Alexander Chernyakov was born in the Soviet hero city Smolensk in 1975.
He wasn’t a talented child in a kindergarten, but he still remembers the first poem he learned by heart.
During his ten school years, he managed to change three schools. He wasn’t a very good student, and the only years he finished without C’s were the 1st grade (because he was still a good Jewish boy) and the 9th grade (because he accepted a challenge and accidentally fought it off).
He finished school with C’s – all in humanitarian subjects. Another C in chemistry was a “cherry on the cake”. During his school years, he never joined the pioneer movement on his own initiative, although was excluded from it three times. In high school, he wore jeans and had a satchel, and he never wore the neckerchief on principle. He still respects and is thankful to all of his teachers, apart from two chemistry teachers who he doesn’t even want to talk about.
After school, Chernyakov entered the Smolensk branch of Moscow Power Engineering Institute but couldn’t stay there longer than one semester – he failed all mid-year tests. Those years he was practicing his womanizing skills quite successfully and could date several girls at the same time, and that didn’t leave him much time to study.
He quit uni and started working in a plant. Although his father thought he was all thumbs, Chernyakov easily and quickly advanced in gem cutting.
He didn’t work long though. In 1993, Chernyakov and his girlfriend moved to Israel. The first half of the year he lived in a kibbutz and tried to learn Hebrew but failed in mastering it. However, he always knew that education is important, so in 1995 he easily entered the Tel Aviv University. He didn’t go to this uni either though, and still cannot find the explanation to this stupid decision.
Mr Chernyakov worked. He had been the best employee in McDonald’s kitchen for three years in a row, and the best computer engineering technician in the same company for three and a half years. For five years he had worked night shifts in the Ben Gurion Airport. The amount of work he was doing there wasn’t reflected in the salary – at night, he was responsible for all computer and information systems in all domestic and international airports, as well as border checkpoints across the entire country.
He didn’t sleep a lot at day time because for ten years he had been creating gardens on roof tops, balconies and penthouses. This more or less regular work was a mixture of building and gardening. Chernyakov described his job title as a landscape designer and introduced himself as a deputy general director of a company. Although his company was really famous in Israel, there were only two members of staff that worked in it on a regular basis – himself and his boss.
In addition to his main jobs, Chernyakov did a few other things to supplement his income – house moves, floor polishing, loading containers, and even computer repairs.
He never stopped thinking about the higher education though. So, in 2004, he finished a three year course of the Ashdod College and got specialised as a Junior Engineer in Computers and Programming.
He always dreamt of being in the scariest forces in the army, but – luckily or not – it didn’t happen. He was a reservist in chemical defence troops, and for ten years he had served one month per year in Israel Defence Forces. He learned to feel comfortable in a gas mask and a chemical protection suit when it was 40 degrees outside, to guard terrorists in an Arab prison, and to protect Jewish settlements from the same type of terrorists.
He likes to celebrate birthdays of his close friends and family, a Day of Reservist of the Israel Defence Forces, the Victory Day on 9 May, and the Israel Independence Day.
In 2000, Chernyakov started writing stories about his life and travels. So this is how what is now called a project came to the world.
CHEstyle.com – fun stories about everyday life and travels
With time, he worked out his own style of writing, and his texts got larger in volume and more beautiful. According to Chernyakov, you can define a piece of writing successful only if you can run your eyes over it without stumbling once. He calls it reading in one sitting. And if a reader can also laugh whilst reading it, then you’re twice as lucky. On the other hand, Chernyakov has been bad with grammar since his school years, and he remains being so.
Neither is he famous, yet. He is of course happy with the fact that around 10,000 people from 65 countries are subscribed to his blog with stories, but he is dreaming big. He also doesn’t like people telling him he’s got talent. The real talent for him is J.K Rowling, and he thinks that earning as much money as she did is his ultimate dream. In other words, Chernyakov believes that if talent doesn’t bring money, it is not talent but a joke.
Other interests include women, love to maths and rollerblades. He loves classical music since he was a child, and his favourite bands are Russian bands Kino, DDT, Laskovy May, Nautilus, Krematoriy, and all European dance hits from the 80s and 90s.
Since 2007, Chernyakov has been living in Canada. He had worked evening shifts in the Hooters restaurant for a year, and in the mornings he would repair laptops. Then he remembered that education is what matters most, quit all jobs and started doing the English course.
By 2009, Chernyakov advanced in both career and his English. He successfully finished a one year course in computer networks, became a freelancer and founded his own IT company. By 2012, the updates in his CV included work in the Royal Ballet and a university of Winnipeg. His job in McDonalds in Israel forever disappeared from his work experience entries.
In 2013, Chernyakov picked a couple of dozens of the most successful stories in his website and published a book. He realised it wouldn’t be commercially successful; he just wanted to fulfil a dream he had. Chernyakov also understands that this book won’t contribute much into the world literature; he just hopes that stories from his life will definitely make people happy and do them good.
On a personal level, he is a very, very humble and shy man. He considers these qualities as weaknesses and tries to hide them. But if he is challenged, he can do lots of crazy things. It was like that in the past, and is still the case nowadays. Chernyakov believes that doing crazy things and being provocative can help you hide your true personality. By the way, he is very good in doing so.
He doesn’t have bad habits. He drinks beer, of course, but he would never be your regular drinking buddy. He considers smoking as drug addiction, and has never lit a cigarette in his life. He doesn’t do sports too much, but he likes rollerblades and regularly lifts weights in a gym.
Usually, Chernyakov writes his texts (including this one) with some radio music in the background. The real life shouldn’t be lived in silence.