Archivi del mese: marzo 2011

Montréal and I

Montréal from the MountainLike a modern migrant I wanted to see Canada because I read, and I have been told, that is a nice place to live. A better place than here. Montreal, some say, is the most European city of the new continent. I don’t know: what does European mean?

I am an Italian living in UK with a French past and a (Franco-) German Orso, and still I could not say what is “European”. I know I am, but it’s a feeling more than anything else.

Underground art, literally

In Montreal people start a sentence in one language et la terminent dans une autre. This struck me, not because I was surprised, but because I thought it was a privilege reserved to multicultural families. To us.

To me, mixing languages means being always able to look for the exact word, to go as closest as you can to the meaning you want. Maybe it’s just me but I think we can understand each other better if we can speak more than one language. If you bring yours, and I’ll bring mine, like dishes at a dinner party.

Secondly, Montreal seems to believe its own stories. Like I do. The Mont-Royal, where the first French colons planted their cross (now a Tour Eiffel like cross which disappointed me a bit me and Lucy) it’s hill that dominates the city. But they never call it a hill. It’s la Montagne, the mountain, even if it takes half an hour to get on top.
Again, the power is in the name, in calling things what we want them to be, and by the power of the words, they are.

The cross on La Montagne

Let’s say it is a mountain. Let’s say we are explorers. Let’s say you’ll never leave. Let’s say I will make it.

Lucy Looking at Montréal

Of course, you need to see the majestic cathedral, visit the immense cemetery (my favourite travel plan is city highlights- food-cemetery-market-galleries-shopping), experience the underground city, do some restaurant hopping and admire the city covered in snow. But I can tell you about later on.

I walked, eat many sorts of food, talk and talk, smelled the snow, found a talented hairdresser: Montreal felt a little bit like home, a home I have never been before.



Lettres quebecoises

Montreal if not always beautiful, is fascinating: look it through my (and Lucy’s!) eyes here


Montparnasse: long distance relationship

Originally published here in Italian.

The stories they tell is what  I like about cemeteries. In Montparnasse there are the artists of my era, above all Simone de Beauvoir, but also Ionesco, Beckett, Man Ray that we never managed to find. And then there are all the others.

Une seule personne manque et toute semble depeuplé. One single person is missing and everything seems desert.

Isis is 28, like you last year, when I met you. Jo is seven years older. Her family call him her “compagnon” because they are not married, because Isis, in their eyes, will never be a grown-up. Even if every year they go to visit his family in Brazil, like any other grown-up couple. How many planes in a long-distance relationship? Especially in a Translatlantic one! Flight AF447. What do lovers do on a long flight? They sleep one over the other, they watch movies hand in hand…

What other way to die, if not together, coming home?