- [Tuesday 26th June]
Crawling out a sticky bed
wondering about the sleep that I have not had
after a fierce night of noise and hot.
A Kafkian metamorphosis is taking place
the bathroom is where I crawl to wash my tired face.
Hazy is the house, a picture of old times gone
the furniture, the silence, all is in place, I am alone
nobody touched a thing in the night of noise and hot.
I crawl into the lounge, I sink in the old black chair
computer's on, the haze has gone, the hand runs through my hair.
The news, the games, the tides of time, the world is spinning still
it seems that lives are going on by, a waterwheel at the mill
the night has turned to day, a day of noise and hot
it's half past nine, the checking is done, a dying supernova
nothing to do, computer's dumb, I crawl onto the sofa
Sleep doesn't come, too noisy here, to sticky hot to rest
time passes by, I crawl again, back to the old black nest
it's midday high, it's time to eat today is noisy and hot.
Meals make my day, something to do, the fridge is my retreat
I crawl to cook, my brain flares up, I let TV watch me(*).
Time to clean up, time to realize that it's over half past one
terror strikes hard, it's early still, afternoon just begun
an afternoon of sun up high, today is quite noisy and hot
let's check the mail, let's watch the news, maybe there's some for me
night in Japan, my captor sleeps, maybe I can get free.
No freedom comes, it's old routine, let's crawl onto the bed
some rest, some sleep, maybe it's a dream, I feel as if I am dead
outside the world press on ahead, living in noise and heat.
Late afternoon, the radio is on, there's football talks on air
it's like a balm, a sweet placebo, two hours go in a glare
a glare to that beautiful sun who's leaving for today
to make space to a starry night of hot and noise and grey.
Time to make dinner, time to clean up, I let TV watch me
I feel quite drained, I feel restrained, it's time for bed I feel.
I crawl again, this time to bed, knowing that sleep won't come
it's been a very boring day, done nothing but to crawl.
I look around, I make a wish, with my glittering eye (**)
it's noisy outside, it's hot in here, a fearful symmetry(***).
Although this poem is just a crappy attempt to describe a crappy situation, I borrowed something from poets that are worthy of such a name, therefore I feel obliged to make a small comment to the points with the asterisk.
I take special pride in having been able to mix two of the writers that I admire most in the same Rhyme, that's all that probably I have accomplished by writing these lines... I hope that they don't come hunting me from their resting places, it was done in sheer admiration to their works!
(*)Pasquale Siano was my Italian teacher in High School. He coined this figure of the "TV watching us, not us watching TV", a great way to tell people that TV brainwashes them. Mr.Siano was a poet and a writer, now he's dead, but I have a very vivid and good memory of him. He's the first and only poet that I have ever actually met, a great person.
(**)S.T.Coleridge - the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. The mariner in the early part of the Rhyme charms the wedding guest with his "glittering eye". Incidentally the Rhyme is one of my favourite poems
(***)W.Blake - The Tiger. Another one of my favourite poets, I borrowed the poetical licence "EYE - SYMMETRY" that he uses in the poem "The Tiger".
- S Giovanni Night
- [Sunday 24th June]
S.Giovanni is the saint patron of Florence and as a recurrence on the 24th of June we celebrate with a great fireworks display.
Around 22:00 the show begins, most of the citizen crowd the riverbanks for a couple of hours before everyone goes back to its own house (or even someoneelse house if you managed to pull).
This time there were only three of us, me, Federico and Gianfranco, but we were quite pleased as the fireworks display was really excellent and of course dwarfed last week festival in Pisa for sheer beauty, length and effects.
Of course in Pisa there were more of us, which is a bit of shame, but it seems that all the people were away from Florence enjoying some seaside holiday break.
I'll let the pictures speak, this time no comments at all, after all there is very little to say...
- I really have no words....
- [Friday 22nd June]
This must have been one of the worst days in my life, a day when everything that you touch turns to crap, and where if something can go awry it will in the worst possible way.
Where do I start?
