Mental Paella

Living in Italy, before, during and after Covid


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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….


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Of bears and artists

“Become a qualified artist”…..

Promises an ad online…..

Even the “bear consultants” that used to sprout on PBS radio around Valentine’s day make more sense…

What exactly are they advertising that would make you become “qualified” as an artist???

Even if you were to go through Arts school, no amount of classes or years shall turn you into an “artist” if you don’t have potential…

Even if you have tons of degrees but your “art” sucks, your “qualifications” won’t save the day….

Reading on to find out what on earth was that about, it turns out that by “qualified”, they didn’t mean through studies, classes, workshops or any specific arts degree,

Instead, their ad promises they will make you “qualified” if you let them handle your marketing,

but instead of saying “gain visibility as an artist”, they figured “qualified” is better… “visible” would imply you are already an artist who just needs to be seen, “qualified” implies you are NOT worthy of being deemed an artist yet, unless you go through their process…. big difference…

Even then, your “art” will have nothing to do with it,

but only your bank account, your gullibility, your need for recognition in a world where too many are vying for visibility…

If you are starving for validation and willing to suspend belief before anyone who promises you THE ticket to it, then their choice of “become a qualified artist” would do the trick….

if you are “qualified”, that’s supposed to be one step above all those visible, but who are not “qualified” as you would be, if you just let them qualify you…

Replacing the word “qualified artist” with anything else, you get THE Alpha and Omega of ALL advertising…..

And it hit me,

Advertising is, in most cases, the continuation of the tradition of

fairytales….

Only one that “grown ups” are allowed to believe in…….


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The legs of the vaccine

“Lies have short legs”……. goes an Italian saying….

“Lies have no legs”……….. goes an Egyptian saying…..

One more thing we, Mediterraneans, have in common……

In less than an hour of listening to the news, I heard two versions about the vaccine:

In one, an official said “there is no problem of vaccine doses, we have enough”…

In another , half an hour later, another official said “the problem is the vaccine doses, there aren’t enough”….

Meanwhile, the Mafias feeding off the vaccine are having a field day…

And we, the hapless masses,

Need to prepare ourselves mentally and psychologically for one more year of captivity….

Assuming the games will end in a year………


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What’s polenta got to do with it?

They were supposed to be oat cookies….

They turned out to be polenta muffins……

Was it the memory game I played with google’s recipes?

Was it the other types of flour I threw into the mix?

Was it because the yeast did not behave as it was supposed to?

Let’s start from the very beginning:

I googled “oat flour cookies”, but,

Everything I got was “oat chocolate chip cookies”…

I did NOT want chocolate chips in my cookies…

So I googled “oat flour cookies without chocolate chips”,

Still, ALL the entries I got were with CHOCOLATE CHIPS….

I googled it again, putting “without” in capital letters…

Nothing changed…chocolate chips right, left and centre…

I googled yet again, this time adding “WITHOUT BLOODY CHOCOLATE CHIPS”

You guessed right….

And I believed google was the next best thing to Aladdin’s genie….

I figured if you can’t beat them join them, I’ll look at one of those recipes and just skip the chocolate chips….

Choosing an easy recipe, I put google aside, and worked from memory,

adding a bit of alternative flours to the oats (almond and Cassava)

Something didn’t work with the yeast though, it wasn’t in powder form, but in granules, like mustard seeds, could that be right? I followed the instructions on the pack: dissolve it in half a cup of warm water with a teaspoon of sugar, leave it for ten minutes, after which, it should “froth”…

Ten minutes passed, and it didn’t froth…maybe the water was too warm?

I reread the instructions, the word they used wasn’t “warm”, it was “lukewarm”…..

Ohps….

I started whisking everything (every time I use the electric whisk I say “bless your heart Sister”, as she’s the one who bought it for me)the dough was too creamy I thought it won’t hold the cookies’ shape, so I added more flour,

still too creamy, so I poured it in a muffin tray…

After putting it in the oven, I went back to google’s recipes to check if there was something I missed…

I hadn’t missed anything, but for the yeast incident…

And now the cookies, a.k.a. muffins, are baked, brown and cracked in an authentic rustic look…

tasting like polenta…

Maybe I should eat them with mushrooms?

