
“I’m trying to save so I can explore some cool places on holiday,” he smiles. “I want to go to so many different places, like Antarctica and north Africa.”
He also loves driving and technology, confessing to running his own YouTube channel testing the latest gadgets when he was 12 or 13.
“My dad always used to have the latest phones and laptops so I would grab them and just do a review before posting it on YouTube,” he laughs. “I slowly got hundreds of followers but then I got bullied by online trolls so I shut it down and walked away.
“I still love technology, especially Apple products and spent quite a lot of money on an iPhone 7S when it first came out. It’s crazy money but worth it at the time!”
Although he loves gadgets, one thing he can’t abide is social media.
“I have Facebook and Instagram but I’m not interested in seeing people’s holiday pictures or what they’ve had for lunch. I only have it so I can watch documentaries and learn about the latest tech. That keeps me happy.”