Friday, 26 December 2008

Traffic accidents, earthquakes, snow storms and other presents

Life is going on quietly here. Everything has been smoothly going along towards Christmas, and now along towards New Year. Nothing much is going on, except the other day one guy ironed my car well along the left side, then another one of these days there was an earthquake and I felt my desk swaying as if on a boat, this morning I woke up with Valdagno dressed in a thick snowy blanket, and from 2009 I'll be changing my job, home and flatmates.

Is there something that won't change? No idea. I guess I should just change the haircut as well and have done with it.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

There she is!

You know that one slow driver that always magically happens to get stuck in front of you on roads where it's impossible to overtake? It's an every-morning tradition to guess which kind of a car it will be this time (usually a lorry, but it could also be a perfectly good BMW that just doesn't seem to be able to accelerate). I drive 40km to work each morning and I know the road by heart, most of it is either too narrow or too heavily trafficked to allow any overtaking at all. So I need to resort to all kinds of shortcuts, parallel roads, village and fieldside roads to avoid The Slow Car. Up to now I had always thought of the Slow Car as a car rather than a person, but now I finally met the Slow Person, too!

One gloomy rainy morning, waiting for the lift, I found next to me a 50-ish lady, well dressed, wearing a heavy mask of make-up and an expression that was obviously too naive for her age. She decided to pick up some conversation:
S: "Such a horrible morning, isn't it?"
m: "Mhm."
S: "Yes, and the traffic is terrible!"
m: "Mhm." (Indeed it was, I had suffered for 15 minutes behind a car that couldn't read the road signs and went along at the speed of good 40km/h until I couldn't take it any more and blew the horn to make the car wake up or pull over. No reaction.)
S: "And the people get so vexing too on days like this, they keep making such rude gestures at you when you're not fast enough! Ah, there is no patience in the world!"
m: "Mhm..."

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


I wonder - if all roads go to Rome, how can one get out?

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

tutta sola soletta

Being home alone is generally a good thing. Nibble instead of proper dinner, watch silly movie, no conversation. Except when being home alone is because flatmates are:
a) in Petra, Jordan
b) in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Feeling a little pathetic and quite envious. Should eat something heavy, but fridge empty. Might watch Bridget Jones to top it all off.

Friday, 3 October 2008

The delights of Mom and Dad

Choosing a supermarket depends on a lot of things, but not so much on the prices or quality of the merchandise. I think the first thing is the parking lot. Then the exposition. And then, brace yourselves, you Northerners, because in Italy (or at least in the Veneto countryside, dunno..) grocery shops are closed on Wednesday afternoons on account of being open all day (can you imagine, all day without a lunch break?!? oh, hang on - yes I can...) on Saturdays. The trouble is that Wednesday is usually when the weekend shopping starts running low on essential provisions, so it's always that day I invariably find myself in front of a closed supermarket. Famila is  the only one that is open that night, so this is where I go.

Today I checked the "magic points" account on our Famila fidelity card. Apparently we've spent at least 2500 euro on our shopping this year, each worth a point. The "magic points" will cancel themselves sometime soon, so everyone is invited to use them on wonderful presents proposed by the supermarket. There's this little catalogue and everything, divided into sections: Presents for Mom, Presents for Dad, Family vacation, and so on. 

Family vacation would be interesting, because they offer ski passes as well, though for the season 2007/2008, so who exactly do they think they are kidding?

Presents for Mom is what one would expect - pots, pans, mugs and stuff for the kitchen, all for an excessive amount of "magic points" to be spent. What I did not expect was Presents for Dad. What would you think would be a present for dad? A drill, maybe? Well, there was a drill. One. Then, apart from that one drill that apparently will be the peak of Dad's commitments around the house, there is: a camera. Apparently only Dad is able to operate this highly complex piece of equipment. Then there is a printer for printing the high-quality colour photographs of the family. Again, for Dad, who is able to use it because he has a computer at the office, but Mom doesn't, because she probably does not go to work on account of being committed to her family. OK, this would all be very well, maybe the nice marketing folks at Famila simply didn't know where to stick the silly little camera and I'd simply be getting all indignant for nothing. 


The third, most distinctive Present for Dad is a rocking chair. A nice, well-studied rocking chair for Dad to relax in while Mom is cooking in the kitchen. Mom won't have time to use the chair, because she's too busy. Dad, however, has worked all day to provide a living for the family so he will need a good rocking before dinner.

I really have no idea what to choose for my 2500 magic points.

Monday, 22 September 2008


It got cold so suddenly that it only took a day to pass from sandals to woollen sweaters. I shuddered along for a week before giving up and bringing down the winter archive. There are still things in there that I'm unlikely to ever need in Italy - the scarf I made especially for the piercing winds of Vilnius; double mittens that don't need to be taken off for anything; and the only hat in which to handle -20C. That hat is so thick it would qualify as a helmet, and it's also somewhat of a social experiment, because I used all my leftover yarn on it without much regard to the colour effect, and as a consequence I've had more than just a few people laughing behind my back on trains. It does make me look quite silly, especially when the earflaps are tied down, but that doesn't really matter, because I've seen that hat freeze over stiff and still be warm inside. I'm saying it's highly improbable that I might need all this equipment here, but you never know. My room is already improbably close to the freezing point, so maybe this will be the first true winter?

Monday, 15 September 2008

where I come from the things are different

Things are getting stranger.

A few weeks ago in Bremen:
A: No wonder the Germans look ill, see what they have on the menus here!
me: Yeah, but it's not only Germany that's like this, we have something similar going on...
A: No, that's not true! OK, the gnocchi is not the most healthy, but pasta is alright, don't you think?
me: Sure, except I meant we in Estonia...

Somehow the people I know don't seem to register my saying "da noi" or "at our place" as talking about Estonia any more, but about Veneto. Am I finally being taken as domesticated?

Oh well, let's get out with it then

Rather than post any pictures where it would be impossible to deny the apparent lack of looks on my part, I'll just offer a through-the-years perspective from when I was younger.

Create your own at