Cuba

November 2016.

Cuba touched my heart.

It enters straight in the top 10 of my best trip adventures.

It was the first time for me departing on my own with a group of unknown people. I have to say we were a cool group of people, well-matched, and our tour leader was a navigated traveler and this always makes the difference. If someone would ask me: things can go really bad or really well in a group like this, it depends on your attitude. If you are prepared to share space and time with people that might be very different from you, then you will get along. In the end it’s just for 2 weeks. Keep it relative.

We had a little bus and a local guide taking us around for 2 weeks.


Wherelse in the world can you stop on the highway (carretera central) and have mojito or a pina colada in a palm kiosk???

We slept in the casa particular almost everywhere and ate the food the restless ladies would cook for us for dinner and breakfast. It was fantastic to enter their houses and sometimes sleep in their own beds (you have to imagine that for a one night stay you pay an amount corresponding to an average month salary, so you can understand what a good deal this is).

I have been to other 3rd World countries before, but Cuba was different. In other places (Thailand for example) you slightly feel assaulted, you feel most of the time like a walking wallet, like a scam target. To the point of asking yourself if your presence there is really appreciated, if it actually does anything good for the people, for their economy, if it’s worth it, if it is not just the arrogant dream of the western man to go around the world and put a check on the map he has at home. (I do have a scratchmap myself by the way, just to keep it honest. And I do feel I want to see as many places as possible in my life… but sometimes I ask myself these questions.)

But Cuba is a peaceful place, and quite safe. We never felt in danger nor the people who asked us things bothered us or invaded our personal space. It is quite surprising though to realise that no one asks you for money directly, they actually can’t buy the things they wish because they don’t have them there. The shops look pretty sad. Shelfs and shelfs of the same 2 or 3 items.

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shelves full of the same product

So, instead, they ask you for t-shirts, make-up, soap, shoes, candies… I think I have seen the highest level of happiness ever into the eyes of a kid to whom we gave some candies, it made me think of my niece at home and all the toys she has and still wants more, and a candy is just a candy to her – not a treasure.

I give you an example: at the end of the trip I wanted to throw away my worn out sandals but my host lady asked me to give them to her instead. Can you feel proud or generous about something that? I felt a bit ashamed to be honest. But the dignity and the pride of the Cuban people really impressed me. They are very creative and reinvent constantly objects because they cannot throw them away; they have the best mechanics capable of repairing 100 times these old fashion colorful cars. Once I was riding a taxi that had my age! Rolando the driver was amasing. He took us on a moskvich up to the Sierra Maestra all in first gear. It was magical.

Culturally also Cubans are quite rich: such a mix of different origins and traditions and genetics. Cubans are blond as well as dark, they are white as well as mulatto. They can be quite different one another, but they are all integrated. Maybe living on an island and under a special regime helps to create cohesion, so it seemed to me quite a positive example to look at nowadays. I admire the way the aboriginal tradition managed to survive in a mélange with the imposed Christianity creating unique religious forms. (You know the story of this old Italian lady whose niece discovered she has been praying for years to a statue of a Star Wars character that she was believing was Saint Antonio? Well a bit like that, it made me think it’s not the form that counts but the meaning you put in it. In the Cuban Santeria in order to worship secretly their Orishas (semi-god and goddess) the people used to pray to the Christian saints, in this way they managed to keep their own beliefs alive and not being caught.)

Before departing, I found some people reacting a bit weird when I mentioned I was going to Cuba. People like insinuating things and being malicious, but I understood that the same geographical place can hide multiple types of destinations. Cuba is a typical example of such a bias.

All my friends who have been there before me and have similar points of view, where really enthusiastic. Most of all I wanted to go there before everything started to change too much. Well, timing couldn’t have been better because Fidel died while I was in the middle of the tour (we’ll get back to that later)!

On the same plane there were people going to a resort to spend 2 weeks at the beach during the day and with free alcohol at night. Each day the same. But holidays like that could be everywhere on earth, no??? Why bothering to go far? Other people (old people) going to meet their local partner for a relationship that is consumed few months per year. The habitual customers. And then people like me, the modest adventurous travelers.

