Mental Paella

Living in Italy, before, during and after Covid


Leave a comment

The memoir and the vultures

Some days ago, a publisher announced that Harry is writing his memoir, and it will come out next year…

ALL hell broke loose…

And, JUST AS HAPPENED WITH THE OPRAH INTERVIEW,

People started talking about it/criticizing it/condemning it/ANALYSING IT

BEFORE IT EVER APPEARED…

Now, in any SANE context, one would ask:

how can you criticize and trash something you haven’t even seen/read????

Apparently criterion of SANITY and VERY BASIC LOGIC

DO NOT APPLY WHEN IT COMES TO ROYALS-WHO-DARE-LEAVE-THE-FOLD…

I could go on FOREVER about this, as it is such an affront to

common sense

logic

and, by the way, to ALL THE PRINCIPLES OF FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY THAT THE UK CLAIMS TO SUBSCRIBE TO.

What it means is that such media pundits, royal-defenders, henchmen, and online trolls believe that:

Harry is NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE A VOICE OF HIS OWN………

All this VULTURE-LIKE frenzy to trash him, EVEN BEFORE A WORD OF THAT MEMOIR IS SEEN,

Is sign of one thing:

HOW DARE HE OWN HIS VOICE AND EXPRESS IT?

Remind me please, what was all that shebang about human rights and freedom of expression and all that stuff that your country SUPPOSEDLY fought for and SUPPOSEDLY “gained” after decades of struggles in the OLDEN days???

If this happened in some FOURTH WORLD oppressed DICTATORSHIP STEEPED IN FANATICISM,

such reactions would be consistent, but

in the UK???

ALLEGEDLY A BEACON OF FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY?????

Unless, all the principles of civil society (you know, freedom and democracy and all that) do NOT apply to royals, who live in an INSULATED BUBBLE GOVERNED BY MEDIEVAL DICTATES,

And yet, they move in that “other society” that is governed by modern-day principles AS IF they are part of it, but they are not, it’s like a world inside a world, pretending to be part of it, yet completely separate from it in every way…all the while expecting the members of the INSULATED BUBBLE to act as if they do not feel any conflict or suffer from any mental side effects of that format IMPOSED UPON THEM….

Let’s say, if their conditioning were foul-proof, they might not suffer or experience a conflict…

If not, whether due to their character, or due to a different influence in their lives,

They will suffer from that schizoid (or should I say schizophrenic?) existence forced upon them…

But that’s another point altogether that I might write about later (or not)….

ALL over social media, youtube, and TV, you have the “royal experts” talking about the memoir

Analyzing, criticizing, picking it and the man behind it to pieces

WHEN THEY HAVE NOT SEEN A WORD OF IT……………………………………?!?

They are doing that in two ways:

The VENOMOUS/VERBALLY ABUSIVE/HOOLIGAN-LIKE way,

And the PATRONIZING/PEDANTIC/SUGAR-COATING-INTIMIDATION way,

ALONG WITH AN ARMY OF ONLINE HENCHMEN/WOMEN

who sling mud at Harry for “what he is saying”,

EVEN THOUGH

NO ONE SAW IT

WHY????

Because he dared leave the fold, which, in their opinion, is level with a “national felony” of sorts,

But, they’d have eventually stopped barking had he

remained silent and led his life in the shadows, so they’d forget the “hurt in their national pride”

But he’s not shutting up,

He believes HE HAS A RIGHT TO HAVE A VOICE

He believes HE HAS A RIGHT TO TALK ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE

And that seems to drive royal loyalists (along with the hooligan-minded) up the wall….

Because, in their minds, the royals ARE

OWNED…

they should have NO voice of their own,

THEY SHOULD ACT LIKE CIRCUS ANIMALS,

TO PERFORM A PRESCRIBED SHOW

THEIR ENTIRE LIVES…

under the guise of

“service” and “tradition”…………………………………………

If anyone DARES BREAK FREE

THEY MUST BE

AND WILL BE

HOUNDED…

WHAT KIND OF PROFOUNDLY

DISTURBED SOCIETY

IS ONE THAT PRODUCES SUCH

TWISTED, OPPRESSIVE, FANATIC TO THE BONE MARROW MINDSET AND BEHAVIOUR?

“REACTIONARY” WOULD BE AN UNDERSTATEMENT………………………………………..

