Wednesday, July 25, 2007


After a week end of the not exactly relaxing kinds (among the rest, my first goodbye dinner organized by my fellow novaromans), the beginning of the week saw me at my office desk on monday from 8.30 am until 9.30 pm and on tuesday from 8.20 am until 11.05 pm. Making a couple off additions (which, in my current state of mind, is not actually easy), that means that between 8.30 am of monday and 11.05 pm of tuesday I've been working 29 out of 39 hours.

That's why I'm in a bit of a haze now, that I'm back again at my desk at 8.30 of wednesday and the reason why I've been neglecting emails, IMs, books, friends.. just about everything.

As it is said here in these cases: "Delirio...".

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

As was meant to be demonstrated

Theory: one can't resist his own nature.

Demonstration: As time for reading waned over the last months and the little I had over the last 2 months was used for a book I can't manage to read past page 170, I had decided not to visit my bookshop in order to avoid piling up books next to my bed, books that I would probably have to abandon in September upon my moving to Germany.

It was a wise choice, a practical choice and, not to be overlooked, an economically savvy one. But...

Today, 37 Celsius, lunch skipped in favor of a big and cold ice cream, 30 minutes left of my lunch break, what else could had i done, together with my closest friend at work, then walking to the air-conditioned bookshop?

So I entered, just to give a look at the covers and perhaps read a page here and one there... and 30 minutes later I got out with the burden of 7 books in my hand and a wallet 40 € lighter.

As was meant to be demonstrated.

VCN Ethnic Dinners go to USA

The last VCN dinner before summer break saw a reduced group of VCNers heading to a Tex-mex restaurant, after having realized that an argentinian dinner, in any of such restaurant would had been way over the dinners' usual budget.

With numbers dwindling gradually as the summer advanced (probably the heat calls more for open-air barbecue rather than indoor dinners, even if with air conditioning), it was a little group of a dozen persons that met at the T-Bone Station near Piazza Barberini in a pretty warm and damp evening.

The place, however, turned out to be pleasantly cool and arranged, in the intention of the owner at least, as an american bar with tables able to host 6 persons aligned along the wall (down the corridor, in the picture).

The menu had a wide selection of (mostly fried) appetizers, hamburgers, different cuts of meat (included the one and a half kilo "T-Bone and King cut" steak), salads, nachos, fajitas, wraps, chili and so on and so forth, all with accompanying sauces.

A pleasant surprise was the fact that, when one of our members, finding the meat he was served not up to the expectations, had left almost all of that in the dish, the waiter ran to inform himself about the problem and immediately offered a new dish, free of charge.

All in all, the dinner was a pleasant one and the food agreeable, if not exactly light (I think just the sauces served with my wraps would had covered a full dinner's quantity of calories and fat). Bill was reasonable too, which is always a good thing. Out of the dozen people present, only one was a newcomer, while the other 11 fairly represented what, over the months, has became the core of the VCN dinners.

Given the evident trend in presence, it was decided to suspend the dinners until september, when I'll organize my last dinner before leaving to Germany. For the occasion, i decided to go back from where I took over: Erithrean.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Back to Italy, for now, and the week-end past.

If you were wondering what had happened to me after the Poltergeist incident of the other day, relax, I'm fine.

Week-end in Germany was indeed very nice, even because we (Susanne and me) celebrated our second anniversary with a ferry-cruise along the Rhein river (where, much to my surprise, I ended up half burnt by the German sun reflected by the water), getting a look at the famous Loreley rock and a dozen different castles, then a walk in the pretty and extremely characteristic Rüdesheim am Rhein and its Drosselgasse and eventually a dinner at my favourite restaurant in Mainz, for once opened, taking a table outside in the square looking at the back of the majestic Cathedral of the city. If my sweet half (that's a direct translation from the Italian "dolce metà") remembers to send me the pictures of the day, I shall post a few of them.

On Sunday, right before leaving to the airport, I got the chance of meeting one of my future classmates, Anna, a pretty interesting person who defined herself as a tailor studying business management. For as odd as such a definition may sound, it actually makes sense in a world where fashion design tends to be just as much, if not more, business than a form of art. Besides, that, If all the other future colleagues will have such interesting backgrounds, I'll end up being the boring one and the time in Mainz will be a definitely interesting one.

Anyway, speaking of Mainz, I must say that since I know I will have to live there for several months, I'm looking at the city with different eyes than the ones of a simple passer by, and yet the result is still greatly positive. Hoping we'll not have a very cold winter, I think I might really enjoy staying there for a while, in a totally different dimension than the one I've lived all my life.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Strange things happening

Premise: I believe in God, the immortal soul and in several concepts derived from that and I believe in paranormal phenomenons as things we are not yet able to explain, but nothing more. I'm not a lunatic maniac either, as the ones who know me among the ones who read this blog know.

