Places

My as concise as possible tips for Brussels to friends

I miss you everyday of my life, was so intense a period… So bohéme how I was living! There are many places I couldn’t write in that small paper, for more infos I’m available to help as it is so beautiful remembering. I will come back there soon I hope, maybe in June for the Saint Plon’s birthday (still have to figure it out, if you my friends Giuseppe, Marina & family are reading be aware that thesis or not, I could and I would try to make it !)

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Culture

Formidable, jamais fort-minable!

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Questo ragazzo mi piace. Classe 1985, lineamenti esotici, tanta arte. Perchè di arte si parla: i testi sono densi di significato, le clip originali e l’interpretazione alla finale di Sanremo è stata da brividi. Non l’ho incontrato in Belgio, l’ho perso qua in Italia, magari c’è speranza nella magica Costa Azzurra? Abbiamo visto tutto, le canzoni più belle sono passate – adesso sono solo melodie rifatte o giochi elettronici – sulla scena internazionale attuale gli esordienti possono sperare di spaccare e avere i 15 giorni di fama se da quasi minorenni a Los Angeles sfiorano il rehab, violano qualche legge e/o fanno clip dove compaiono lingue, smorfie e corpi nudi con tanto di tatuaggi e piercings. Vestiti e accessori che sarebbero lussosi e simboli di eleganza stracciati o mescolati male nel contesto e negli outfits di tutti i giorni. Qua in Europa nulla sciocca e fa parlare, poco va oltreoceano. Ma Paul Van Haver ce la fa. E ce la fa con profondità,sentimento e carisma. Fossi stata all’ Ariston avrei fatto più baccano. Congratulations!

http://www.soundsblog.it/post/246375/sanremo-2014-stromae-canta-formidable-video-esibizione

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CAMWdvo71ls&feature=kp
Tous le mêmes, ah oui!

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Lifestyle, Places

The erasmus/orgasmus state of mind

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One year ago, I landed on Belgian hearth for the best. I was beginning an experience called sympathetically by students “orgasmus”. In fact, the sensation was this: nerves really on tense while mentally in ecstasy for every new discovery; the idea of not really knowing what I would have done with this great story, if it would be a great one night stand or if it would be much deeper and useful; it looked like a mystery, I had heard friends who had already experienced it but still the versions were all different – apart that it was widely defined as “great”, “unexplainable”, “the best time”; I had needed to open up my mind at expectations, knowing that anyway I would have trembled of pleasure counting my personal version afterwards. Oooh yeah, I couldn’t imagine at all on that 28th of January…
I fell in love immediately with my room, on the rooftop of a beautiful XIXth century house, whose owners are the greatest family friends. I had a family on the two floors down to where I was, yet I was independent in my territory, shared with three flatmates on whom I had a strong curiosity; I was told there was a Spanish guy and two girls, a Rumanian and another one that was about to leave to be replaced. The fact is that at the moment I arrived, taken from the station by a friend, nobody was there except a ballerina to which Luis had lent his room. I met him the next day but he was about to live for holidays. The Rumanian woman (she’s 28) was at her boyfriend’s in Amsterdam, the other room was occupied by an Italian girl waiting to leave it to a Turkish girl. To cut short, I was alone. And I couldn’t stress anytime my family downstairs. The first night, after the erasmus welcoming beer meeting, I got lost in Ixelles (my neighborhood) because I mistaken the bus stop. First days, I was obliged to get the idea of which exams I could do, and they were all different from the ones I thought – either I had already done them in Florence, either they were the first semester’s. Indeed I had to go to the market, get an idea on how to survive, possibly meet new people etc. I was lucky I already had a friend who introduced me and we could go out – it was the holiday period in the university so they were all free and happy -. It was great, apart the panic attack I had in an electro disco – we haven’t the same tastes -. I experienced true home parties. My floor was for long empty, and I felt abandoned there; later on I discovered that is was better, as I didn’t really get on with my flatmates… Without entering the argument, the saying “smoking like a Turkish” is damn true; but oh my, if it was just this one the problem… Let’s drop. Probably I had my little vices, too: loud music, don’t make noises while I sleep until 2pm, dangerous cooking (I monopolized the freezer to fill it with Picard’s stuff and actually cooked nothing but French fries and vegetables), home late in the night making noises with high heels, later on own guests – fantastic when I cooked waffles for Mexican big guests at 4am while I was waiting for a cab to the airport -. They didn’t know how to live, anyway 🙂
I shifted groups and friends every week, I entered the inter nation’s events, I had no center of gravity. And I was on the crazy idea of only attending russian classes and be ready to do the biggest exam from 0 to 12ects knowledge: this was my biggest bet, nobody believed I could make it but my tutor was alike, and she did her best (thank you Yulia, I love you). Ah, and I had 5 more classes than Russian, which I never attempted!!
All this looks fun, but believe me, the first period was between heaven and hell, as I fell sick for a dust allergy, didn’t know any doctor and couldn’t breath at night… And I missed my parents, granny and friends so much that I was coming back to Italy often – even for the elections! – and took them there to fill my fridge with jam and Italian delicacies, and make my mattress on the floor much more beautiful with a magnificent leopard blanket. The second period I got much more used to my life alone and I began to fill my nights with Saint Plon’s karaoke and crazy events. The only regret was to give a second chance to my ex boyfriend, a jealous desperate very Italian guy who was actually able to screw up at the erasmus gala were I was nominated miss erasmus, just because he heard speaking other languages that were not Italian that – obviously a closed minded idiot of 26 – couldn’t even make the effort to understand. If the team express is reading this post, I deeply apologize – I am very thankful for the experiences we had: Bruges, introduction to Brussels etc. – it’s going to be a regret forever, I am glad the story ended one week later in the worst of manners. Ok, not really a regret, as the best arrived later and I got stronger than ever with my ambitions and fantasies, independent to anybody. I passed all my exams with great notes and to cut short, I continued with this rhythm and I gained one year at the university. Fuck yeah, it was a multiple orgasm. I wish everybody could have the fun I had while working really hard getting results. Love to all the people that joined the excitement, it was/ still is “the best period of my life”.