You might already know I have a thing for the places I like to call “fucked up”, i.d.: falling apart, decadent and shabby (like certain Eastern European cities). Cuba has this flair throughout. But Havana especially. Havana avenues for me could easily beat the glamorous Champs-Elysees, no joking. There are so many beautiful palaces with that colonial style that everywhere else has been knocked down to make space to modern stuff, but if they ‘d just receive a little attention and care… and then there are little hidden gems, like restaurants and bars inside certain buildings that at first sight you would bet they are closed for imminent collapse danger. It’s all there to discover.

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The local mountain taxi – photo by Lucio P.

And then Fidel died. It was at the crack of dawn when we got up to depart for the tracking in the Sierra Maestra. And the rumor started spreading in the group as people from Italy were sending text messages about this epic event. We could not believe it, it was such a special day. We visited the camp site in the forest and got exhausted by the 6 hours trail. Unfortunately the downside of being part of Cuban history while it’s developing is that the atmosphere totally changed, they stopped playing music in the casa della musica of every town we visited, and also stopped serving alcohol in most of the places, including those for tourists. In any case you can choose only between 2 beer brands: Bucanero and Cristal, but still we were craving one of those at each dinner after long and hot days walking around or after 6 hours transfer on the bus.

sierra maestra

Sierra Maestra panorama

We bought the local newspaper as souvenir which was quite an adventure per itself, we watch the local TV which broadcasted with no pause all the events and all the interviews ever recorded on Fidel. We talked to the people and we felt their grief. Because despite all you can say to criticize this government, Fidel was one of the most important leaders of our century, a powerful symbol of a dated ideal. It’s not easy to judge what is good or bad. You have to see it with your eyes. You have to understand the value of freedom like we perceive it in our part of the world and that we give for granted most of the time. But really isn’t.

If I just can tell you one thing would be to take time to go see places like this in your life, where things work different than in our reality, because you come back with eyes wide open, you come back and you re-asses things, you re-weight your values. It’s like a mental reset to me.

Finally, the only few days at the beach for me were enough. The weather was mostly cloudy and windy – which is ok being during their winter, but not to really enjoying swimming or even sunbathing (occasionally raining).Don’t get me wrong, Caribbean sea is indeed wonderful and crystal clear. It all made me feel like I want to discover much more of Central America now. I hope it will inspire you too.

Oh, sorry, wait a minute, I was about to leave you without talking about food!!! I loved all the exotic fresh fruits and juices and things I never ate before like guayaba. We ate a lot of lobster as well, meals consist mainly of white or black rice with beans plus chicken or fish, some side dishes like platano chips, tapioca and yucca. Interesting fact: red meat is rare and quite expensive, reserved for tourists, because there is an actual law that forbid the population to kill cows.

Ok, You can go now.

Havana view terrace la Guarida

Annunci

FUROSHIKI

Eccomi di nuovo a dilungarmi sull’Asia. Perdonatemi ma non posso proprio farne a meno.

Ma quanta poesia c’è in Giappone???

Infatti torno a parlarne per un’altra usanza secondo me bellissima.

L’arte di avvolgere vari oggetti piegando un foulard -tradizionalmente quadrato e chiamato furoshiki appunto- per il trasporto dei vestiti, del pranzo nel classico bentō o di un dono (in questo caso la stoffa si predilige di seta o comunque pregiata). Le stampe di queste stoffe sono coloratissime, con vari disegni e hanno anche una simbologia particolare.

Di questi fagottini elegantemente piegati e annodati ce ne sono davvero di bellissimi!


Mi fa pensare a una certa distinta delicatezza che i giapponesi hanno come fosse una loro marcia in più. Un ingrediente segreto che è rappresentato dalla cura che loro mettono nelle cose e in certi dettagli.

Io non so fare bene i pacchetti dei regali, anche perché lo trovo inconsciamente inutile e quindi non ci ho mai messo impegno a imparare bene. La mia è una visione “utilitaristica”: siccome poi il regalo lo scarti e lo usi il pacchetto è di per se una cosa che va gettata e quindi non merita molta attenzione. In questo forse dovrei decisamente essere un po’ più aggraziatamente giapponese…

Quanta ritualità tradotta in gesti semplici eppure così sacri mi meraviglia, adoro questo loro modo di mantenere vivi e far sopravvivere queste tradizioni antiche all’interno del loro stile di vita modernissimo e frenetico.