Among the many trite displays of wrath are those who belittle Harry as a “nobody” claiming “no one” will read his book BECAUSE they themselves won’t….

thus expressing an INFANTILE level of self-centredness along with pathetic a sense of grandiosity,

while, ironically, accusing Harry of precisely that (talk about projection)…

their “logic ” being “what I will do is what THE WORLD will do…”

Then, there are the smarter ones,

the ones with more self-control,

maybe with a better education than the mud-slingers,

who know that vulture-like attacks may be counter-productive,

so they sugar coat their intimidation tactics with “concerns”…..

graduates of the “for-your-own-good” school,

who know a few tricks to package GASLIGHTING so it doesn’t look like what it really is…

They come out on TV and say how “worried they are about Harry”,

But, within 10 minutes or less, they throw in a few jarring statements:

“Harry is just seeking to be the centre of attention, he wants to be constantly in the limelight” ,

Soon after, same people, “Harry is seeking revenge for how the house of Windsor treated his mother”,

Soon after, the same people “I am so very concerned about Harry, he is living such an existential crisis”

Then, soon after that, still the same people: “this is not fair to others whom he’ll talk about, how can he do that to them?”

Excuse you me,

Last time I checked, “Memoir” was a LEGITIMATE RECOGNIZED GENRE OF WRITING that has been around for a VERY LONG TIME…

Suddenly now, when it’s a Royal who’s writing, the very idea of a memoir has become unethical??????

Appeal to “morality” aside, another reason is to try and

INTIMIDATE HARRY

by accusing him of harming others SHOULD HE DARE speak about his experience..

Again, the question keeps begging itself for any person who BELIEVES IN LOGIC:

HOW CAN YOU ATTACK/DISCREDIT SOMETHING YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT???

How can you CLAIM HE’S HARMING OTHERS when you haven’t even read it?

UNLESS

YOU ALREADY KNOW

that there are others who must have given him reason to suffer?

But, YOU DON’T WANT THAT TRUTH TO COME OUT IN THE OPEN….

In your “tradition above all else” world, he should remain silent because he’s a royal,

because, in your world,

a royal is not a human being,

subject to the same feelings as other fellow humans…..

NOTHING ABOUT A ROYAL SHOULD BE

UNSCRIPTED….

The circus animal cannot be allowed to rebel against the show he was trained/forced to perform in…

He cannot escape,

and if you can’t stop him from escaping,

You try to stop him from SPEAKING UP ABOUT WHAT HE WENT THROUGH

IN HIS LIFE-TRAINING TO PERFORM ON CUE…..

How much of that zeal-to-condemn is because such people are “at the service of the firm”,

and how much of it is because they seem to have TIED THEIR NATIONAL IDENTITY TO THE ROYAL SHOW, with anything that might rattle that show being conceived as a “threat to their very own national identity”….?

One thing is certain:

WE SHALL WITNESS A WHOLE YEAR OF PATHETIC DISPLAYS OF

VENOM, MUD-SLINGING, TRASHING OF HARRY (PLUS MEGHAN, OF COURSE), , VERBAL ABUSE, ALL KINDS OF INTIMIDATION TACTICS, GASLIGHTING, ALL SHADES OF MENTALLY TWISTED ATTACKS (PLUS SOME)….

LO AND BEHOLD, OVER SOMETHING THE PERPETRATORS KNOW NOTHING ABOUT…

AND, BEST OF ALL,

SUCH RELENTLESS ATTACKS PROVIDE THE PERFECT PROOF

AS TO WHY HARRY HAD TO GET OUT OF THAT SICK PLACE

TO SAVE HIS FAMILY AND HIMSELF…

SO, we, onlookers,

who still have a crumb of

LOGIC in their system,

THANK YOU

mud-slingers and educated gaslighters alike,

for confirming

-beyond any shade of doubt-

what Harry has been saying all along ……………


Leave a comment

Soprano offers screaming services

If I wanted to be totally honest, I should have written “ex-soprano”, however,

a man once told me “you’re too honest to be in sales”…….

given that my life has proven him right, I decided to

“tell it with a slant”

as a wise woman once put it…..

besides, methinks,

“once a soprano, always a soprano”, right?

I mean, the machinations are all there, just rusty, needing a bit of sanding here, oiling there, and gradual buildup of stamina…

Unless the job at hand is screaming…

everything required for a screaming job is already in place….

I realized that last night when I stood in the balcony and screamed at the top of my voice on the phone (after warning my friend on the other end to put his phone at a distance from his ear) to cover the voice of donkey-voiced-man who was in his balcony above me, BRAYING AT THE TOP OF HIS VOICE ON THE PHONE, as usual….

I could keep asking “why does he take all his calls in the balcony?” till I’m blue in the face…

It’s been going on for two years

After a couple of times telling him (in vain), I decided for the option of SHOWING NOT TELLING…

Guess that applies in life as much as in writing…

One of my favourite tactics when he brays so loud in the balcony is:

to drown his voice with mine, ramping up my soprano-engine to full capacity…

If you think that’s mean, you need to come and stand two blocks away from our building,

you will still hear his every word…

and here’s the thing, it’s not just obscenely loud, it’s also

obscenely UGLY…

Calling it ACOUSTIC TORTURE is not an exaggeration….

