Elisabeth Jane Bertrand in Quarto dei Mille (Summer 2022)
Elisabeth Jane Bertrand in Quarto dei Mille (Summer 2022)
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During a 50th birthday party (not mine) at a bar in the seaside village of Quarto south of Genova the traffic outside never really came to a halt, like constant buzzing even exceeding the sound of the waves which were over 7 feet this evening and crashed over the road at high tide bringing with it tons of grit and small pieces of wood which could easily damage the body of your car had you unfortunately parked on the wrong side of the street

Add that to the ever longer list of things to be anxious about. Genova is unique in this respect, I only notice this because I've lived in Rome and Florence. However the levels of anxiety present here is higher than anywhere else. Perhaps it's like that in Milano but I'll probably never know because I can't afford to live there. 

Being a 'cheap' joint, it was popular with birthdays as I had the joy of experiencing, indeed a group of 12 year olds had in their possession the only long table at the end. These types of places usually consist of a long bar where you are squeezed between the other bar goers and behind the kitchen and gross bathroom give way to two or three rooms filled with the type of tables you'd expect at a forest campground and all the way at the end the parents had tucked away everything exceeding the legal decibel limits. 

The other birthday in the room

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Growing old gracefully in Italy

People are so obsessed with their body and not getting old or ugly. They are anxious, I hear it, the volume is loud as if they need to dominate the room, they talk fast as if they are running to catch up to one another. People outside of the conversation grow more and more silent and weary as the feats these people have clearly achieved are laid out. At the end of the evening we're all signed up for some or other french kickboxing class by the guy with double ear piercings and tattoos down his right arm. I ask if he's ever tried meditation and he says he gets enough of an outlet at the gym.  

The verb scaricare

Anger is something you download at the gym, it is regularly used in this context which makes me wonder if gyms are not just full of repressed and angry people. The verb ‘scaricare’ is also  used in many other negative contexts such as, but not exclusively to dump a girlfriend or boyfriend. It in fact just means to download or offload the person, like an app on your phone. As if everything in this life needs to be downloadable. 

If you were wondering, he wasn't really a nice guy and I felt sorry for his relatively new girlfriend who he spent ample time exchanging virtual kisses. The shy 21 year old waitress would answer his embarrassing questions and pathetic attempts to strike up a conversation, never once telling him that its all in fact none of his fucking business.  

The sharing of funds

Eventually the 70 euro bill (I can scarcely believe 6 people can eat, drink and be fullfilled for this price) gets split 5 ways and the two men are in the front of the queue with their wallets ready but nobody pays more. I even get tossed back a 5 euro note over what I should pay, I secretly pass it back over to the young blond waitress who in my view deserves it.

Il Galeone

: Information Via Quarto, 9 16148   Genoa GE   Liguria

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