L’attenzione per l’ambiente e la sensibilità per l’ecologia ha portato il governo nel 2006 a promuovere una campagna per rinnovare l’uso di questa tecnica di trasporto distribuendo uno speciale furoshiki “green” stampato e ricavato da bottiglie PET riciclate. Questo speciale versione è stata chiamata mottainai furoshiki, e qui riemerge tutta la poesia nipponica, infatti mottainai significa il dispiacere per qualcosa che diventa un rifiuto senza averne sfruttato pienamente le potenzialità.

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Sembra che questo “fazzoletto” fosse nato proprio per raccogliere gli indumenti quando i giapponesi iniziavano a frequentare i bagni pubblici (Onsen e Sento) e quindi evitavano in questo modo che gli abiti fossero confusi con altri o persi. Un rituale (quello del bagno e della purificazione) che conduce all’altro.

Il Giappone ha una cultura ricchissima e affascinante come poche: penso alla cerimonia del tè dove un gesto che sembra così banale per noi occidentali superficiali assume rilevanza di pratica spirituale zen e di massima espressione estetica attraverso i fiori (Ikebana) e la disposizione degli oggetti (braciere, ciotole, strumenti ecc.); poi penso ai templi e ai santuari, ai samurai, alla fioritura dei ciliegi (Sakura)… ne avremmo di cose di cui parlare…

C’è in Giappone una spiritualità ineguagliabile che non ho (ancora) trovato altrove.

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furoshiki

http://www.giapponeinitalia.org/furoshiki-cento-usi-di-un-quadrato-di-stoffa-2/

http://furoshiki.com/techniques

HAMBURG – 30 anni

Se avete già compiuto 30 anni avete certamente presente quella sensazione dell’inesorabile momentum che avanza. Uno stargate spaziotemporale che vi risucchia piano piano e che fa da spartiacque tra la vostra vita come l’avete conosciuta fino adesso: spensierata, tonica e leggera, e dall’altro lato un mondo grigissimo di responsabilità, lavoro, imposizioni sociali, rughe, afflosciamenti e tappe che crediamo di dover obbligatoriamente percorrere.

L’avvicinarsi di questa data sul mio calendario della cucina e anche in quello biologico, mi ha spinto a fare cose mai fatte prima. Ho riflettuto e ho mi sono detta: “Se questo – l’età che avanza ndr – potesse essere definito un problema avresti due modi di gestirlo: affrontarlo o schivarlo. Siccome non si può concretamente affrontare né tantomeno risolvere se non stanziando ingenti somme all’estetista alla palestra, al chirurgo… che sono tuttavia solo dei palliativi perché poi dovresti pagare pure quelli che ti danno del lei per farli tacere… o un sicario che desse una lezione alle care zie che ti chiedono sempre quando ti sposi… insomma troppo costoso e comunque non si può veramente risolvere l’invecchiamento se non con la nostra propria morte. Dunque non ci resta che schivarlo e quindi organizzare una grandissima distrazione che farà da catalizzatore e porterà via tutto lo stress dei 30: cioè una festa megagalattica!”

E con questa brillante idea allo scadere dei 6 mesi prima ho inviato un rsvp ai miei amici sparsi nel globo, circa una 50ina! Sull’invito campeggiava il motto dell’evento: “30 IS THE NEW 20, BUT WITH MONEY!”

Tra i 6 e i 3 mesi ho iniziato a organizzare concretamente l’evento: destinazione, locali, opzioni, contatti, attività. Del resto uscivo fresca fresca da un lavoro nel turismo quindi –modestamente parlando- ero competente e preparata.

E’ stata scelta Hamburg perché: 1 non c’ero mai stata, 2 è una grande città, 3 ha sicuramente un aeroporto ben collegato con tutte le nazioni dove si trovavano i miei amici.

Excel alla mano ho preparto una mega chart con tutti i voli e programmi di ciascuno. Poi ho iniziato a fare le prenotazioni, contrattazioni e negoziazioni (vi potete immaginare ordinare una torta di compleanno da una pasticceria tedesca al telefono???), studiato l’outfit, comprato un paio di orecchini, un anello e una collana importante e delle scarpe col tacco che non ho messo mai più.

Siamo partiti in 13 dalla Svizzera, una mia amica Indiana veniva addirittura da Helsinki dove si trovava per lavoro, poi uno dalla Turchia, una dalla Polonia, una dalla Germania, una dalla Francia e ovviamente un paio anche dall’Italia per un totale di 23 partecipanti finalisti rappresentati di ben 9 paesi diversi.