Other times it’s the TV, which I put on maximum volume,

Sometimes it’s music, with the PC hooked to speakers, all at maximum volume, always classical music, not anything relaxing (he doesn’t deserve it) but that modern classical music which sounds like “angry animals” (as a clarinettist friend of mine told me in the past, or rather, what his professor asked him to feel to interpret a modern atonal piece: “imagine you are an angry animal”….)

Yesterday, though, it was my voice…

you could say that, too, was the sound of “an angry animal”….

Donkey-voice’s typical reaction:

to go inside, but only for a minute or less, and when I’d stop, thinking he got the message, he’d return to the balcony and do it again…

and so do I….

This happened at least 4 times last night…

Sometimes he doesn’t budge, and stays in the balcony, raising his voice on the phone even louder..

Big BIG MISTAKE…

No voice can cover that of a (well-trained) soprano

Especially if she’s (very) angry…

This has been going on on a regular basis for 2 years now…

Even Pavlov’s dog learnt the pattern after just a few repetitions…

Bless Pavlov’s dog…

he was so much brighter than many a specimen of the wrongfully-named “intelligent species”…

Instead, donkey-voice reminds me of flies in summer,

no matter how many times you shoo them away, they keep coming back to the same spot…

Imagine a creature with the voice of a donkey and the brain of a fly…….

Now imagine that creature to be your neighbour….

Yesterday, after my call ended, needing to find something to use to yell at the top of my voice in the balcony like he was doing, I googled the first thing that came to mind and started reading it out as loud as my diaphragm would carry me…..

It was about the Chinese vaccine… (in English, just so he wouldn’t understand, call it icing on top of the revenge cake…)

A side-effect of this show was that I realized:

My “vocal power” was still there!

HAAAALLLEEEELLLLLUUUUUJAH!

He can be heard two blocks away, but,

so can I….

Hell, maybe even three blocks away!

After all, high pitches travel farther….

The old adage for classical singers: “you MUST sing in a way that the last row in the hall can hear you” came to my rescue (despite all the years of silence….no microphones were used in the opera world, at least not back then….)

And so, donkey-man inspired me to reclaim my voice…

not just for scream-covering

but for singing… again….

wouldn’t it be a sweet SWEEEEEET revenge to sing opera every day under his head?

According to the law, I could sing from 9 am to 10 pm….

Of course no voice could do that, but,

methinks that just one or two hours of opera, or singing exercises,

you know, those obnoxious “vocalises” that are repeated over and over and over again…

Could do the job of

bouncing back

acoustic torture

in his ears……

Then, maybe, just maybe,

he’d head for the hills..

DEFINITIVELY

In the meantime,

what with Covid closing down performance chances for singers,

Let alone the years of silence, and the age factor,

Given I was told I was “too old to have a singing career” at 22 (by men who were in their 50s and 60s),

this is not about a “career” comeback, and my best (only) chances at performance might be

BUSKING

(which I also did before, but that’s another -long- story…)

I could just put up that ad,

to make some use of all the past years of training and experience,

& earn a thing or two from my voice anyway…

albeit in a different format….

call it recycling skills/ creative crisis-management/ finding a niche…….

And so it shall come to pass:

SOPRANO OFFERS SCREAMING SERVICES…


Leave a comment

Not even a pandemic….

Not even a pandemic, a YEAR AND A HALF of social isolation, of lockdown after lockdown and the inability to see friends, the impossibility of going out with them or sitting and chatting with them FOR A YEAR AND A HALF….. NOT EVEN THAT GOT PEOPLE OFF THE BLOODY SCREEN OF THEIR “SMART”PHONES/ IPHONES/OR WHATEVER GADGETS THEY, QUITE LITERALLY, WORSHIP…………

NOT EVEN A YEAR AND A HALF OF HAVING LOST THE BASICS OF SOCIAL INTERACTION, AND OF LOSING THE CERTAINTY THAT LIFE WOULD EVER GO BACK TO WHAT IT WAS,

NOT EVEN THAT WAS ENOUGH TO MAKE PEOPLE APPRECIATE THE COMPANY OF PEOPLE, SO THAT, NOW, WHEN THEY CAN FINALLY MEET (A THING WHICH CANNOT BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED EVEN WEEKS AHEAD), ARE THEY ABLE TO

SIT AND LOOK AT EACH OTHER,

TALK TO EACH OTHER,

DEDICATE THEIR ATTENTION TO EACH OTHER,

INSTEAD OF TO THEIR BLOODY SCREENS

You’d think that, for ALL OF US, AROUND THE WORLD, after going through this pandemic experience, which is not over yet (and may not be for a while to come), that we, the human race, would have learnt a thing or two….