That said, why, one hour ago, I did see the metallic cover of the shower box drain hole move a good twenty centimeters by itself on the shower floor, with rhythmic jumps that slowly did fade off once the thing had stopped in its final position? There was no heart quake, no air flow for how strange it could had been to create such a precise and rhythmic movement and no insects hidden under it and the whole thing made the hair on the back of my head rise. And why in my mailbox there is a mail for the former tenant of this place, gone more than two years ago? And why such creepy things happen on a Friday the 13th and when I have to catch a flight?

That was one of the creepiest things I've ever experienced and I'm now nervous about flying. Ummm....

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Japanese Night

A couple of days ago I happened to find myself, for a while, in Japan. Nah, I am sane, don't worry, at least my brain is (other things aren't and in fact I'm home even if it's Wednesday). The fact is, I ended up near Campo dei Fiori at a table alone with 4 girls all of them speaking Japanese. The fact that two of said girls were Italian didn't spoil the moment, even because they are so fully into the Japanese language and culture that even their tone and gesture (for instance, they instinctively covered their mouth when laughing, a typical Japanese thing) was more similar to their Japanese friends than to the ones proper of our culture.

The excuse for the "aperitivo" (at the Aristocampo, as usual) was the end of Lucia's exam session and her consequent leaving for Japan for a two months summer vacation. Oh, of course... who? Lucia is a nice Italian girl I met by the way of Yoko (a Japanese teacher and a regular, if not a fixture, to the VCN etnic dinners) who studies Japanese ans is practically dying for moving to live in Osaka. Now, between this lifelong ambition of hers and considering she'll be returning at the end of September on one and and that at the mid of September I will be moving out of Italy for over a year on th eother hand, we decided that the chance of that evening being the last one in which we could had met until 2009, at the least, was well worth a mid-week drink.

How it happened, tho, that I was the only boy sitting at that table, I still have to understand. Lucia's boyfriend didn't show up as he doesn't enjoy international company speaking a language that he doesn't understand (and, considering a given barbecue I had recently in Germany, I feel inclined to understand, if not sympathize with, him) and neither other male friends summoned did made it. Anoher boy, a friend of a friend, did arrive at the table only to leave 5 minutes later to a square nearby where a concert was being held.

Not that I complain. Having been trained to hours in the presence of people who speak a language I do not understand I tend to get restless only after at least 8 hours (my recently estabilished record at this time being 14 but, quoting a famous movie, reaching that level is possible, but not advisable), so 4 hours of mixed japaneglischitalian was nothing to be afraid of. Besides, I just came out of a period of intense fascination for the Japanese culture marked by the reading of Shogun and Gai-Jin by Clavell and the repeated visions of The Last Samurai together with the occasional Babel, Last letters from Jiwo-Jima and a couple of Kurosawa's movies so... it was even fascinating to hear the sound of the actual language.

And it was fun, I must say. So much that after two liters of red wine, two trays of mixed hams and cheeses and a couple of light cocktails, we decided we had to head to the Tiberina Island where, being summer, there are once again little bars offering more than averagely expensive cocktails, dubiously comfortable pillows to sit upon, but a very nice and charmy atmosphere (when not overcrowded) and where we stayed until 2 am.

All fun, truly, and yet, on my way back to the scooter, I did pass in front of "our" (Susanne and me) church, where everything started almost exactly two years ago (in the first hours of the 15th of July) and couldn't help dropping her a "missing you" message... because it's true, don't laugh at me, I found out, not without my own surprise, that I can be alone in the company of 4 girls and still think of and miss my girl. I must be getting old...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Bad news, good news

So, as the old custom goes, bad news first (why? because the sugar in the end makes the bitter better? What if one is already in a bad mood and beheads the messenger before he gets to the good news? Anyway...).

It is now official that my firm has denied me a leave of absence in order to attend the master programme. Although I knew that such outcome had always been possible, part of me had been keeping in believing that a rational solution to the situation would had been chosen. In fact, while being away, I would had cost nothing to the firm (not even the social security costs) and thus I saw no point in a negative outcome. So much for rationality, considering I was not even paid the courtesy of a talk with the HR director.

So it is that, barring some unpredictable event or going to court for a case that is, to say the least, dubious, by the 14th of august I shall have to present my resignation letter and consequently I shall be unemployed by next October. Quite a way to celebrate my birthday.

The good news is that Susanne's landlord not only has manifested no contrariety to me staying with her over the months I shall be in Mainz, but he has not even raised the rent, much to our surprise. That, besides the obvious satisfaction of being able to stay with Susanne (which is obviously the main thing), will allow me to lower my estimated living costs for the first year of the programme of almost a thousand euros, bringing it from 10.200 to 9.500. Some little thing per se, but still...