Hey, I just created a new recipe:

Mushroom cookies……


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Spring, lizards and Amazon

The first signs of spring in my little town are the lizards…

They come out of their hiding and run all over, all the time, everywhere…

So much so that often I find myself jumping around so as not to step on them anywhere I go..

Almost as if my little town were a miniature Jurassic park…

I wonder why the signs of spring that we hear and read of do not include the lizards?

Are the lizards of my little town unique in their behaviour?

Is the terrain of my little town exceptionally fertile for lizards?

Fact remains that THE sign of spring this side of the Continent is them,

The lizards….

As for Amazon, do you (lovely imaginary reader) feel as happy as I am when you’re expecting an Amazon delivery?

Do you feel like a child awaiting Santa (even though you are the one who paid for that gift)?

Do you feel like dancing up and down the stairs when the package finally arrives?

Do you feel like hugging the new books when you go to bed the way you hugged your Teddy ages ago (or still do)?

I just got an Amazon delivery, two French novels to add to my expanding shelf of French books in my quest to improve my French…

I think it’s time to stop ordering French book, as I have enough to read until September, or beyond..

In the last two weeks, I’ve slowed down because I am reading a DELIGHTFUL novel that I don’t want to end, it’s called, “Venise n’est pas en Italie” (Venice is not in Italy) by Ivan Calberac… it is so full of intelligent humour, making me laugh on every page…

I don’t want it to end!

Unfortunately, it is the author’s only book (his first, hopefully there’d be more).. I googled him, turns out he’s a film director by profession! His first book is a fantastic read!

I found on google that they made it into a film, but I don’t want to watch it till after I finished the book.

A book is always infinitely better than a film based on it..

Back to Amazon:

If it were not for the expense, I’d order something from Amazon nearly every day, just for the joy it brings me when it arrives…

Matter of fact, should I ever win the lottery, I would buy myself a yearly Amazon voucher (a BIG one) so I could order an item a day… might be a problem though, I’d have to move into a bigger place to put all the books (which I wouldn’t have time to read in my lifetime…. )

But, if ever I won the lottery, I could get myself a house, just to have room for the Amazon books (and now, painting equipment) and, so as not to feel guilty about it all, I’d write a will to donate them to libraries when the time comes….

Maybe a house like the one in “The Little House on the Prairie”, with plenty of space for the books, and, far, FAR AWAY from all the horrid neighbours, whether it’s donkey-voice-upstairs-braying-on-his-phone-in-the-balcony-for-HOURS-daily, or kids who seem to be having an ongoing Halloween party (also daily). or that grandmother in a house across, who takes her grandchild out to play in the courtyard (for 10 years now, grandchild is of the same age and size, so either he’s a Dorian-Gray case, or her offspring is making a new one every year), and who never stops yelling at the child (it might be her normal speaking voice) in what I deem “acoustic abuse”….

If I won the lottery, I’d be protected from the whole lot,

plus, I’d have plenty of room for my Amazon goodies…


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Covid hideouts, Covid syndrome

According to local authorities in my little town, Covid is lurking in specific aisles and displays in shops and supermarkets, which are then cordoned with bright red and white plastic ribbons to stop shoppers from accessing them…

The culpable aisles and displays are those of household items, pots, pans, cutlery, underwear, but, most importantly SLIPPERS….

It’s not that the entire aisles are closed, they are open, but the items are cordoned…

For some medical wisdom, the explanation of which we simpletons cannot possibly comprehend, such items must be off-limits, while all the other aisles are open, and while shoppers fill the shops and supermarkets ANYWAY…

If you happen to drop the remaining skillet you have and it gets bent out of shape, tough luck, you will either have to fry things in big pots, or sneak out to the nearby town (against lockdown rules) to buy one there, as their medical knowledge is not as advanced as that of my little town, and so, the household items are not off-limits to shoppers….