Still quite crap, I was meant to meet the colleague of mine that was helping me out, but the unfortunate turns of event meant that I could not see him until Saturday, and anyways it would have been better not to meet because the news from his side are completely crap... :(
2. Love Life
A greek tragedy. After two weeks of arguments with Chiara she decided that it was more appropriate to spend time with her friend in Morocco rather than stay with me (one of the major points of argument was the fact that she works a lot and we rarely see each other like any other "normal" couple, i.e. weekends and holidays together...), but to be honest this issue is not my priority anymore...
As many of you might know from reading the messageboard, my new car has been stolen from the guarded car park where I used to keep it.
I cannot tell you how upset and angry I am, especially because I found out when I really needed it to go and see some clients that came to Florence to see me... Of course I had to cancel the appointment and started calling some people that might help me, as I really did not know what to do in that situation. Late in the night we then went together with the owner of the garage to report the car stolen to police.
I am really really upset because I pay a guarded car park especially to avoid the car being stolen, and of course that was to no avail. Now all the insurance thing must start but it is clear that I will not see any money until October/November if I am lucky...
Which of course poses another problem, the fact that I do not have a car anymore... Fortunately for the time being I can take my granny's car, which brings us to the fourth point...
While I was walking to my grandmother's house minding my own business I have been attacked by a dog. The dog was on a lead, but the lady who was keeping it didn't realize that it was running towards me and didn't pull it back promptly. Fortunately the dog did not bite hard into my flesh, but it completely destroyed my pair of trousers... Fortunately the lady is insured, but now I have to look into this matter too.
All in all a tragic week ended with a even crappier Friday, as Tim pointed out it resembles the very crap period that I have passed in Reading when Claire dumped me, my bike got stolen and another million different annoying things happened to me...
I hope that the run of bad luck will end here because I really cannot take it anymore... :(
- Fireworks in Pisa
- [Saturday 16th June]
As many of you probably do not know, between Florence and Pisa there is a strong rivalry born in times where political and economical powers were at dispute in Tuscany, something 800 years ago.
Florence did kick everyone's ass and become the "capital" of the region, but the feud is still ongoing, even though it's more of a taking the piss out of each other than real hate.
Well, Francesco's wife Elisa is from Pisa (or Pysa to use an archaic terminology), and she invited us several times to the festivity of St.Ranieri (St.Patron of Pysa), as it was meant to be nice...
The party is called "Luminarie", and all the houses overlooking the Arno river are set up for the occasion so that all the windows are bordered with candle lights.
As you can see in the pictures the effect is rather nice.
The evening started with a pizza and then quickly into the centre of Pisa as the mass of people was getting bigger and bigger. By 11 PM the fireworks display started with its grandeur and glamour, it was all rather nice if it wasn't for two main problems.
1. Kids screaming
2. Kids and strollers
I don't want to sound insensitive, but there was hardly space to MOVE on foot, still there were countless parents who brought their kids and annexed strollers. You can imagine people falling on them, kids screaming because they were scared by the fireworks and all the likes.
Now, wouldn't it be better leave them at home until they are 3 or 4 so that they can actually like the fireworks?
The evening ended up ina very famous chocolate shop in Pisa where I could have a rather grand chocolate ice shake sort of thing (in Italy we call them "Granita"), and then it was time to go back for Florence.
A very nice evening all in all!
- Gabriele Cioffi
- [Wednesday 13th June]
Life is weird and during one of the strangest days so far in recent months I stumble upon a site that I should have really checked out before... Or maybe not.
It's hot today, it's a Wednesday, 13th, I have a lot of menial tasks to perform at home, working on excel lists all day.
I had yet another "sort" of argument with my present girlfriend, this time related about the idea of living together, and my mind falls on a person that I left long ago when I was in the last year of high school.
Gabriele has never been my best buddy, he was just another one of the friends that I had in the class of section B at the Scientific Lyceum A. Gramsci.
Like many others in the class he used to play football, probably he was one of the most talented individual in our class. Football in italy is a serious thing, I can hardly remember Gabriele being a great student, but he had a lot of passion and perseverance for what he really liked, playing as a defender on a football pitch.
And so it was that he managed to get through the A levels, and after that we completely lost touch, one of those people that you remember looking at the old class pictures (with mandatory professors looking bemused on the right hand side of the photo).
