We met in high school at the age of 10 (yes, high school starts that early in Austria) and were classmates for 8 consecutive years. The school we went to is a rather strict catholic institution in the heart of Vienna, full of tradition and conservative values. We often felt like we did not belong there. In fact, Emil and I were not the closest friends in school, even though we happened to play in the same blues rock band for a while before Louis left the band due to quarrels with the other guitar player.
Our friendship did not develop further until the age of 18 when both of us started mandatory community service at a local ambulance service. Austria is still quite old fashioned and all boys have to serve the country for six (military) to nine (community service) months after graduating from high school. We did not enjoy this time a lot and our mutual aversion connected us. After these nine months, Emil started studying at the local university of technology while Louis started his degree in business administration and went abroad.