Ah well……

As for the Covid syndrome, or rather, ONE OF THE MANY COVID SYNDROMES to yours truly, it is developing a sweet tooth when formerly I had none …

So, I decided to try my hand at the cookie-baking business…..today..

Store bought cookies are too full of sugar I don’t like them, besides, the scent of freshly baked things is one of the best anti-depressants in existence…

Not that I’m depressed at the moment, but, with lockdown after lockdown and NO END IN SIGHT, I am a few step from being there…..

Hopefully, homemade cookies would push me back a few steps more…

I did what I always do when cooking something new:

I play a memory game with google:

look up the recipe, turn it off, see what I remember, and

go for it…

This way, the end result is always a surprise and a discovery… (for better or for worse)

Not that I’ll remember what I did the next time I make it,

But that would make it a surprise and a discovery all over again…(for better or for worse)..

It’s a path of infinite possibilities:

It could turn out a fiasco the first time, but great the second,

It could turn out great the first time but a fiasco the second,

It could come out a fiasco twice in a row but great the third….

You get the picture…

One recipe,

Infinite possibilities….


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Vaccine protection money

The HEAD OF the EU “executive vaccine task force” (no less) just said that ” Europe has ABSOLUTELY NO NEED FOR THE RUSSIAN VACCINE SPUTNIK V”………………

“ABSOLUTELY NO NEED”???????????????????????????????

With an average death toll of 500 DAILY in Italy alone, between 20 and 25 THOUSAND NEW CASES A DAY and a vaccination campaign the effects of which are NEGLIGIBLE, Europe has “absolutely no need”????

With Germany on the verge of a full lockdown, France tightening its curfew, and MOST OF ITALY a “red zone” JUST LIKE IT WAS A YEAR AGO when the pandemic had just appeared, and yet, we “HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO NEED”?????

I still remember when Italy was first (and worst) hit by the pandemic and France made JOKES about Italy and Covid, while the Russians sent teams of doctors and medical experts to help the country face the pandemic…

What that miserable excuse of a human being means is:

It is OK to lose thousands across Europe every day and hundreds of thousands every month AS LONG AS THE PROFITS REMAIN OURS… Because, that BLOODY VACCINATION CAMPAIGN aint’ doing its job in MOST OF THE EU COUNTRIES.

Maybe the Russian pharmaceutical companies do not have that oh-so-sweet PR stunt of “gifting” officials in order to favour their interests….?

Maybe the EU vaccine producers that creature claims have produced “enough” have ALREADY PAID A BUNCH OF POOR EXCUSES OF HUMAN BEINGS WHO ARE IN POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY TO DECIDE WHO GETS THE VACCINE DISTRIBUTION CONTRACTS, AND HE, AND THE OTHER WHO RECEIVED THE “INCENTIVES” HAVE TO KEEP THEIR END OF THE DEAL?

EVEN THE MAFIA HAS ITS CODE OF “HONOUR”…

In the meantime, hundreds die every day in Italy, meaning thousands across the EU, while that piece of work claims we “ABSOLUTELY HAVE NO NEED” FOR ANOTHER VACCINE…………….

Did that miserable piece of work LOOK AT THE FIGURES? (Rhetorical question)

HOW ABOUT THE FACT THAT EU PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES, WHICH HE DECLARES “SUFFICIENT TO MEET EU NEEDS” CLAIMED THEY CANNOT MEET THE DEMAND AND ARE ACTUALLY DELIVERING ONLY 30% OF WHAT THEY WERE CONTRACTED TO DELIVER??????

THAT HE CLAIMS THE CONTRARY MEANS ONE AND ONLY ONE THING:

HE IS ON THEIR PAYROLL…

Personally, I wouldn’t mind going to Russia to get the vaccine there in the summer, because, CAUGHT BETWEEN THE VISE OF ALL THE LOCAL + EUROPEAN + INTERNATIONAL MAFIAS, we, the people, are NOT and shall NOT get that vaccine in the foreseeable future….

