Family phrases

Some phrase remains fixed in the memory of a family for whatever reasons. “Tu dormi e kinglax lavora” (while you sleep, kinglax is working (for you)) was one that my father liked a lot. Searching in google it seems that it comes from an old advertisement for a laxative, I always thought it referred to a washing machine.

He also was repeating when coming back from work: “Tutte le luci accese!” (All lights on) a costumary plea for energy saving.

I already mentioned zia Sitta’s “ti do una cosa” (I’ll give you a something) or “Nix palix” (nothing).

Not sure if in our present family we have similar idioms, I rather go back to childhood. But sometimes I repeat those.

At the bottom of the ditch

How is that we found ourselves devouring a ‘paella’ in the car in a parking spot.

Ma chi l avesse detto, sora lella
de ritrovasse de sabbato n'serata
ner parcheggio a magnasse 'na paella.

Perche' nel mezzo de sta gran sfebbrata,
tutti quanti a guarda' si s'ariscalla,
solo speranno passi la nottata.

Nun c'a' facemo piu, questo va detto
de tenesse appizzati a quattro metri
co' quarche stronzo che… piange de petto
manco fosse fra cazzo da velletri

Ma dite che finisce co 'na sleppa?
Che 'n fonno ar fosso pieghi, manni, spinga?
Oppure che ce pensa sora peppa,
co' bella stretta 'n mano 'na siringa?


While I was living in this remote village in north-western Cambodia, I had a family of neighbours with several children.
One more was born during my staying there and they called him Samnang, ‘the lucky one’.
They were one of the poorest family in the village though and the mother, who dearly loved all her children, proposed me to bring Samnang with me in Europe.
I politely refused but promised to help her. Tried to find a job for his father.
4 years after, I travelled to that village and met Samnang and his mother and renewed my promise to help.
Internet had arrived in the nearby provincial town and I instructed one of those who had worked with me to use e-mail and was sending some money with western union.
But the communication was difficult, I was never sure if the money had arrived and problems started between the mother and my former employee, so at a certain point I stopped.
After 2 or 3 years I travelled there again and met the lady.
But Samnang had passed away, some disease, as had happened for other children of her.
Yes, I could have done more.