lunedì 5 marzo 2018

What I Miss and What I Love

This is an attempt of summarise things I miss and things I love.
Of course it's not perfectly articulate and not nearly complete as, to no one surprise, the things I miss are way more deep than a blog post could ever describe and, to my surprise, the things I love are so , so many more.

What I miss
One. I miss my family and friends and my friends kids. And possibly become their favourite aunt!.
I have to admit though that I thought it was going to be worst. Technology helps a lot. And cheap flights too!
me and my niece and nephew
Two. I miss the sense of community I had in familiar places: rowing team I saw three or four times a week plus all the time spent on trips for the regattas. The volunteer group I was part of for basically all my adult life. Even just walking in town, in my very small town, and meeting people you know and that know you.  
rowing in Venice with my favourite crew!
Three. Being able to express my thoughts with no effort at all and understanding everything that goes around a table drinking a beer.
Not having an accent and sounding completely and utterly NORMAL to everyone.

Four. This may sound very childish and from a spoiled brat but I really miss my food and wine. My healthy, good , gorgeous food. I really took for granted the forever availability of the good option everywhere, from the work canteen to the fancy restaurant. As it turns out, not that easy on this side of the world.

What I love

One. The new friends I’m making. It takes time, and the older you get , the harder it gets. But moving away it’s a very good chance to see new faces and making new friends. Not an easy task, especially for impatient people like me, but I’m starting to think I’ve got lucky on this side of the world too.

Birthday Chinese dinner for a friend
Two. Because everything is new, you just need this twenty seconds of bravery to go out there and introduce yourself. It might not be the most comfortable feeling , but it’s exciting, it’s new, you don’t know what’s going to happen and you are free to be what ever you want to be. Hopefully the best version of yourself to show off to you new community. And that’s the plan!

Three. I can speak another language and the local one pretty well too.  I’ll never not be a foreigner. I’ll always have an accent. And it’s weirdly intricated with all the places I’ve learned English in. Somebody from work thought I was Italian American the other day. I speak at least two languages every day and that’s pretty cool.

Four. Manchester is the most cosmopolitan town I’ve ever visited. It’s young, it’s growing , it’s embracing its immigrants and it’s also a foodie town. This means you can find a good restaurant serving food from basically every country of the world. Without even trying, in the past year I’ve had Chinese (of course), Indian (many…and picked my favourite), Greek (very fond of this place), Japanese, Vietnamese, British ( of course!), American (not worth it), Lebanese, Peruvian, Korean and Canadian. And when homesickness hits hard, a very good pizzeria it’s just around the corner!
Sunday Roast cooked by local friends!

venerdì 2 marzo 2018

Year One

Today mark exactly one year since I first set foot in the UK. 
What a year!

I took the day off, ah!
And run errands all day long. Went to routine visit to the doctor. Went groceries shopping. Cooked dinner. Burned dinner. Did the laundry. (Late) Terrible homemaker.

But, I went to see the works on the  house and it's coming together. You wouldn't really say by now since there's the carpet ripped off, the kitchen without half of the cabinets, the bathroom with no shower or bath tub and rubble everywhere.

It kinda feels like my daily life this past year: cant say it's totally there yet, but I can definitely imagine how it's going to be: rustic, lived and real.

venerdì 16 febbraio 2018

What I've Learned This Year

One. Leaving home is always hard, no matter who old you are and how many times you’ve done it before. People kept telling me “you’ve been in this position before, for even further places” and it’s true.   But every time it’s its own set of emotions and it doesn’t get easier.

Two. Changes could be frustrating but they come with growth. Right? Ok. In the past year I’ve changed my status, my country, my living arrangements, my job, my car, the side of the road I have to ride on, what I do in my spare time, how I spend my weekends, my workout routines, my eating routines, my sleeping routines, actually all of my routines. It’s been challenging to say the least but since a while ago it’s starting to look like it’s going to be good.

Three. I miss rowing but what I’ve missed more is what it brought, my friends, the sense of community, the working hard for a goal, even the drama that came with it. Maybe it’s time to start again.

Four. Twenty seconds of bravery is all you need: when showing up to a group of people you never met before and you’re trying to be friends with or be the new colleague, or the new volunteer, or the new member… I’ve used this method a lot in the past year.