But, given that the EU DICTATES THE RULES OF WHICH VACCINE TO USE, I could well go get it in Russia, yet still not be allowed to travel, with it still not considered “valid”, because pharmaceutical companies have stretched their tentacles to rule the market and block (and possibly invalidate) other “external companies” (a.k.a. the ones who don’t PAY protection money)

In the meantime,

an average of 20 thousand new cases appear in Italy alone every day,

and an average of 500 people die of Covid in Italy alone EVERY SINGLE DAY….

Personally, I do NOT need further proof that what is behind the vaccine distribution is IS A MAFIA.

Not the one you see in Scorsese’s films with Sicilian names, this one can have posh French names, or any other names, what they DO HAVE IN COMMON IS THAT THEY ARE NAMES OF PEOPLE IN POSITIONS THAT GIVE THEM THE AUTHORITY TO DECIDE WHICH VACCINE TO ALLOW AND WHICH NOT…..

AND IT HAS NOTHING, I REPEAT,

N O T H I N G

TO DO WITH WHAT PEOPLE NEED IN ORDER TO STOP DYING FROM COVID,

BUT EVERYTHING, I REPEAT,

E V E R Y T H I N G

TO DO WITH WHO GETS PAID WHAT TO

STUMP “THE COMPETITION” AND “HONOUR” THE DEALS THEY WERE PAID FOR……..


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A ship with two captains = A vaccine with two mafias

The unnerving feat of trudging through Italian news to hear anything about the vaccine, or anything of worth, is, so far, yielding the same results as when you bite into cotton candy……

It is like an ongoing talk show, with the ONLY concrete news being that of deaths….

As for the vaccine, the fact that they’ve been BLABBERING about the vaccination campaign for three months now, but the results on the ground are NEGLIGIBLE, means either they are lying through their teeth, or, those vaccines that have allegedly arrived have been grabbed by the Mafia, to be sold to the highest bidders.. after all, at this moment in history, THE vaccine is a much more profitable business than drugs…

But, it’s not just the old school Mafia that is the problem, it’s the pharmaceutical companies, having now discovered THE single most profitable hit EVER…

To expect them to put the well-being of the entire humanity before their profits would be the mother of all Little-Red-Riding-Hood moments…

All the games of pharmaceutical companies’ delay of delivery, reneging on their contracts, delivering only around 30% of what they were contracted for, point to political, MAFIOSI games….

The way things are going here in “il bel paese” (the nickname for Italy), we shall NOT be vaccinated for a very long time, possibly years, during which time, assuming we survive Covid, we shall go on living in captivity…..

So, it’s not just the two Mafias tug-of-profit, it’s the total INEPTNESS of the administration/management of the vaccination campaign that adds to the hopeless situation on the ground…..

As for AstraZeneca’s vaccine and official venues declaring “it is safe”, what they mean is, losing 25 people out of several millions that had taken the vaccine is OK, they will say it’s safe just to carry on, and, of course, not to lose MONEY….

Do you really think the big players CARE about the lives of 25 people, and the upcoming loss of life if they keep it on the market?

The COUNTLESS WARS-FOR-PROFIT where HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS lost their lives is enough proof of which choices shall be made when what is at stake are big profits….

I just read an article that scientists from Greifswald in Germany DISCOVERED THE LINK BETWEEN ASTRA ZENECA AND THROMBOSIS, and how it could be cured (unfortunately, people cannot take the medication to cure it as a preventive measure, but can only have it AFTER THE FACT, if thrombosis is on its way, and they’d better hope they’d stop it in time…)

However, A LINK HAS BEEN DISCOVERED, meaning Astrazeneca’s components ARE RESPONSIBLE for thrombosis of the brain in the cases when it happened….

Will we hear about this discovery much?

How fast will the link be invalidated?