Il programma prevedeva arrivo in Albergo 5 stelle con SPA, tempo per lo shopping e free evening di venerdì. Sabato walking tour organizzato con guida privata, peccato che avevo sottovalutato la primavera artica di una città come Amburgo esposta al vento gelido del mare del nord e c’erano -2 gradi nonostante fosse fine marzo. Un po’ di relax prima dei grandi festeggiamenti: aperitivo in un rooftop bar sul porto e poi in taxi verso la cena. Ora, rendetevi conto che in una selezione dei miei amici composta da indiani, turchi, vegetariani e schizzinosi era abbastanza difficile pensare a un menu democratico, ma ho scovato un posto in grado di mettere tutti d’accordo da est a ovest da nord a sud: Kartoffelkeller, un ristorante a base di solo patate in tutti i modi immaginabili! Nel pomeriggio mi ero recata personalmente a ritirare la torta che avevo ordinato per telefono in tedesco e che doveva contenere crema e fragole, scoprendo che si erano però dimenticati di farla, dunque alla vista dei miei occhioni lucidi hanno promesso che ci avrebbero pensato loro e in effetti la torta era lì che ci aspettava alla fine della cena. Ma questo era solo l’inizio, perché abbiamo proseguito in un locale underground con un area privè e molte bottiglie… Domenica non potevamo certo perderci una delle migliori colazioni buffet della mia vita e quindi ci siamo trascinati fuori dai kingsize bed, inutile dire che è stata una giornata costellata da hangover, gran mal di testa, kebab e Coca-Cola fino alla ripartenza serale.

Uno dei più bei weekend della mia vita.

Ho vissuto per tanto tempo con questi ritmi: viaggiando dal venerdì sera direttamente dopo il lavoro e partendo dall’ufficio già con il mio fedele trolley blu superleggero al seguito e rientrando domenica sera, per poi andare a lavoro lunedì mattina senza battere ciglio.

Quando ero giovane.

Ora le occasioni si fanno più rare, i 30 alle mie spalle iniziano ad allontanarsi, mentre navigo verso la prossima decina. E continuo a pensare che siccome le ansie e le responsabilità crescono, così come la frequenza con cui la domanda “quando ti sposi???” disturba i miei apparati uditivi, ci vogliono dei festeggiamenti così speciali ogni tanto. Stay tuned.

(Gli inglesismi qui usati hanno lo scopo di rendere questo articolo, fresh, cool e young. Non vogliatemene troppo.) 

REFERENCES:

https://www.steigenberger.com/en/hotels/all-hotels/germany/hamburg/steigenberger-hotel-hamburg

http://www.empire-riverside.de/fileadmin/pdf/20up_getraenkekarte.pdf

https://en-gb.facebook.com/CHINALOUNGE/

http://kartoffelkeller-hamburg.de/

https://www.toursbylocals.com/Hamburg-Tours?s=AW_02B;_021G_hamburg%20%2Bguided%20tour&gclid=CjwKEAjwq5LHBRCN0YLf9-GyywYSJAAhOw6muYaheu7mQCp3ePSBbj7JnUtKS-oI8ULb2_UHrjdHRhoCDYvw_wcB


FACTS ABOUT HAMBURG:

Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city after Berlin. Its area is seven times than Paris and twice bigger than London .

Hamburg has more bridges than Venice: 2300

Alsterwasser is the local name for a type of shandy (Zitronenlimonade)

Hamburg offers more than 40 theatres, 60 museums and 100 music venues and clubs

Hamburg has 54 hospitals too.

The local “Hummel, Hummel” greeting was originated from a Hamburger water carrier, Georg Daniel Christian Hummel, who during delivery always been accompanied by a bunch of children shouting his name. His successor Johann Wilhelm Benz has been treated in the same manner even so his last name was different. He is upset because of this and angrily answered “Mors, Mors” a short way from saying “Klei mi an’ Mors” which translated as “kiss my ass.” (Mors (North German slang) = ass). If you are in Hamburg and someone greets you with “Hummel Hummel”, you reply with “Mors Mors!”.

Johannes Brahms and the singer Nena (99 Luftballons) are both originary from Hamburg.