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My window was the highest, with red little curtains…

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The side of the ULB where I had Russian classes… I miss all this beauty and green in an institution.

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Culture, Lifestyle, Places

Life is so much better if sometimes it rains and sometimes it doesn’t

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Sun makes people lazy. Isn’t it fun to run through the rain and join your destination? And when all the deeds are done, to dry yourself and find comfort in your home, in the arms of your loved one or hugged by a blanket… Rain is creativity and energy, and I really enjoy it when it’s shared. I remember the day I did two exams in Brussels: the day started very sunny and warm, but -while time was going by and with it all my knowledge and expectation in the harder Erasmus day ever-, clouds were increasing proportionally with my anxiety. And as soon as I entered the class where I had to show up my Russian force, a heavy rain began to drop. In two hours it got only worse, and I had to afford a crazy run to the bus station with ballerinas at my feet. Luckily I saw a boy with an umbrella that helped me. It was like a mirage, he was Italian and he run with me. I didn’t even know his name, but I’m still thankful and by far that moment will always make me smile. The bus took half an hour to get to my stop due to traffic, half an hour spent talking with a young girl already professor of philosophy, then crazy run with short stop telling my friends at Saint Plon that I had survived and probably I had even succeeded. My day didn’t even end when I reached my beloved wooden room, I had to celebrate it: it was the first, the hardest and of course the unforgettable one . There’s no way to describe how I love surprises, and this is true even with the weather. Wherever I will live, there’s no city like Brussels, where you can experience all the seasons in one day.

I miss the heavy snow in march. Why have I born in Italy?
Then, why all the greatest romantic literature is set in cold countries and is dominated by Wuthering Eights? Passion, death, ghosts and eternity cannot be represented by the sun…. and by far, aren’t they the more charming?
The coldest and stormiest, the warmer.

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La vita è così migliore se a volte piove e a volte no!

