by Nadia Cairo. Photos by ©francesco pettinato
Leggi in italiano
*in this text, the acronym n.o.t. means: note of the typist, that is me. Nadia handwrote the article while she was in a train… so lovely! <3 [see the evidence in the side gallery]
Giovanna, woman in her eighties, full of life, has just told me she’s going to visit her daughter in Venice – a snobbish lawyer, that she tried to explain to, how life is made up by moments and shivers but… nothing. She’s just like her father!
She’s going to introduce to her daughter her new boyfriend… a 65 y.o. man, with not a half of her vitality.
I look at her and smile. You can only meet people like her in a train, and that’s why I do love trains!!
And while this train is taking me in my nth gypsying at the border of Italy, here comes, providential and tempting, the proposal from my curly friend (me, Sabrina – n.o.t)
…YOU KNOW WHAT? IF YOU REALLY DON’T KNOW HOW TO FILL THE NEXT 12 HOURS OF YOUR LIFE, YOU CAN ALWAYS WRITE SOMETHING ABOUT GYPSYING.
(since, let’s talk clear, here in South we owe our writing talent to the long shape of Italy and to the hours dividing the end oh the land from the rest of Europe. – n.o.t.)
So, here I am, trying to explain what do I feel when I wake up ‘those’ mornings, when the coffee tastes better than usual, my image in the mirror looks like the one of Charlize Theron despite of the smudged mascara and matted hair. And nothing seems to be impossibile.
‘Those’ mornings that tell me that next gypsying is round the corner.
‘Those’ morning when you get out to go to work and at the end of the day you find yourself 700 miles away from home, because you’ve found in youtube some local festival with a ridicolous name where they set fire to a man dancing with an improbable costume. (Dance of the pupazza; they make it in Abruzzo, in Fall – n.o.t.)
The real gypsy is usually surrounded by his/her fellows. Friends so crazy to jump into the absurdity without the slightest warning , asking no questions. Password: IMPROVISATION.
A gypsying deserving this name can’t be organized: place and time of departure are approximate and generic… gypsies, sooner or later meet and trust in fate and good fortune.
There are no timetables , arrival times , check-in schedule. And the only reason why a Gypsy is never late is because there is no one waiting for him/her. Like garlic to vampires [and to Nadia – n..o.t] , like the kryptonite to Superman and the loss of a daughter’s virginity to a father in the South, the nightmare of every gypsy is the ‘ lonely planet ‘. I’m even afraid that just writing it on the paper, self burning may occur.
Once there , locals will be your guide … and not only. What distinguishes a gypsy from a normal traveler are the relationships that will be established . A piece of heart will be left somewhere in the world .
The attitude from ‘sorry but I arrived without knowing how and I’m not even sure to know where I am… but I’m funny ‘ (more or less as Snow White did… – n.o.t) overwhelms pleasantly the locals that become suddently an enlisted aspiring gypsy .
Natives from all over the world , beware! after meeting a gypsy there’s no way back . you’ll recognize by the box saying ‘ keep as close as possible to the children, it’s wonderfully addictive ‘ .
With love , for MyCurlyFriend <3