The travel bug

It is undoubtedly true that since I moved back to Italy last March I have been very much inspired to get back to writing. Maybe just because a lot of new things happened to me. And I am a happy person again. But as things go, I have been writing mostly in Italian due to the environment stimulation.So here’s one again to stretch my English…

I really love Airports and Hotels. The period of my life spent in the travel industry, which was also my very first job, opened up my life to a series of events that -with no exaggeration- changed my life.

To travel is a sort of addiction, once you get infected you need it more and more. Some may call it the travel bug.

When I was younger I dreamt about working as flight attendant and see the world sashaying around in my uniform.

But also, I’d had loved to work in an airport. Airports have that energy, that unique conglomerate of emotions: people sad, people excited, people stressed, people waiting for their beloved returning home, or leaving each other forever. It’s a unique environment. The profi travelers, the business men, the mums with kids, and those who are newbies. You can find a wide range of human conditions, human types, human races, human odors…

Those kilometers of corridors, stairs, escalators, travellators. Those lounges, those chairs that make you feel important. The sport bars, the chic oysters restaurants. The shops!

The few times I travelled for business so far I was quite lucky and I could treat myself to nice hotels.

How can you not love high-end hotels. The nice treats, the polite and well-trained staff, the modern design furniture, the bright light, the concierge, the people treating you like you are really important, and people pretending to be really important, people pretending to be busy…

The great breakfast buffet. Oh I love some salmon for breakfast, and scrambled eggs, and then the pancakes with jam and 6 different type of cereals…

The wide bathrooms. The pillow selection. The complimentary slippers. The maids. The bugs…

Oh, Yes, the bugs! (You thought I was going on ranting about all these nice things only, didn’t you?!) Because in a famous hotel chain (4 star), once I had one of the most disgusting experiences of my life as a traveler. I woke up at around 6 and saw a shade on the pillow, turning on the light, looking closer I realized that the bed was infested by bed bugs, I ran to the bathroom and inspected my PJ and found one crawling up my sleeve. They were everywhere, of different sizes and colors, on the walls as well, and in the empty bed next to mine -being a double room.

Not even in the most disgusting pension in Thailand –where on the contrary at night, if you happen to use the toilet, you would find cockroaches running away… Long story short I packed my stuff in a rush not before having checked my suitcase because if they hide in your bags you can take them home and everywhere else you are going! Took few pictures for the records and did not pay for the room.

I spent the day at my customer visit feeling really odd and scratching discreetly everywhere where I slightly had the impression of something tickling me. I spent the next days reading about those bugs and I discover they are pretty nasty. I mean really in their behavior. What I find most disturbing is that they can climb on the walls and launch themselves on you from above, because they are not really good crawlers. They have developed strategies those beasts. They are mischievous and sneaky. They hide during the day in a way that if you undo completely your bed you wouldn’t discover (in fact I am someone that always checks bedlinens before going to sleep) then at night they come out when they feel the increase of CO2 in the air as a sign that you are sound asleep, so they can banquet on you. But they can’t bite through clothes unlike flies, so if you are well covered you are pretty much safe like me. At home I closed all my stuff in a bag, sprayed it with insecticide and washed it.

The only way to kill the insects and all their eggs is either below 10 or above 46 degrees Celsius. Not really practical to disinfest an entire hotel room. The real problem was that I could not sleep well not even in my own bed afterwards for some time, dreaming of these bugs..

– Here comes a wonderful consideration on the power of the mind. –

Believe it or not I started seeing a rush appearing on my arms in the morning, I was so convinced I had bugs at night biting me that my brain produced those red spots similar to the images I saw online. And this went on for days. On the phone with my sister, trying to make sense of this all after having sent her pictures to ask for her medical advice, she told me stop thinking you have bugs and it will disappear. And so it actually happened, when I finally convinced myself it was all in my mind it stopped. So I thought, ok right, if my mind can make me feel/appear actually sick just because I think I am sick, you can imagine if, on the contrary, I am ill and I can convince my body to cure himself on his own?!

I leave this with you. Think about it. Of course medicines are important and we need to consult specialists, but also think about your own mind power, something nowadays totally underestimated.

As regards me, yes, I can say I really got the travel bug in one sense or the other.

I keep travelling whenever possible and keep checking my room and my bed as soon as I check-in.

Turchia

Camion con le tendine di pizzo.

Campi di girasole.