I’ll check every day,

I’ll keep you, my lovely imaginary readers, in the loop…

I wouldn’t put my hopes up though…

Between a pandemic that is spreading like wildfire,

A vaccine that is sometimes deadly,

A Media that is nearly always lying,

governments that are USELESS,

historical Mafias that are lunging to make a kill from the vaccines……

Just how much of a chance does humanity have………….?


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About the Sussexes, again..

I was hoping not to have to write about that any more, however, the barrage of abuse against them never ends, and some of it hit a nerve, because of the COVERT mental, psychological and verbal ABUSE it contains….

Just now, YouTube sent me notification of a link saying “so and so” (some journalist or TV “personality”) is “asking Meghan to shut up….” I listened for a minute, thinking the person who made the video was posting it in protest, but it turned out that she agreed with him…. that “Meghan should shut up”, because it’s not time, because this and that, and, to be honest, the reasons used DO NOT MATTER..

What MATTERS is the PRINCIPLE:

People telling someone “what you think and feel doesn’t matter”, even worse, people actually believing that THEY ARE THE AUTHORITY on other people’s feelings, they have the right to “OK” what the experiences OF OTHERS mean and feel…

How ON EARTH does that work?

It’s no longer just about Meghan, it’s about ANYONE who has been subjected to a distressful experience and their thoughts and feelings are INVALIDATED because, someone else says that they’re “inappropriate”….

??????

Turns out, the self-appointed thought police wants to pander to the very people who caused the hurtful experience, but instead of saying that point blank, they pretend there is some “moral imperative” for the hurt person to “shut up”…

It is ABUSIVE

It is level with what any psychopath worth his salt would say to try to silence someone who speaks up:

“Your experience/thoughts/feelings are inappropriate/not “right”/trivial/not worth hearing/just shut up”…….

So they decide what is “right” and what “not” and the person’s experience cannot possibly count unless they declare it worthy, if they don’t, and if, on the contrary, they declare it worthless, that should invalidate the harmed person’s very own experience???

I mean, we all know how animals pee around a territory to mark it and lock horns with anyone who dares set foot in their marked territory… HOWEVER,

the human race seems to have LOST IT as to what compounds one’s “territory”………. many seem to act as if the minds and feelings of other people are their own “territory”, and they engage in battle if others HAVE ACCESS TO THEIR OWN THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS AND EXPRESS THEM…. the “mental-pee-ers” (pun intended) go further to throw tantrums, acting INDIGNANT that others DID NOT CONFORM TO WHAT THEY, THE PEE-ERS, WANT …

Again…

How the BLOODY HELL does THAT work????

And yet, it happens every single day, and people engage in replying to a FALSE PREMISE, without seeing it for what it is, getting dragged to details that the abuser has created to MAKE BELIEVE that the premise is real, continuing to build up details over a false premise, asking people to “answer to those details”…… it’s 101 psychopathy…

Humans seem to be the only species in the animal kingdom who have gotten the TERRITORIALITY bit ALL WRONG…

Who is the superior species again???


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Mental Paella OverDose

In the last few days, many things have been thrown into the paella all at once….

Painting, Covid-events, Covid-inspirations, Chess losses, apartment drama and other things I don’t remember at this moment (Midnight) but, the weight of which I feel anyway….

Lets start with the most benign: the Chess program that is always lost every time Windows does an update….

Not that you can choose to refuse the update, the only thing you can decide is when to accept it, but accept it you must…

It took four hours to update, and the only thing that I can see by way of change is the colour of the taskbar…

Plus, my “chess titans” program disappeared and I had to re-install it yet again (as happens after every update)..

In the former Windows 7 (which I liked much more) it was part of the bundle of games that came with the PC, with windows 10, it isn’t, and you have to look for it online (and hope you won’t get all kinds of garbage attached, as happens with some links)…

Why don’t they have it? Why do they insist on deleting it with every update?

No idea….

But, I just put it back, because I like to play a few games every day….