After all, WHAT MORE than such a prolonged world emergency, the isolation, the lockdowns, and the losses in human life, to make us SEE what matters in life, especially that, for a long time, none of us knew how safe we really were, and lived with the looming dread that the next body count could be us, or our loved ones?

What more than a year and a half of no socializing at all, to the absolute minimal socializing to learn to VALUE your friends and TO WANT TO SIT AND TAKE IN THEIR PRESENCE??

Apparently the pandemic was NOT enough…

A year and a half of isolation MADE NO DINT…

ZERO

ZILCH

Tonight I saw these scenes over dinner at a restaurant…

Mind you, eateries have reopened only a couple of weeks ago,

after the umpteenth lockdown….

People were sitting at tables with their “friends”, each FULLY IMMERSED IN THE SCREEN of their worshipped gadget…. when they “talked” to each other, they talked about what they were watching, showing each other their respective screens and “talking” about what’s on them, then going back to direct their full attention to their screens…

WHAT MORE DO PEOPLE NEED TO VALUE THE ACTUAL WORLD OF FLESH AND BLOOD PEOPLE

OVER THE VIRTUAL WORLD ON MOBILE SCREENS

AT LEAST FOR THAT ONE HOUR OR TWO WHEN THEY MEET THEIR “FRIENDS” OVER A MEAL??

WHAT LEVEL OF LOSS

must human beings experience to appreciate the gift of friends,

ALIVE, healthy, right there in front of them to share a moment in time together

A moment for which there is NO guarantee in the future….???

If a year and a half of loss, isolation and watching the world-as-they-always-knew-it crumble

was NOT ENOUGH…

WHAT EXACTLY would it take???

THREE YEARS OF A PANDEMIC?

FOUR?

FIVE??

TEN???

IS THERE, ACTUALLY, ANY DEGREE OF LOSS CAPABLE OF BRINGING BACK THE VALUE

OF PEOPLE’S COMPANY

MAKING IT MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT OF GADGETS,

FOR JUST THAT

ONE OR TWO HOURS A WEEK????????????????????

OR,

is the formerly human, now mobile-fixated race at THE POINT OF NO RETURN, and

NO AMOUNT OF LOSS

IS CAPABLE OF

EVER

SHOWING THEM

THAT REAL HUMAN FRIENDS ARE

MORE IMPORTANT THAN SCREEN FADS,

NOT EVEN FOR A MEAGRE

TWO BLOODY HOURS A WEEK

?????????????????????


Leave a comment

The best gaslighticide

The best gaslighticide is

a gaslighting-FREE experience,

whether in the past, or the present..

SOMETHING TO COMPARE TO…

Without that, you’re up for grabs to gaslighting from the professionals and amateurs alike…

Not all gaslighting is created equal…

There are the professionals, who calculate their words and carry out their gaslighting in a deliberate and very pre-meditated way,

And there are “the rest”….

Who could be people who just have a high dose of “stuff” that results in their interactions often working like gaslighting,…. stuff that is not necessarily deliberate or calculated, and which has to do with many things that I don’t profess to know, but could only guess:

character

mental filters

prejudices

feelings/thoughts about “the other”

There is one CONSTANT though:

INSENSITIVITY

Whether it’s an insensitivity towards others in general, or a SELECTIVE INSENSITIVITY towards that one person they don’t like or think poorly of…

No one can indulge in gaslightling, even when inadvertently, unless they are INSENSITIVE to the point of being OPAQUE towards the other…

And, when dealing with the non-pros, they are often not aware that they are gaslighting, they are simply expressing what they think/feel about the other, which, when totally off-the mark, UNJUST or TOXIC, is equal to

GASLIGHTING…

Back to the anti-dote:

The ONLY WAY to see gaslighting for what it is and protect yourself from it is having an experience (even in the past) with humans who do not-EVER- indulge in such hitting-under-the-mental-belt tactics….

That’s all it takes……

If such others are not available in the present, but existed in your life in the past, all you need to do is to

REMEMBER

hold up a MIRROR,

COMPARE

That is a strong enough shield…

If such others (even just one person) are in your life in the present, then,

so much the better..

I can’t emphasize it enough:

REMEMBER, COMPARE…

Those who make you feel like sh**, those who always see what you do as negative,

those who don’t even see what you actually do but have this urge to constantly accuse you of something or the other, whether that’s because they have a fixed negative image of you that won’t allow any contrary information to seep through, or, whether they are just full of prejudices and you fall on the wrong side of their mental screen, or for

WHATEVER dodgy reasons

that you’d be doing yourself a big favour to stop trying to understand….