Non riesco a smettere di sorridere guardando il mondo da questo finestrino, il mio autista non parla inglese nè tantomeno io il turco, eppure abbiamo comunicato.

Palazzi in costruzione.

“Siamo in Turchia” dice buttanto il mozzicone dal finestrino (qui si fa cosi).

In questo preciso istante so perchè adoro viaggiare.

La stessa sensazione che si prova quando fai un tiro di sigaretta dopo molto tempo, ti fa girare la testa, un pochino.

L’energia che entra nei miei occhi ad ogni incontro con una cosa nuova.

Pensare in un modo diverso, e che le cose si fanno anche in un modo diverso.

Un tramonto.

Il mare alla fine di una strada in discesa.

Se ci pensi questo in fondo é lo stesso mare, solo da un lato diverso.

Un matrimonio con 500 invitati.

Eppure la sensazione di festa ha lo stesso sapore in ogni posto, celebrata con ogni ballo, pronunciata in un SI declinato in tante lingue.

Si adesso me lo ricordo perchè mi piace viaggiare.

Un nuovo aeroporto, una nuova valigia.

Una storia d’amore con una nuova città.

La luna piena sopra le nostre teste, esattamente sopra il mare.

Fumo denso, dal sapore di mela e menta ci avvolge.

Luci di navi in lontananza.

EIVISSA

Tornata dalla mia prima vera vacanza di mare dopo 3 anni! Tornata da un posto che, adesso, aspetto un paio di righe a dire dov’è perchè al solito tutti fanno la stessa faccia e dicono: “Ah ecco, vai a drogarti, ubriacarti, impasticcarti…?!” Ma quanti luoghi comuni! Alla fine anche io mi aspettavo un posto di perdizione assoluta invaso da italianazzi con le catenine sopra i bicipiti al rimorchio brado (magari pure freschi ventenni) insomma non proprio il mio target al momento… Beh sono tornata da Ibiza premettendo che il soggiorno lo ho vinto -e con questo ho esaurito tutta la mia fortuna per i 10 anni prossimi- e che forse da sola non avrei scelto questa destinazione, ma sono stata piacevolmente sorpresa. Ci sono molte cose da fare e vedere al di là delle discoteche in cui si può fare un zapping umano di se stessi dall’alba al tramonto e dal tramonto all’alba -non stop all’infinito… Intanto sappiate che la città vecchia è patrimonio UNESCO ed è davvero bella tutta arroccata. Le spiagge sono davvero belle, con l’acqua trasparente che ti vedi i piedi. Come in Sicilia penso sempre io nella mia testa e alla fine quasi mi dispiace non stupirmi tanto più, ma sono abituata bene. Meno male che la mia Sicilia non la conoscono in tanti… Mangiato un sacco di pesce ovviamente. E gli spagnoli, i nostri cugini, sono adorabili e chiassosi.

Abbiamo girato con tutti i mezzi di trasporto in questi 4 giorni: treno, aereo, autobus, scooter, macchina e piedi (manca la bici)! Visitato calette in cerca di ombra, spiaggette, di rocce e di sabbia, mercatini e viuzze. Sì, confesso, siamo andate anche a ballare. All’ USHUAIA, ovvero un hotel 6 stelle che cambiera il futuro dell isola (cosi dice lo slogan) dove le stanze sorgono intorno a una pista enorme di discoteca, cioè non un posto per gli amanti del riposo. Mi sembra di poter ora tratteggiare dei profili: se sei alternativo e ti piace la goa e la techno vai in Thailandia, se sei fighetto e ti piace la house vai a Ibiza. Il problema è che a Ibiza è davvero così pieno di modelli fisicati da farti sentire una nullità. Ho pensato per 4 giorni che il mondo fosse un paradiso per gli occhi lì concentrato e se come me te ne sei fregata della prova costume e hai saltato a piè pari i 3 mesi di dieta che ti ci dovevano portare, allora, lasciati consigliare, non andare a Ibiza! Perché a Ibiza il mondo ti sembrerà ingiusto. Ibiza è un ammasso di addominali, bicipiti, tette e culi a non finire, fa a gara chi ha il costume più micro, ovviamente tutti super abbronzati. Inizio a odiare il concetto di spiaggia. Del resto in spiaggia ci si scopre e ci si espone al sole, unica attività primaria, perciò se non hai un gran corpo da scoprire sei già un portatore di handicap in un certo modo. Sono troppo cessa per ibiza ecco perché non ho rimorchiato. E vorrei precisare che traccio qui un confine netto tra spiaggia e mare. Se inizio a odiare la spiaggia, il mare resta la mia cosa in natura preferita in assoluto!!!