Well it was in September that I browse happily through the pages of the major Italian sport newspaper "La Gazetta dello Sport", and I remember hearing from common friends that he managed to make the grade and become a professional in the lower series in Italy.
Destiny of many good football players, who are not so lucky or skilful to make the grade to Serie A (the Italian Premiership).
Anyway, I was reading the newspaper and what do I see? Gabriele Cioffi, is playing for one of the most important teams in Italy TORINO CALCIO (in Turin)!!
You can't imagine my surprise, even if he wasn't my best buddy I feel extremely happy for him, it must have been a great emotion to be able to be signed by such an illustrious club. I have tried to see him playing on TV, but it seems that between injuries and bad matches he didn't really play a lot.
I went to see his page on the net, there I could catch up with his story so far, quite interesting at some points, very unlucky at others. I hope that he manages to stay in Serie A for a couple more years, then probably he will retire and become some sort of coach or something... I wish him luck he deserved it!
I don't know why this is worth a blog on its own, but it was something different from the usual woes that I am experiencing during these days...
- I don't Understand
- [Saturday 9th June 2007]
Today it was a quite uneventful Saturday, shaken by a massive argument that ensued with Chiara.
Two or three days ago she asked me if it was ok for her to go to Morocco, with a friend of her, as they had planned this trip all their life and she's never been there. The trip is at the end of the month.
Well, I am a nice guy, I believe in freedom in a couple so if she wants to go with her friends I am not going to stop her.
No problems here.
Then two days ago it comes out the fact that she has yet to start her thesis to get over with her degree.
It has to be said that she works 7 days a week at the hotel, so she doesn't have all the time in the world to write it, and she asked my "help" to write the paper.
I told her that I cannot help her on a subject that I know nothing about, so I would look at the index to get an idea of the sort of material that she might need, then maybe I can help her look for data on the internet (that she proudly hate to use...).
This Saturday I wanted to go out with my friends, of course she was invited, but since now she has to leave and the professor told her that in order to have the thesis reviewed and corrected she needs to had it in by the end of the month, she's getting all jumpy about it.
The moral of the story is that she asked me to go to stay at her place after dinner so that she would feel compelled to study.
I replied that I find quite strange that she needs to have a guardian dog that barks when she is sleepy, if I am to give help I would like to have an active part, not just "wake up lady!!"...
I said that I preferred to go out with my friends and of course it now turns out that this thesis is of paramount importance to her and that I don't give a damn about it, therefore I am an ogre with no feelings whatsoever.
I then suggest that she cancel the impending trip to Morocco if the thesis is so important to her, but apparently the trip is on a different level of importance so it doesn't come into the picture...
In the end I stayed over after dinner (we had a dinner with her parents) and managed to understand that she doesn't even know where to start from, nor has an idea on how a thesis is made. Of course this is quite normal as well, nobody knows how to write a thesis before you actually do one, but this means that we are really at point zero on this business and time is quite "short".
Needless to say that there is no help that can be given under these conditions, though she wanted to read aloud some notes that she has so that maybe we could get some ideas on what to write about ('nuff said)....
I have tried to give my ideas on how a thesis should be started, but it's clear that my method is not good for her, so in the end I started looking for data on the net, based on few details that I had, and managed to find some papers.
Then it was late and I left, but it seems that things are going to be quite slow and all I can say is that I can see troubles ahead....
- Cleaning Lady
- [Friday 8th June 2007]
As the house didn't see a proper cleaning far before my last trip to Japan, and as I could start seeing balls of dust wishing me good morning when I woke up, I decided to undergo the major task of cleaning the house in a very heavy way.
I can proudly say that six hours after the house is now speckle free (almost), and I have spent the last two days making sure that I do not leave nor even the tiniest stain anywhere!
I now understand what my mum used to tell me when I was a kid coming home with dirty boots after she cleaned all the place.... :P
- A busy week
- [Friday 8th June]
And I woke up on Friday, quite tired, looking back at the week that is past and thinking that for a change I had quite a lot to do.
Of course this is positive, it means that all the fights that I have endured in Japan must have paid something, there is still a long way to go before I can call me satisfied but there is a glimpse of hope building up there.
In the meantime, as things are getting better, in full accordance to sod's law, I got a phone call from the owner of a textile company in Biella (near Turin, even further than where I was working before in Varese)...