YOU NEED TO COMPARE HOW THEY MAKE YOU FEEL WITH OTHERS

WHO DO NOT OPERATE FROM A FOUNDATION OF

MISTRUST

ACCUSATIONS

TOXINS OF ANY SHAPE OR COLOUR….

That’s ALL IT TAKES….

COMPARE…..

REMEMBER….

COMPARE……

REMEMBER……


Leave a comment

Why can’t (most) Italian women trust me?!?

“YOU’RE THE ONLY WOMAN I TRUST TO MARRY MY HUSBAND”

Said a South American friend to me once (when living in NY).

They were illegal immigrants (like countless others, especially from South America), I was their friend, and her “plan” for me was: “marry my husband for a few years (a pretend marriage on paper), he’ll get the green card, divorce him, I’ll marry him back and get the green card too, and we’ll all live happily ever after”.

Back then, I refused, and tried to explain to her how outrageous such a request was (a thing which she didn’t understand at the moment).

At any rate, we basically stopped talking to each other for years, until they eventually won the green card lottery and we met once or twice on an amicable basis…. I forgave, but I did not forget…

All those years, the memory of that request remained a sore spot for me, always remembered in a negative light..

Until some time recently, when, seeing how difficult it is for most Italian women to trust me, I remembered those words and saw them in a positive light for the first time ever…..

Not for the request itself, but for the fact that, knowing me well back then, she knew that, had I agreed to such a plan, I would never have presented a danger for her marriage, nor would I have “stolen her husband”….

And, while I thought she was bonkers to ask me such a thing back then, I’VE COME TO APPRECIATE HER WORDS FOR THEIR LEVEL OF TRUST, despite that bonkers nature and context..

For, while that woman-friend trusted me to the point of asking me to “marry her husband”, some Italian women act as if they see me as a “threat” to any males in their extended family, not even someone as close as a husband… even if the issue at hand is contacting them to ask for information over something or the other……. ???!???

I realize this, too, sounds 360 degrees bonkers, given my age, but it happened so many times in the distant and recent past and keeps repeating, even now……

Maybe I should be very “flattered” that such women see some “femme fatale” in me!?!?

An idea which is, in truth, SO FAR REMOVED FROM REALITY to be, again, 360 degrees BONKERS…

But……

I can’t feel flattered,

What I felt, time and time again, was

HURT

at such a level of mistrust…..

While the chapter of “women friendships” in my life has been mostly very bright, here in Italy, it has suffered from repeated blows, and was never stain-free.

Safe to say, in over 90% of the cases, that chapter has, more often than not, been

contaminated……to the point of being radioactive….

WHY ON EARTH????

Is it my status as a foreigner?

Whereby,

in some deep recesses of their psyche,

and despite an outward sheen of openness,

there is an in-built mistrust towards a foreigner, even when she is considered “a friend”?

A mechanism that may be hidden even from the person who acts upon it….?

Is it a Medieval mindset that views a single free-spirit as a threat to the “traditional social order” a.k.a. families, which it is their duty to “protect”????

whereby, again, in some deep Medieval recesses of their psyche,

a free spirit “follows no rules” hence, she can have an ingrained “immorality gene”, and is, hence,

a THREAT?

It certainly sounds ridiculously ANTIQUATED,

especially that nowadays, unlike 50+ years ago, single women are as common in Italy as they are anywhere in the world…….

So WHAT’S THE DEAL with them acting AS IF I were some threat to the males of their pack????!?

Again, NOBODY IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would look at me and think

“SHE’S a real threat!!”

And, nobody who actually knows me as a person would EVER think that either….

So why ON EARTH do such women act like I were not to be trusted around their men????????

I can’t profess to know where that’s coming from exactly…

But, I have seen it over and over again,

even from some women who are “friends”….

Like a curse….

it rears its head at the most unexpected moments and in the most unwarranted contexts….

Showing just how fragile that “friendship” really is (to them) and how poor their opinion of my character is…

And it is at those moments that I miss my women friendships in Egypt, Germany, and New York,

Of all my friendships with women in Egypt, only once did I have this problem, the rest are women who are STRONG ENOUGH and clear-headed enough to see others outside the “threat-to-males” filter…

women who CAN SEE the existence of a world that does NOT revolve solely around relationships to men and mechanisms to “protect” those relationships (or WHATEVER is going on inside the heads of such women here when they make their calculations about me…)

In Germany, I never had such problems, EVER…

And, in New York as well,

I miss my women friends in NY,

Never, EVER, did I experience such mistrust from them…

Even from women friends whose lives seemed to revolve around “Saturday-night-crusades” to find their life’s partner, and who considered every failed date an ominous defeat.. even women FIXATED on finding a man knew better than to see me as a “threat”…

Besides, there, any differences were accepted, respected, even admired

and NEVER seen as a serious flaw nor treated with covert/overt TOXICITY…..