C’è un negozio sul corso che si chiama Dress less to impress. E dico tutto. Ovvio che poi se uno si fregia della maglietta F**k me, i am famous con lo slogan di David Guetta, allora siamo a cavallo. Scesa in stazione a Zurigo sono tornata con un senso di compiaciuta beatitudine alla vita reale, perché passando il mondo mi sembrava popolato di gente più o meno bella e brutta, assortita insomma, e un tipo si è pure girato a guardarmi, a me con la mia pancetta bella soffice.

L’ultima sera ho comprato un vestito lungo un po’ floreale: il must dell’estate, la signora –dopo che io e mia sorella le avevamo monopolizzato il metro quadrato di stand-bancarella, provando 7 vestiti- mi dice che devo lavarlo a mano e in acqua fredda; la guardo e annuisco perplessa. Arrivo a casa e in dieci minuti ho già avviato la prima lavatrice col vestito dentro ovviamente, ma secondo te, non ho più neanche il tempo di cucinare, mi metto a lavare a mano? La vita che conduciamo non ha spazi per casalinghitudini e attività da massaia, il che sia chiaro, mi rincresce anche. Comunque è tornato fuori intero.  E io, nonostante gli increduli, sono abbronzata lo garantisco!

the german weekend

4 days off. I jump on train at 7 AM when everyone else sleeps on the 2nd of June. A German train, seat reserved, comfortable, clean, fast. I arrive in Frankfurt and get assaulted by the amount of small food corners and sandwich shops, but the real shock is the euro. Not that I am in Germany for the first time, neither in Frankfurt actually, it’s just that I am getting used and absorbed by Switzerland and CHF. I change to a regional train direction Giessen, but comfort does not change. These new regional trains are even better than the IC! At 13.00 i am there and I remember everything of the first and last time I was here in June 2009. I look around in the station and I am already pretty satisfied from the view of quite handsome German boys. Seing my friend Marie is always very special. We met in Poland and have been like siamese twins for 6 months. She is more than a sister to me. the first time we said good bye years ago i was scared. Now i know that with some effort and a bit of geographical luck (since I moved to CH I am much closer) we can still be pretty close. She cooks for me even more italian style than myself could do! It’s maybe a clichè but in Germany we go to an italian icecream shop (Italians rein the business of pizza and icecream in the german speaking counries). Time for chat and stories and updates… and a walk in the botanic garden. We walk all around in a sort of bar hopping mood and end up sitting at the open air biergarten at the river: beer+sprite, aperol spritz, a weird greenish kind of beer called Berliner Kindl, sun and cigarettes, a perfect mix. Tomorrow is a big day because our tradition will be respected and celebrated: we always do something crazy together and go and get a new tattoo. What a coincidence that our guy is from Poland too! On friday Marie takes me to her parent’s house for her mum’s birthday. It’s good to see another side of Germay: life in a small village in the green Hessen countryside. Time for barbecue, kartoffelsalt, and family atmospheare. A smart sister who is about to choose and start her university. (I feel all the excitement and the doubts i also had, when the world is at your disposal, a real unique moment in life!) Young cousins, aunts, uncles, an active and talkative grandma and a grandpa smoking a vanilla tobacco pipe. What a nostalgic feeling of a big family reunion like this, of a grandpa who can teach you lessons you won’t learn anywhere else and a grandma who can tell you stories you won’t hear anymore nowadays. Such a good feeling. We go for a cabrio ride on Marie’s young brother’s new car. We tak talk talk. The weather make us change plans on saturday night after we have been inviting everyone to a nacht tanz demo which we don’t attend… we stay home instead and watch the movie about Ray Charles which triggers my urgent need of more soul music on my i-pod from this moment on! It rains outside, a true -and my frist for this year- summer thunderstorm, we are barefoot on the terrace, overlooking the courtyard, is quiet, the air is refreshing, just the sound of the water drops, the smoke of ur sigarettes and a peaceful feeling. The silence and peace of when you have a friend next to you and you perfectly know that you don’t need to say the unsaid, don’t need to explain the unspoken. As much for my German weekend with Marie.