That was the most benign of the bad things…

Less benign is a “situation” with my apartment, whereby the administration is trying to rip me off with payments…

Without going into much detail, tomorrow I’ll take a few steps to get to the bottom of this, and if it is verified that they are trying to dupe me, I shall move…

It won’t be easy… it would probably be a nightmare, but, I’m in no rush, and will ask the agency to take its time in the hope that I could find something affordable, with space, light, quiet and not on the third floor with no lift, but maybe the first or the ground one, maybe I’d get a corner of a yard to create a small garden…. maybe…

It feels dreadful to be ripped off though, and I shall fight that till the bitter end…

There would be a silver lining though, that I won’t have to spend HOURS a day, especially in the summer, listening to “donkey-man” upstairs braying on his phone in the balcony… I’d be able to open my windows without having to live with his endless loud blabber in what is probably one of the ugliest voices on the face of the planet… come to think of it, when he starts his balcony show, I can hear him just as well with all the windows closed…. just why someone who lives alone would take all his calls in the balcony, letting the entire street know his stuff, is beyond me…

Talking about silver linings, there is more than one with regards to the Covid-lockdown and the Covid-dread…

A few days ago I got into a verbal fight with a thug who insulted me over something trivial, he said something nasty to me, so I answered him to put him in his place, which, apparently, he didn’t expect, whether it’s because he’s twice my size so in his mind only the “biggest” has rights, or whether it’s because in his world, women never answer men, let alone snap at them, or whether a woman in his home DOES snap at him and he doesn’t have the courage to face her, so he is compensating by dumping his rage on strangers, or, whether he is just a small-minded bully with a gland that oversecretes testosterone, whatever is behind his thughood, he spat these words at me “Rumanian piece of shit!”

AND I SAW RED….

the Rumanians I know here are the BEST, KINDEST , most HUMANE and SOULFUL people I know…

Insulting them that way unleashed the inner “Hulk” in me….

Aside from the fact that 90% (or more) of caretakers of the elderly here are Rumanian, so if they were to leave, Italians would have to do the job themselves, that he curses them when they are doing a very important job that the average Italian doesn’t have time to do, is despicable… it is, however, a typical prejudice of the Italian north…. this is not to say that the only thing Rumanians do is taking care of the elderly, they do all kinds of jobs, and, as I’ve seen from the last 13 years teaching English here, they are THE ONLY ONES KEEN on making an effort, FOR REAL, to learn English, as opposed to the average Italian who loathes anything that requires effort (but I’ll write about that in some other post)…

At any rate, the moment he said “Rumanian piece of shit!”, I replied “Italian piece of shit!” and it went further downhill from there..so downhill that, after being some 8-10 metres away from me, he kept coming closer, I was sitting and he was standing, and he just kept moving closer and closer to me while spewing abuse, I presume to scare me….

at which point I took off my face shield and told him “come closer so I can cough my Covid in your face”….

In a second, he was back 8-10 metres away again, still insulting me, and I replied to him in kind, I knew he wouldn’t dare come closer any more and I was fully ready to give him a “cough shower” in the face… even though I don’t have Covid (yet) , I was going to unleash my inner ” Traviata” (parts of which I sang in the past, especially her dying scene) and cough to my hearts content, smack in that Neanderthal face of his…….

Later I thought to myself, “hey, I should have started walking closer to him without the face shield as he did to me to watch him run away”… but, I might have been pushing my luck…