He's after me since the year 2002, and of course he's offering me a position that doesn't have to do with the textiles only (they are going to die in Italy sooner or later), but also with the garment manufacturing in China (this is the future in this enterprise).
Again I took time, as I want to see how these talks in July with my present employers will develop, but the idea of having to move that that region again, far from Florence is all but appealing... Actually no, I don't really want to go!
It's a certainty that coming back was a great thing for my private life, I really do not wat to loose it again, even if this job seems great under the money (lots) and responsibility point of view....
We'll see in July if the talks are going extremely bad there is always an escape route, maybe we can come to an agreement on how to work from Florence? (nearly impossible, I know the business too well, presence in the company is paramount if you need things to be done properly)...
- [4th June]
It takes time to readjust after my business trips. It's a very weird feeling because it seems that the moment I land in Italy I have to do a gazzillion things, that eventually wear out after the first week is past.
There are several "appointments" the most important being that I have to present my first tax return, which means finally starting seeing how profitable this business has been and what can be claimed or what can't.
Workwise little news from the state of the rising sun, much ado about nothing it seems, the appointment will be next July to try to sort out things, in a way that it's not completely a loss for me. Let's hope, the target is to come out with something tangible before the beginning of the summer holidays...
Off to work now!
- Wrapping up
- [Saturday 2nd June]
As it happened quite frequently during my trips to Japan, I seem to always miss National Holidays back in Italy.
Today I travel, and today is also bank holiday back in Pizzaland.
Not that it makes a lot of difference, it's a Saturday and being self employed means that I can have bank holidays just when I feel like it...
The trip to Japan was an eventful one, a lot of stress to deal with, a lot of difficulties to overcome.
In the end it seems that my complaints reached the correct ears, meaning that it seems that my direct superior is changing his attitude towards me, at least in the last day of my stay.
This doesn't mean anything of course, because I still think that he cannot be trusted, in July, yet more meetings are going to be there to take place and I hope that I will walk (or better fly) away then with something more than just idle talk.
I have quite a lot to do when I go back to Italy, which is quite nice, I can see how I really miss being employed at full scale, surely not what I did in the last two months where they didn't even sent me mails for weeks...
We will see...
Now in the usual lounge, waiting to go on board, surfing the net (where would I be without it?!?), and watching some passengers that just arrived from somewhere disembarking the plane... The look on their faces is quite interesting, you can tell who is here on business, who's had a crap trip, who cannot wait to be home and who is here and is thinking "wow I am in Japan!!", travelling makes me happy in a way, it's nice to see how the world spins away from home.
Point of interest in this trip are the 30 Euro earphones from Denon which are just great, the 3mt cable Hdmi-Dvi that it's impossible to find in Pizzaland (we seem to have only 1mt cables...), some food that I am bringing back from Japan and mandatory Asahi beer.
Ok now it's time to go, another twelve hours flight... I just hope that my neighbour today doesn't have stinking breath...
- Lox, Lorenzo... ME!!
- A little introduction about the author and the blog itself. Plus contacts and CVs... You never know!
- A Selection of the best pictures that I have taken all over the world during the years, all nicely indexed by year and geographical area. Jolly good!
- History of this Blog
- A collection of all the articles that I have wrote so far, divided by month/year.
I have had the bad idea of writing my e-mail address on the board before, so this time I'll try to prevent some spam to get to me by putting this little image.. Let's hope it does the trick!
A reminder to Myself
Left and right
Like day and night
That's what makes the world go round
In and out
Thin and stout
That's what makes the world go round
For every up there is a down
For every square there is a round
For every high there is a low
For every to there is a fro
To and fro
Stop and go
That's what makes the world go round
You must set your sights upon the heights
Don't be a mediocrity
Don't just wait and trust to fate
And say, that's how it's meant to be
It's up to you how far you go
If you don't try you'll never know
And so my lad as I've explained
Nothing ventured, nothing gained
You see my boy it's nature's way
Upon the weak the strong ones prey
The human life it's also true
The strong will try to conquer you
That is what you must expect
Unless you use your intellect
Brains and brawn, weak and strong
That's what makes the world go round