And, after YEARS of being on the receiving end of hurt after hurt here,

I remember the woman who told me

“YOU’RE THE ONLY WOMAN I TRUST TO MARRY MY HUSBAND”

with gratitude..

because,

here, I’ve seen cases when women did not “trust me” to even talk directly to family members over the phone for something completely objective (like asking for information or a work related issue that only they knew about).

Matter of fact, such a request would be ignored, usually followed by a “communications freeze” on yours truly…

till I “learned my lesson”, that

THE BUCK STOPS HERE…

Talking directly to males in their orbit is

OFF LIMITS…..

Someone might say that this has nothing to do with “protecting their males” from yours truly, and simply that yours truly is a “nuisance” that they did not want to expose their pack to…. HOWEVER, such women did not have a problem granting me direct contact to someone else when that someone else was a woman…..

It felt ALL of these plus some:

INSULTING

DEMEANING

and

PROFOUNDLY MISTRUSTFUL.

Let alone the FACT that, even in my prime, I was NEVER a “femme fatale”, nor was that a part of my character…EVER…..

ANYONE WITH A CRUMB OF INSIGHT into human nature would SEE THAT LOUD AND CLEAR……..

UNLESS

their own deep-rooted PREJUDICES OVERRIDE what is right in front of their eyes…

Of course, this could be about something else altogether:

This could be about those women not TRUSTING THEIR MEN,

And the SWIPES they take at me are just

COLLATERAL…

And if that can happen from some “friends”,

IMAGINE

what can happen from the women who can’t stand my guts……..

An easy way out would be to tell myself it’s all about some closed “small-town-mentality”…..

however,

bearers of that free-range loathing have often had their share of wandering outside the small town long enough NOT TO BE prisoners of the proverbial “frog in the well” mindset..

UNLESS,

it’s a case of

“you can get the girl out of the village but you can’t get the village out of the girl”,

Or,

They project their own insecurities on me,

Or

in some deep recesses of a PRIMAL memory, the world is that of some National Geographic documentary,

where there is an ongoing territorial competition…….

although saying they see me as a “competitor” would be giving myself a certain worth that does not exist for them…

maybe they believe I “see myself as a competitor”, which would be, again, EPIC projection….

or,

it could just be a primal, “lizard brain” kind of thing…..

I don’t know how to explain their

gratuitous,

unwarranted

loathing,

other than that it points to some National Geographic moment, whereby when another animal shows up in their territory, it has to be thrown out…

Metaphorically,

at best, with the “I-wish-I-could-turn-you-into-a-frog” glare-you-downs,

at worst, with verbal jabs akin to the sting of a wasp,

both in its painfulness, and in the POISON it stabs you with…

What I did notice, however, is that such stings often come about when I DARE mention anything about another country I had lived in, because, through their National-Geographic-territorial lens, such reference on my part is nothing but a deliberate stunt to “show off”, presumably, to qualify for

the CROWN of the “QUEEN BEE” …..

the FACT that I actually lived in six countries and that my memory is a mosaic of that history is

COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT….

This is not about facts.

When someone’s TRUTH is regarded as a “offensive”,

When their ACTUAL HISTORY is considered a “fabrication”,

there is something PROFOUNDLY TWISTED at play…..

And I MISS:

The women who do NOT see me as a “threat” to something or the other……

The women who do NOT see my free spirit as a sign of irresponsibility, frivolity, recklessness, untrustworthiness…..

The women who do NOT see any reference to my life and history as a “show” to “steal the limelight” from them..

The women who do NOT MISTRUST EVERY SINGLE THING I SAY AND DO….

I EVEN MISS

that woman who told me, over 20 years ago in NY:

“YOU’RE THE ONLY WOMAN I TRUST TO MARRY MY HUSBAND”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….


Leave a comment

Lost and found

In the last week, I lost my phone (temporarily) and found a new coffee shop…

You could say, that even things out..

The coffee shop is a five minute walk from me, it overlooks a park, and aside from the “lizards corner” where there is an ongoing Jurassic-park-like activity, it has a beautiful peaceful view and is blissfully quiet (a rarity for a coffee shop here)

You just need to avoid sitting near the lizards’ playground…

Since I discovered it, I go there every morning for a cappuccino, relishing the green and the sound of the birds..

until the barking men arrive…

The barking men are a group of retirees who used to sit at another coffee shop closer to my place, but since the semi-lockdown regulations dictate that people can only sit outdoors, and since that other place doesn’t have outdoor seating, they moved to this new coffee shop..