Il sole rende le persone pigre. Non è meraviglioso correre sotto la pioggia per raggiungere la propria destinazione? E quando tutti i compiti sono stati svolti, asciugarsi e cercare conforto nella propria casa, tra le braccia della persona amata o riscaldato da una coperta… La pioggia è creatività e energia, e adoro quando è condivisa. Ricordo il giorno in cui dovevo sostenere due esami a Bruxelles: giornata iniziata con un sole primaverile ma,- con il passare del tempo e con ciò tutte le mie conoscenze e aspettative per il giorno più duro del mio esasmus-, con nuvole crescenti proporzionalmente con la mia ansia. Come sono entrata nell’aula dove dovevo sostenere lo scritto di russo, una pioggia fittissima ha iniziato a cadere. In due ore non ha fatto altro che peggiorare, e dovevo raggiungere la fermata dell’autobus con una folle corsa con delle ballerine ai piedi. Fortunatamente intravidi un ragazzo con un ombrello che mi aiutò nell’impresa. Fu come un miraggio, tra l’altro era italiano e corse con me. Non sapevo neanche il suo nome, ma gli sono sempre riconoscente e quel momento continua a farmi sorridere. Il bus impiegò mezz’ora per raggiungere la mia fermata a causa del traffico, mezz’ora impiegata piacevolmente a chiacchierare con una giovane professoressa di filosofia.  Scesa di lì, dovetti intraprendere un’altra corsa folle con una piccola pausa al Saint Plon per comunicare che ero sopravvissuta e che pensavo di essermela oltretutto cavata con gli esami.  Raggiunta la mia adorata calda cameretta di legno non potevo far finire il mio primo e più intenso, perciò indimenticabile giorno di esami. Uscii ancora, condivisi la pioggia con una persona cara, e festeggiai.  Ovunque vivrò, non troverò una città che mi soddisfi come Bruxelles., dove in un giorno si possono sperimentare tutte le quattro stagioni.  Mi manca la neve intensa nel mese di marzo. Perchè sono nata in Italia? Poi, perchè tutta la migliore letteratura romantica si situa nei paesi più freddi ed è dominata dalle immagini di Cime Tempestose?  La passione, la morte, i fantasmi, e l’eternità non possono essere rappresentati dal sole… E non sono questi elementi i più affascinanti? Più freddo e più tempestoso, più profondo e caldo.

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Culture, Food, Lifestyle, Places

About local markets and multiculturalism

Local international markets, that’s one of my favourite contradictions. Those markets discoverable only by chance or by sentito dire, that grow like mushrooms in different spots of the city, different by themes and products sold but similar and each unique for that unique melting pot of the sellers. And unique because in those special days there’s a nice courious crowd in the spot: families, friends, couples, single persons that bear a smile on their faces in trying and tasting foreign,genuin products. Then,discussions or coups de foudre about the picture of a special dinner, suggestions on how to eat these delicacies… even I could be a good chef like this! Brussels is unbeatable about food, l place this city even over Italy: as capital of the European Union there are all kind of national cuisines for all the exigences. There you go for luxury, Michelin stars’ awarded restaurants (eg, Belga Queen) to everyday-delicious places. The smell of  delicacies and beer is always in the air. I’m not going to stop in a too long list that would took me hours, l was simply talking about markets. And l recalled Brussels because actually two of the best internationals (and l am talking of an international cradle) were really close to my beloved home: sunday morning in Place Flagey and wednesday afternoon in Place de la Chatelaine. The latter in particular was my favourite, l haven’t missed a walk there since when l first discovered its existence. The neighborhood – my neighboorhood- is antique and picturesque, and it’s not a case if it’s called “little Paris” for all the lights along the little streets opening up on the square. A single girl with boring, unsimpathetic and unfunny flatmates suffers longing to buy everything with the only imagination either to get fat alone either to forget everything in the fridge. So, as long as l remember just once i managed to prepare myself a goat cheese salad without the salad, ergo with frozen green beans  (I love eating as much l hate have a good dish alone or have to eat it two times, so I found smarter to fill the freezer. My parents were shocked once they found in june the same prosciutto they gave me in february). It was not really the eating part, but the chatting and discovering one. And of course, cocktail hour there. Not take-away, but enjoy-the-moment-in-the-place. When cheering in the crowd, it’s better not to take pictures, so the ones in the link below could have been taken by me on the solitary walk part.

http://bonjourbruxelles.blogspot.it/2011/06/le-marche-de-place-du-chatelain.html

So, can you imagine how happy l was to discover that in Livorno for a weekend we had an international market of that stile (less elegant but still..!) ? Another motto of mine is: “If you don’t come to the world, the world comes to you”. Two  weekends ago l had the belgian friends; last one I cought the colourful world with my friend Laura,talking with different people of different nationalities: russians, dutchs, brasilians, spanish, irish, french… I was so impressed and happy to meet those people: real travellers with real stories, smiling and partying even though working. Sunday evening many of them were about to go back to their refurnishment spot soon after with a long drive, to be ready to be on thursday in Grosseto or elsewhere. A big camion contains their office, then they’re free to go where they want. My dearest friends there have been the french, and whoever stops in a special market like this one in Italy should try Vincent’s biscuits. He’s a true breton defending the cause that French Riviera is not France because there’s no french people anymore but italians, russians, arabians etc. His biscuits are like his ideas: originally french. Here’s the link of his site http://www.biscuiterie-de-kerlann.com/index.php?idpage=1&idarticle=45. I had the fortune to visit Bretagne when l was little,- and little by little many regions of that beautiful country-, but l am glad to see that wherever l go and live, France is not far and by far those biscuits are like the ones l had locally when I was a child. Here’s a photo taken in Mont Saint-Michel, in Normandie.

