Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Back into the tunnel

So we were unveiled the long waited results of last weekend elections and discovered that, "surprisingly", our country is completely ungovernable and split in three equivalent parties (in terms of numbers, I mean), each unable to talk with the others and looking no farther than the tip of their feet. So we heard again that we spent millions of euros during the last week just to let the rest of the world say that "we" are unable to choose or agree (beside football, fashion and ... female). And ... yes, we started listening at the sirens of those who went looking at the financial markets and came back singing the old tune of the "spread" rising over the limit.

We're back into the tunnel. Did anyone ever think we were out?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Nobody at the helm.

Italy's been called to vote. Today and tomorrow the fate of our country and, according to many others, next years' Europe will be written. No one was taking heed anymore of the track, the ship was drifting with the tide. It was about time to have someone holding the helm tight and carry us on. There's nothing else but wishing for better times ahead.

Goteborg, The Maritiman En-Plein-Air Museum

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

In wait - (I)

An indoor marketplace in Goteborg's downtown, not far form the "Avenue", the city "salotto". At eleven in the morning, people are already sitting to the bars with an abundant dish in the hands. Some others walk through and put a glance on the shelves and quickly go away: here goods are offered as if they were real pieces of jewelry. No one realise of this strange Italian man with a small cam in the hand, leaning on the wall, as he was waiting for someone. After all I'm not the only one in wait.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Oil Station

Oil is not for free. How much oil, I wonder, is necessary to light up a refueling station as if it was on a sunny day? Would one or two customers per night pay back for the oil? Oil for oil for oil.
I'm alone, here, with no one to share these spikes of my mind. I'd better not attempting to make (and answer) questions like this and carry on with the night walk.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Hotel Rooms

Spending many days and nights far from home can sometimes reveal strange feelings and sensations, expecially when you find yourself alone and have time enough to stop and think about what's happening to you. I feel, for instance, a sense of gratitude to the simplest items that travel with me, silent and reliable companions.

Midnight has passed minutes ago, I'm about to slip between the sheets and turn the light off. Everything's ready for tomorrow. Yet, one second before clicking the switch I stop and stare at my shoes. I've walked for some miles along the river banks, tonight, never stopping, not to get frozen and wet my feet with the slush that was covering the large limestone blocks of the docks. They deserve a good brush. I must keep it in mind for tomorrow, before I get into the breakfast room.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The night hunter is back

Oh, how nice and exciting is walking around the street of a foreign town, walking aimlessly and feeling free to throw your glance at the upper floors of the apartments and concealing in the shadow of a street corner, as you wait for your prey to get close enough for a snapshot. The corner of a side street in the old district of Haga, in Goteborg, is by far the safest place in the World for such a practice.
I had to wait a while before findng my hunting spot: in winter time, at ten in the evening, streets are already desert, empty spaces, good for your mind waves and experimentation.  Yet, to make it interesting, you have to find someone in the right place, in the right moment, with the right attitude.
In Haga's winter evenings, those few people that you come across look like moving from nowhere to some nowhere else. They appear just behind a bend and quickly vanishes few steps past your shoulders, after casting a rapid glance at your silhouette. After one, two or a few more passers-by, you start whishing you could capture a picture of one of these ghosts, So you sit or lean to a wall and act as you were distractled by the buttons of your gears.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Better times ahead

After three days of meetings, presentations and discussions with Italian and Swedish colleagues - in a couple of cases carried on till past our dinner time in our hotel lobby -, I've managed to find half an hour for a lone walk along the river banks. Full of excitement for such an unexpected opportunity, I've gone out of my room soon after dropping my backpack and taken the shortest path behind the city Opera House, where the "living", en-plein-air naval museum is located.
The thin cover of fresh snow that I found on my arrival, last Sunday evening, has surprisingly melt down. Wind is even more surprisingly absent. Walking is therefore a real pleasure and I've made my tour with fingers crossed, wishing that the batteries of my camera wouldn't leave me unable to shoot: a good shot is always told to be behind the corner. So, wishing for better times and opportunities (not necessarily from the photo-amateur point of view), I've walked aimlessly through grounded boats, anchors and chains, with my mind left free to any kind of wave could ever pass by.
Those boats are parts of the glorious ships exposed along the banks and still able to float and do their valuable job. I stopped a while, while taking some pictures and thought of myself. I should have sat for a while on that bench and listened at their advices for these moments of indecision of mine.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Take Off lane

It's about time. Few minutes more and my flight will be ready for boarding. I've been sitting a while close to the large window of this airport hall, looking at people coming and going. I have noticed that no one holds anymore a newspaper in the hands, even though it's given for free in places like this. Smart phones,  music players, PCs and tablets have replaced the focus point of today's travellers' field of sight. Looks like everyone is fearful to look people around into the eyes. There's no time to take care of what's happening around. I have had as well the temptation to plug the cord of my PC into an outlet coming out of the nearby wall, but it was not working. I'm thinking this time I was lucky.
Having no one else to look at, I turned my sight to the vast expanse of space beyond the glass, the take off lane that's turning to white as the day falls down, the incumbent wood that covers the horizon and the grey sky that's promising not much.

The accordioninst

In the main shopping mall of Goteborg downtown, inside the gallery that isolates from cold, rain, snow and strong winds thousands of people walking up and down, every hour of each day, before the bright shining windows of the shops, there happens to meet this man playing the accordion. He stands upright playing italian old tunes from the early morning hours till the late hours when the mall gallery gets closed to the people. I actually don't know where he's coming from.
Saying he's an Italian is far too easy. Yet, having seen him several times I'm more keen to say he's from somewhere else but decided to make the people believe he's from my land for convenience.
Who ever he is, which ever his past life has been, he stands still and gently salutes everyone passing by. I actually don't have records of Goteborg's people generosity, but I've seen more than once someone stopping by this man, putting a coin in his paper glass and asking for few seconds of a tune before stepping forward on his way to office or home. There's still someone who hasn't surrended to the appeal of modern digital players.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Good vibrations

It's been a long and enduring week the one I just spent with a colleague of mine in Goteborg. There have been highs and lows. A long list of items to walk through in a relatively short time. An excellent start that turned into a somehow disappointing end. So, last Thursday, when everything started looking like unrecoverable, unsolvable and difficult to carry on standing on our bare feet, I proposed to take a break, stop keeping knocking our foreheads on the desk, leave the office earlier than usual and treat ourslves with a quick visit to the exhibition I wanted to see. We rushed to the tramway and jumped on the first "trolley" passing by, to get off as soon as we were beside the main square at the top end of the city "Avenue", where the Museum building stands.

It's been really helpful. At the end of the tour (and my visit to the Hasselblad Center exhibition) we were so relaxed that, instead of punishing ourselves into the tiny hotel gym, we took a long walk down to the piers and through the old quarters behind them.

Passing behind the town Domkyrka (Cathedral) we stopped in front of the windows of the Wiktor Ahlstroms shop and made our way in, to sit for the celebration of this year's baptism of "semla".