The first day or two, I noticed they show up around 11 am, so the following day I went at 10

Lo and behold, that day, they showed up at 10:15

Tomorrow, I shall go at 9, or before…

What’s the problem?

They don’t speak, they BARK…

Even though they’re sitting inches away from each other, they are always speaking at the top of their voices..

Like that is not enough, a couple of them (the most talkative ones) “articulate” in a way as if they’re speaking under water, you just hear those big waves of indistinguishable sounds where some letters are thrown in, kind of like if you’re playing audio on a very slow setting, at top volume…

So, I hope they won’t show up at 9 tomorrow…

Besides, as of the first of June, seating indoors will be allowed in all eateries, so

hopefully they’ll go back to their original haunt

Called “the barking men’s cafe'”, after them (by yours truly)

As for the phone… my beloved and very reliable Nokia,

it fell from my hand several days ago, and even though it falls down regularly, this time, it fell from a higher distance, on its face, and never came back to life as it did every time before….

After running around to find a replacement or a solution, I found a repairs shop that would fix it in a week…

Up to 7 years ago, I didn’t have a smartphone, and lead a normal life, it is rather disturbing to realize just how much one has come to depend on such a gadget….

But, thinking about it, and given that I could always be online via the computer, here are the situations when I felt I missed my smartphone:

  • Taking pictures on the go, even though it’s an entry level phone whose camera is very basic, still, whenever I saw something interesting, I’d snap it. In these last days when I didn’t have it at hand, I saw many interesting things….and I missed it…
  • Looking up the weather, easier on the phone, did that all the time, especially that these days we could have a 10 degree difference throughout the day.
  • Keeping myself busy while waiting in line at the supermarket… always a problem that one, especially that I seem to end up in the queue where someone has some problem and the cashier must phone, consult leaflets, call another staff member, etc. to sort it out…. alternatively, waiting in line when the woman (always a woman in this case) whose turn it is suddenly realizes she wants to buy something else, and leaves her place AFTER the cashier had punched in half the items, so the whole queue has to wait while she goes back to look for whatever she forgot….

So, at times like these, I’d look at instagram, pinterest, google newsfeed to pass the time and not get angry.

Speaking of instragram,

  • I miss looking at instagram in the morning, as my wakeup routine has been: making a coffee, going back to bed to sip it while looking at instagram. Since I am following tons of arts and painters’ accounts, leafing through instagram is like a visit to a fine arts museum, all from the comfort of my bed.
  • Plus, listening to the news in French while driving, to keep my French from falling between the cracks once again.

Aside from that, there are no major consequences, but for those people who contact me only through Whatsapp only, and who might wonder (or worse) if they write and I don’t answer, so I informed them via email that I don’t have access to Whatsapp at the moment…

Other than that, I must say, I got used to being without a smartphone in two days…

Methinks it is a good experience to live without a smartphone for a week.

To get things in perspective, to remember that there is life outside of the mobile phone world, just like there was (at least for me) up to 7 years ago.

This time, the loss happened by accident, but I might just decide to establish a “smartphone intermittent fasting” of sorts, on a regular basis… don’t know the format yet, one day a week? Three days a month?

I’ll figure it out…

In the meantime, I’ll carry my camera around every time I go out in case I see something interesting…


Leave a comment

WORDPRESS-ache

Once again, I see the red sign of a notification and canNOT open it, whenever I click on it to see if it’s someone’s comment/like/follow, I get a blank column.

Nothing is working, and I am too tired (and too pissed off) to spend the night making this work.

I apologize to the very FEW who might be writing or following that, unless you email me, WordPress will NOT allow me to see your activity…


Leave a comment

This vaccine’s scam…

And I mean Astra-sh……

When I got to the vaccination site, they said they had Pfizer in the morning, but Astra in the afternoon.

I was not happy

At first, the main reason was that the time between both jabs is three months, and you’re “protected” only 2 weeks after that, meaning I’ll be grounded all summer and won’t be able to go anywhere nor see my family till the end of August.

Had it been Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson and Johnson, I’d have been able to travel in June..

FOUR BLOODY MONTHS OF CAPTIVITY, STILL

FOR A VACCINE THAT OFFERS THE LOWEST RATE OF PROTECTION!!!

For, as I was waiting the 15 minutes after taking the shot, I looked up its efficacy, and it said around 70%!!!

70 BLOODY PERCENT????

WHY IS THIS VACCINE EVEN ON THE MARKET?

Given that all the others offer well OVER 90%- WHY THE BLOODY HELL SHOULD ONE THAT OFFERS SO MUCH LESS BE ON THE MARKET?