I was surprised at my calm when he came so close to me with a “strategic advantage”, me sitting, him standing, me half his size, him blocking the sky over me… luckily for me, whenever something like this happens, I am hit by a dead calm and just stare the person in the face and don’t get rattled… it happened several times in the past, the worst of which was in a Berlin tube when some nazi skins thought I was Turkish, told me they would burn me alive (I was just standing in the tube like the other passengers) and one of them lit a match and kept moving it close to my hair (I had long dark hair that went down the sides of my face nearly to my waist, which the Nazi skins saw as proof that I was a Turk (not that another nationality would have exempted me, Turks are the biggest Middle Eastern ethnicity in Germany, however, anyone darker was a target…) he stood there repeating how he’ll burn me, I looked at him without moving… I suppose he was waiting to see signs of fear or distress, and so he didn’t carry out his plan until he had seen them, or maybe his plan wasn’t to “burn me alive” right there in the tube in front of all the passengers, but to relish the sight of fear /distress… I can’t tell.. . I didn’t step away and stood there staring at him with the match inches from my face… all the other passengers just watched and only a minute or so later an elderly man came over from the other end of the compartment and intervened, yelling at him, shaming him and shooing him away… I got out the following stop just so as not to stay in the same train with them, the elderly man got out too, and he kept apologizing to me saying “people keep repeating the same stupid mistakes, we who have seen that once, don’t ever want to see it again”. I thanked him profusely for his help then I saw two policemen on the U-Bahn platform and went to complain to them about what happened, after all, the guy held a match to my face threatening to burn me alive… their response was to ask ME why was I in Berlin to begin with (!?!) requesting to see my documents, passport, student-ID, you name it….. when they saw that my papers were in order (I was a student), they just walked away, their sole reaction to such an incident of someone threatening my life was to question ME and my presence in Berlin….

What this seemed to mean is that darker-skinned foreigners weren’t going to be protected, the sole thing they would do is to investigate the foreigner, or, as I was called in Germany “die Schwarze Auslanderin” (the black foreigner… not that I mind being called black when I’m olive-skinned, it’s just my professional deformation as a painter, but, anything that wasn’t Aryan white was black…period. Worthy of being on the receiving end of demeaning remarks all the way up to threats (happened countless times in Germany)… and, threats to us ignored by police, I presume it is safe to deduce that they, too, thought the same as the average racist on the streets, only they couldn’t express it as freely, but only in the form of investigating a foreigner, even if that foreigner has been the subject of a threat to their lives….

That was not the only thing that upset me, though, the other thing was ALL the passengers -with the exception of that elderly man who came all the way from the back to help me- just stood there and watched, as the Nazi skin was hailing a barrage of abuse at me (“you filthy Turk” and other gems)……what if he had thrown the match at my hair?

They all just stood there and watched like the spectators of a gladiators show…

Sorry for the long digression… just to state that I’ve been on the receiving end of MANY street threats, whatever their motivation…

Back to the Italian Neanderthal of a few days ago…

Truth be told, such a thing happened to me maybe just four times in 13 years in Italy, 2 of them were brawls while driving, and the driving-in-Italy chapter is another one that deserves a post unto itself…

However, I am now telling all of my women friends, if anyone tries to physically threaten or intimidate you, do the “I’ll cough my Covid in your face” bit…

The other silver lining of Covid is doing something with my time to ward off the downward spiral of depression…

It’s over a year of ongoing captivity now, with a few months of truce in between, but the way things are going in Italy with the vaccine (and it’s derailment), it looks like we will be in this situation for YEARS TO COME…

And so, the only way out is to learn or do something that inspires me, to take my mind off this reality, and, in case there is a world after Covid (not sure of that much), I’d have a couple of new (or old-but-revived) skills up my sleeve…

And so, for three months, I immersed myself in French, doing it almost full-time. After being a “lower intermediate” level, I am now intermediate.. I can even understand French films a tad bit better… though, given the speed at which they talk, it works like an “echo”: they say something which, a couple of months back I’d never have understood, now I’d grasp only a second later… it’s a delayed understanding, but at least it is happening slowly…

And, given that I pushed it up one level, I can start focusing on something else, not abandoning French, but aiming at a few months of “maintenance”…

And that something else is PAINTING. I decided to go back to painting, after AGES…. so now I have tons of things to work on that would keep me busy, things that the lockdown cannot affect, on the contrary, one could say that the lockdown actually plays a positive role in pursuing those things…..

in the space, time and silence of the lockdown, I have all that I need to immerse myself in painting….

Here in Italy, the lockdown is likely to be indefinite,

for, after month from the start of the vaccination campaign,

they can’t seem to finish vaccinating those born in 1941 yet…