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Je ne veux pas traduire ce post en italien car je devrais d’abord le traduir en français pour la joie que j’ai d’utiliser cette langue et pour la supremacie que je lui donne parmis toutes les autres. Donc desolée pour mes compatriotes mais ce post va rester dans la langue que mon coeur aurait choisi  s’il aurait pu.

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Food, Lifestyle, Places

Nespresso’s supremacy

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Good morning from Berlin! It’s wonderful l am drinking Nespresso even here, I was worrying I would be poisoned but I am very lucky my acquaintances always, unconsciously, have my tastes 🙂

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This is the coffee machine we have in Italy, object of a lot of discussions as my mother claims the property and I use to steal her capsules. Lately I began to buy them on my own and claim the co-use. Easy, ‘cause I drink the stronger coffee than anybody in the family.

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By the way, capsules are very practical and can be ordered from everywhere by the website

https://m.nespresso.com/?pv=nes-web

Personally I love to go in the shops and ask for a try; that’s the best way to have a perfect coffee for free! In Brussels the shop was huge and the corner was really small and comfortable though, with a staff really kind. I could sit and meet people at the round table, and was served with biscuits too. I didn’t find that kindness in Italy, for no reason: we Italians can’t even claim the ownership of the enterprise (it’s Suisse!) and the prices are the highest.

Xx, A.

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Lifestyle, Places

Надо жить потребностями дня, то есть забыться. (Anna Karenina)

We must live the needs of the day, that is to forget.

Stefan Arkadievich has been caught by his wife with the French governess and when he wakes up in the morning on the leather couch in his studio he recalls the fact and tries desperately to find an answer at что же делать? what to do. The more natural, yet complicated and unsolvable one is the quote I reported. The brother of our beloved Anna Karenina was particularly devoted to amusements and pleasures in life; he knows that that phrase can be applied even when it’s about waiting a woman’s anger to fade away.

As I knew that the only way not to get excessively anxious about my exams during the Erasmus in Bruxelles ( I spent 5 months there and managed to get 6 exams with great marks, included russian, that left that scar of great love for all the community and the proud to shout it even on the web) was to get down at the bar on the corner every night, sing at the karaoke every thursday and possibly never get to sleep without some champagne. – God bless le Saint Plon and me not having a car there -. Time went by and I could wake up late everyday with just a coffee and my goals stamped in my mind, but not guilty of being overcame by them.

Because the privilege is having the privilege of forgetting.

For the very reason that I so often get completely and passionately involved in every single moment of a common day, – so much that it happens to forget what’s more real in this-, I decided to start a blog and share with the world extracts of my life which I will be forced to think on.

Why you should be concerned? Because – as I, like people with great brains (quoting Churchill now), have big curiosity and can fly around often (not only with planes) – , this blog will be about anything that comes to my mind and has particularly touched me: a place, a book, a film, a purse, a cat, a jewel, a hat, politics, music….. a person indirectly, if it makes me grow and reflect in front of the screen of my tablet, like an ultimate version of Carrie Bradshaw.

An optimus way of forgetting the burden of time, isn’t it? A thought for Baudelaire, that would have suggested to get drunk continuously.

Enivrez-Vous

Il faut être toujours ivre.
Tout est là:
c’est l’unique question.
Pour ne pas sentir
l’horrible fardeau du Temps
qui brise vos épaules
et vous penche vers la terre,
il faut vous enivrer sans trêve.
Mais de quoi?
De vin, de poésie, ou de vertu, à votre guise.
Mais enivrez-vous.
Et si quelquefois,
sur les marches d’un palais,
sur l’herbe verte d’un fossé,
dans la solitude morne de votre chambre,
vous vous réveillez,
l’ivresse déjà diminuée ou disparue,
demandez au vent,
à la vague,
à l’étoile,
à l’oiseau,
à l’horloge,
à tout ce qui fuit,
à tout ce qui gémit,
à tout ce qui roule,
à tout ce qui chante,
à tout ce qui parle,
demandez quelle heure il est;
et le vent,
la vague,
l’étoile,
l’oiseau,
l’horloge,
vous répondront:
“Il est l’heure de s’enivrer!
Pour n’être pas les esclaves martyrisés du Temps,
enivrez-vous;
enivrez-vous sans cesse!
De vin, de poésie ou de vertu, à votre guise.”

Xx, A.

Надо жить потре…

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