Because of the commissions….

whatever “bonuses” the pharmaceutical company gives politicians and members of the governments who allow it to be on the market DESPITE ITS VERY POOR PERFORMANCE.

And now, I feel PISSED OFF,

SEETHING WITH ANGER,

TAKEN FOR A RIDE,

SACRIFICED FOR THE FILTHY GAME OF

“WHATEVER-FOR-PROFIT”

THAT IS GOING ON HERE, AND AROUND THE WORLD…

I don’t see why should I be grounded four months for a PITIFULLY POOR VACCINE like that!?

MY SOLE PROTECTION shall remain the one I had for the last 14 months (helped by large doses of vitamin D which I’ve been taking for years, long before Covid).

As if that were not enough,

A good friend of mine who took the same vaccine yesterday

is very ill today and developed a very bad reaction to it..

I’m very worried about her

And, tomorrow, I might well be in her shoes

It’s the weekend, my GP won’t be available, and while she has a family around that could help her, I have no one here..

So

I guess I’ll sleep on the sofa close to the door and have my mobile phone next to me in case I wake up in that place..

That’s even MORE REASON to be seething at the administration of that shitty vaccine (yes, here, I said it) that, despite all the side effects, offers ONLY 70 BLOODY % PROTECTION…

But hey, the politicians got their “gifts”…

AND THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS…..


Leave a comment

Vaccine, penguin, and other remedies

Today I’m getting the first jab of the vaccine.

I’m nervous,

after all, there are some casualities, albeit minor in number….

Could it be me?

It’s a bit like getting inside a plane after 9/11, when the inevitable thought crosses my mind:

each person that got in those planes thought they’d arrive at their destination in a few hours……….

How do we know?

Should I write a letter/will to my sister and leave it on my desk?

All the people I know who’ve taken it had no problems…

But, again, how do we know?

On to something else,

Yet another rant…

Half the people who live around the backyard spend their lives socializing under my bedroom window,

Fellini-style

People having a conversation in front of the garage that lasts for ages,

people chatting across balconies, and, even though they live in the same building, they’d rather socialize from the balcony than take that one little step outside their door and meet inside….

Letting the three buildings that share that backyard hear their conversation…

The concept of voice-volume-control seems alien to them,

Or simply, to them,

noise is a non-issue…..

And so, I call on Ludovico (Einaudi) to the rescue

putting on his music loud enough to cover the Fellini moments taking place outside my window….

Every morning

Sometimes every afternoon….

You could ask “why not leave the bedroom”?

Well, on the other side of the flat, there is “donkey-man” braying in his balcony all day and all night…

Given the extreme abrasive ugliness of his voice, not to mention it’s volume, I’d rather hear the Fellini-folk..

Einaudi could cover them…

Nothing could cover donkey-man…

Nothing…..

And, by the way, I’ve known and liked Einaudi long before “Nomadland”…

I put his music half the time when I’m painting

The other half, I prefer blissful silence

That is, if the Fellini-people and donkey man have ended their daily show…

like last night, when I wanted to find a way to paint something

and stayed up for hours making, literally, over a hundred experiments…

(But, I’ll write about the painting in a new blog that I hope to get started soon)

Then, there is the penguin

Called “Gwinwin”,

Which is what my lovely niece called a penguin when she was a toddler….

Gwinwin is a tiny adorable stuffed penguin given to me as a gift by a friend when he saw my obsession with baby penguins on instagram…..

I KNOW that it would give me comfort to carry it on me, Kangaroo-style, when I get the vaccine,

Should I?

Normally, I couldn’t care less what others think, but,

Sometimes there is a line to draw somewhere,

Something tells me that standing in the vaccine queue holding a stuffed penguin to my chest might be crossing that line…

However, I still would have crossed it, using a phrase that is often repeated in vaccine-related coverage:

“The benefits far outweigh the dangers”…..

The only reason why I may not carry it on me while waiting in line is:

Should anyone ask me about it, I’d burst out crying,

Because of the anxiety of 14 months of lockdown,

nearly half of which were in total isolation, solitary confinement,

Because of the sadness of realizing that all those whom I thought cared about me, actually did not….

I will probably take the penguin with me in the car

all the way to the vaccine parking lot,

then leave it there

To wait for me till I come back

And hopefully I will,

Because there are a lot of paintings I still want to make…..


Leave a comment

How long would it be till they make it Meghan’s fault?

Are you willing to bet that, within days (either a day or two, or after the eight days of mourning, if they have a CRUMB of decency in them) will the British Media make the death of Prince Philip Meghan’s fault????

I am willing to bet…

It is a pattern,

and it is very, VERY predictable..

The question is not “whether”, it is “when”…..

I shall remind you, my lovely imaginary readers….