Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Tag: fabiozac

All’improvviso

Un bel messaggio da Fabio, che ora vive in Cina.

Ciao Lorenzo,

ho appena letto il tuo messaggio su skype. Faccio un sunto: da un mese e tre settimane sono passato da dire ogni cosa in inglese senza riuscire a capire le risposte e ad articolare anche la minima frase ad addirittura fare pubblicità in cinese alla scuola di inglese dove lavoro in maniera regolare da qualche settimana. La lingua è una roba difficile, per ogni carattere imparato e memorizzato ce ne sono altri 10, 100, 1000 che ancora non so. Pazienza, ora sto cercando di arrivare a dicembre e superare gli esami, per ora a quelli di medio corso, ho passato due sezioni su quattro, per dicembre spero di superarle tutte. Per il resto, sto insegnando inglese in una scuola vicino all’università, al momento non mi lamento ma appena trovo un altra scuola con una paga superiore mi sposto, ma non prima di gennaio. Ho visitato un bel centro di ricerca e analisi politica (Chinapolicy) ma cercano abili bilingui e io ancora non lo sono. Ogni tanto seguo gli incontri di Thinkinchina, un think tank informale di studenti delle università Beida, Tsinghua e Renmin. Non ho ancora considerato il Phd ma ci sono buone borse di studio, quindi spero di fare la scelta quando ce ne saranno ancora. Per ora a Pechino mi sto trovando bene, ho intenzione di rimanere fino a fine visto studentesco, che scade a marzo, salvo imprevisti o novità. Passare da Gallipoli, Trento, Nimega, Penang e Sheffield, non proprio delle metropoli, a una megalopoli del genere (20 milioni di persone) è qualcosa di assurdo, c’è gente ovunque, letteralmente. Per il futuro, non sono ancora convinto della Cina al 100%, vorrei ancora provare qualche altro paese asiatico e sto valutando dove mi conviene spostarmi. Tu raccontami di Firenze e tieni presente che da Marzo fino a data da definire potrei (condizionale d’obbligo) essere in Italia. In bocca al lupo e un abbraccio.

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A matter of targets

A few days ago I was having a conversation with Fabio. My point was, essentially, that we should never limit ourselves because we think we are not capable of something.

This, of course, is a rather banal argument and not particularly original in any way. But it is worth being remembered from time to time, as I often feel that some of my acquaintances renounce to pursue what they would love to do as they do not dare to take the first step for a change in their life. Inertia is a very dangerous thing. There are, of course, many other friends who dared to do exactly what they wanted to do: Andrew, who took off to live in Egypt; Tommaso, who’s pursuing his career in London; Stefano, who left everyone to go and live in Austin; Giovanni, who stayed in Trento to follow his passions; and many others. Anyway!

In the course of my conversation I was trying to remember a quote from the last book I read, Henry Thoreau’s Walden. I usually do not like quotes: taken out of their context their original complexity is diluted, if not distorted. But this one is particularly good. I was able to find it and it goes like this: “In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they’d better aim at something high.

Incontri / Encounters

Even the most impressive beaches can become the asshole of the universe when invaded by thousands of selfish tourists. This, unfortunately, is the story we got out of the otherwise enchanting seaside spanning from Lecce to Santa Maria di Leuca. It must be said that the hostile masses of tourists at Torre dell’Orsa, Laghi Alimini, and Torre Santo Stefano got us by surprise after we left Alberobello, the relatively peaceful hobbits’ village. Struggling with thousands of people for an illegal parking spot or for a place to sit on largely overcrowded beaches was not an easy task to accept. As a result, the day was quite stessful and in the evening, as in a sign of silent protest, the car broke down. It was a minor thing, for we just had to resurrect the battery, but at least, as for many other unpleasant experiences, this little inconvenience brought us a nice surprise. Matter of fact, in the act of fixing the battery I randomly met Francesco, whom I last saw some five years ago in Florence. At that time I knew him as Killer007 and he knew me as x4nti, but this is another story to be told in different circumstances.

We met for breakfast the next day (which would be today, or the day that just ended) and we found out that both of us abruptly stopped playing online and got rid of our computers altogether. It was nice talking about this before leaving for Otranto – which was nice, although overcrowded – and then for Santa Maria di Leuca – which was not particularly nice, but still overcrowded. These whole coast has an interesting military history, as it was the target of Mehmet the Conqueror who, in 1480, sent here the Ottoman Turkish fleet to launch an invasion to Rome. The army reached the shore of Otranto and the city was captured in two weeks after refusing to surrender. 800 Catholics were beheaded after refusing to convert to Islam. These victims have been canonized by Pope Francis on May 12, 2013.

After paying a visit to the sanctuary of Leuca, the place where the Adriatic Sea meets the Jonian Sea, Stefania and I are now camping on the very top of the hill on which the Italian boot rests. Tomorrow we will drive towards Gallipoli where we will probably see Fabio and finally settle in a b&b. Camping was sweet, though.

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