Five. Only in case of a move one realises how much stuff one has. Now imagine multiplying that by two. And moving overseas. Very thankful for my parents and their garage and the long hours I spent there in the middle of winter deciding, keep, purge, donate, ship, bring with me. 
I through away more than what I've kept (Including my bouquet).
And for this reason 2018 is the year where I’m not buying anything that is not food or otherwise one hundred per cent not necessary. (I’ve actually already broke this buying a 3 pound DVD..oops)

Life gets exciting so very easily and for this I’m very grateful.

 Things are always moving fast, but this 12 months were one for the books!

mercoledì 14 febbraio 2018

Five Things I Do Wrong and Five Things I Do Right

  1. I don’t answer his questions. Especially on the small issues, it really seems like I’m ignoring him. Sometimes I’m only just thinking about an answer, but I understand how it comes out as frustrating.
  2. I ask and ask and ask until he answer my questions :D
  3. I snap at him or answer sharply even when not necessary.
  4. Sometimes I start doing something else while I’m cooking and create very avoidable messes that he then feels like having to fix.
  5. I don’t take perfect care of myself in a ladylike kind of way in weight, make up, change of earrings, buying new clothes…

  1. Even if I don’ t really believe in it, I make the bed when I’m the last getting up, which thankfully is fairly rare.
  2. When he’s away for a couple of days I make sure the house is clean and tidy
  3. I grocery shop and cook lunches and dinners I know he likes
  4. I push him to do the things I know he would like to do, even if this means we’re spending more time apart and I try, as much as possible, to not involve him in things I know he doesn't like.…sometimes it’s not possible :D
  5. I always kiss him warmly morning and night

Happy Valentines Day!

venerdì 9 febbraio 2018

British Food 2

how left the dogs out? who? who who who who?
p.s. I spent 3,5£ on it and I couldn't finish it.

domenica 28 gennaio 2018

[Morocco Part 3] May Your Highest Hopes Be Exceeded

(part 1 and part 2 are here)

Day 4
We woke up just in time to see the sunrise. 
What a sight , yet again, we were able to admire.

Can you see M walking on the dune?

After another 30 minutes on the camels again, we took the car back and started are route back to Marrakech. 
First stop : Rissani, where one of the biggest open market is held...during the week. We, of course, were there on Sunday :D. 
It was still really interesting to walk around and almost get ripped off for a little bag of dates by a local vendor. 20 years of travelling by ourself in foreign countries, but still I get surprised of how easy it is to feel out of place.


Back on the road, desert for hours and hours.

Second stop: the Draa Valley. Pretty impressive how nature changes so fast...and in matter of meters, palms were seen everywhere thanks to an underground river.

We were able to visit yet another Kasbah , Tamnogalt.

One of the towers of the Kasbah Tamnogalt

^^What was the synagogue before it came down. Because there are no more jews living there nor near by, it has not been reconstructed in years.

Back on the road...toward the high Atlas with final destination Marrakech 

Highest peak on the High Atlas

We stopped in a small shop run by women to by all kinds of Argan Oil products...worth it.

The 10 hours in the car back to Marrakesh driving like this and making this kinds on encounters on the road were definitely part of the fun and scheduled part of the trip but was I ever glad to arrived that night at 9 pm.

We went back strolling in the medina as soon as we could.

Day 5: Visiting Marrakesh.

We saved the last day to finally visiting the town and its buildings. We rushed through the historical palaces with a very busy guide in the morning, and saved the best part of the trip for the very last afternoon: wander around through the infinite maze of the medina.

one of the doors of the Medina

One of the visits I loved was the Medersa, a learning center that hosted more than 900 students at a time between 1500 and gradually lost its use, mostly because of security reasons, but never lost its charm. It seemed so calm, even if right smack in the middle of the market chaos.
It's inscripted on the entrance door :"You who enter my door, may your highest hopes be exceeded".
Every religion teaches the same, universal truth: humans thrive on hope.

The medersa Ben Yiussef was one of the biggest quranic learning center in Africa

We had dinner in a popular restaurant and had back the the hotel. 
In just 5 days we drove more than a thousand km, rode a dromedary , spent a night under the stars, saw amazing places, faces, food and races. 
If this is how we're going to spend all of our anniversaries, sign me up. I'm ready!