On the beach

I drew the picture above, entitled la bagnante (the bather) some years ago.

Being summertime, I thought it was a good idea to expose it now as homage to life on the beach.

For an optimal enjoyment, you should smell suntan lotion and put a cup on your ear while watching.


Churros versus cornetti

Life is also made of minor pleasures.

One of them is breakfast’s pastry.

In Roma the choice is obvious: cappuccino and cornetto. The best is the cornetto baked by Il Cigno, especially the old way, before they changed confectioner.

On the other hand, in Barcelona you have a satisfactory alternative proceeding from the South: churros. Thin or bold, with sugar, coming hot from the pan.

Churros and cornetti contribute to make mankind better than it naturally would be, and the cooks would deserve a Nobel prize for peace. A big medal made by chocolate.

The fight among the bull and the donkey

Travelling through Spain you can’t avoid remarking the big black figures of bull disseminated along the road.

Starting as an advertisement for an alcohol company, the bull has become the symbol of a certain Spain, and you can find it stuck on the back of many cars (mainly red cars).

Then the donkey came, spreading out from Catalunya in order to propose an alternative identification of Spanish soul.

As shown below, the outline is not dissimilar, the bull’s horns matching the donkey’s ears, but the message is rather inconsistent.

We opted for the donkey (our car is gray).

Riferimenti: Catalan donkey web-site

Waiting time

Waiting is an action.

It can be a tiring experience or a rewarding activity, depending on several circumstances.

The first element is the location. A long time ago, I used to arrange appointments with friends at nice places (the bridge in front of Castel S. Angelo, Piazza Navona), so that the wait was not unpleasant.

Then I start drawing (some samples appeared on this blog), thus taking advantage of the time.

Few years ago I noticed that waiting was becoming a stressful occurrence, and soon after I understood that was a signal of the approaching crisis for the 40th anniversary.

As for now, I generally read the newspaper (free press come very handle for this purpose) and sometimes, as today, I draft the next blog entry.

Jimmy Opendoors

Jimmy Opendoors always enjoyed travelling by bus.

In the bus the driver is the only responsible for taking decisions, he watches out for the road and the traffic, and the passenger get the possibility to look around, smiling to nice people and coping with the nasty ones.

Furthermore, on that sort of vehicle, one can meet a particular kind of people, those which, by choice or necessity, keep themselves faraway from the car-system.

It’s niche humanity, as the Indians in the reserves or the aristocrats on the coach.

Among the interesting features of the bus, Jimmy loved the confusion of idioms which sometimes went up, rising tone with the red light and almost exploding when approaching to a stop.

Sounds and languages recreating the atmosphere of mysterious countries, and which in a minute carried you in the heart of India or for a walk in Morocco.

Once, on a tramway, he was part of the most classic of the scene: the vehicle seemed a piece of tropical forest, where the racket of plants and animals become a concrete, touchable element, a fourth dimension.

Flinging himself from one bar to the other as a metropolitan Tarzan, Jimmy Opendoors knocked against two old ladies.

May be for his frizzy hairs of for the strange clothes, the two white mistresses started reciting the usual litany of insults, declaring that here was not his place, inviting him to come to an end and go back home…

Jimmy, who did recognise one of his assailants as Mrs. Lippy, living on the fourth floor, would have liked to clear the misunderstanding, but couldn’t find the right words.

He could have said: I am English, but lately he was not too proud of it, he could have appealed to the human rights, but the recent international happenings did undermine such a petition.

A recall to good manners seemed indelicate towards the two old, white, dear ladies.

Then he made use of what he had in his pocket, throw out the ticket and said: I have paid.

In and out

Coming back from the beach the train was jam-packed.

And it was interesting to notice how people’s attitude was changing after they got inside the wagon.

While on the platform, they were (we were) emphasising our right to go in and return home the soonest.

But, the moment they (we) were inside, the appreciation of the situation changed dramatically. Now the most usual comments were : no more place or wait for the following and no words were spent for passengers’ rights anymore.

There is something instructive about this story I need to chew on further.