Viaggiare, dormire, forse sognare

Cari lettori di questo umile blog, torno a cercare di offrirvi uno spaccato della vita in Grecia, anche se in questo periodo le mie giornate, sono certa, assomigliano a quelle di altri milioni di persone, e non credo ci sia nulla di notevole da riportare all’interno della mia routine che, come ho forse accennato precedentemente, ho costruito attorno ad attività più o meno dinamiche che vanno dagli allenamenti casalinghi agli esperimenti culinari, dai film agli audio libri ai corsi online e dalla scrittura di articoli come questo alla registrazione di podcast e scrittura di progetti europei (attività legate al mio volontariato e che sto portando avanti a distanza con SE.M.I.). Ad essere sincera le giornate stanno passando molto velocemente da quando è iniziato il lockdown, ma nonostante stia sfruttando questo particolare periodo per dedicarmi a tanti passatempi diversi, ça va sans dire che come tutti mi auguro che tutto possa tornare presto alla normalità.

La lista delle cose che mi mancano in questo presente è molto lunga, ma ce ne sono alcune la cui assenza mi pesa più di altre. Si parte da quelle piccole, come prendere un caffè al tavolino di un bar, organizzare una cena tra amici, andare a una festa, abbracciarsi. Ma senza dubbio al primo posto si classifica l’impossibilità di viaggiare, muoversi nello spazio e vedere luoghi nuovi, o anche semplicemente tornare in quelli familiari. Il viaggio per me non è solamente un’esperienza fisica, di spostamento, lo considero piuttosto come uno stato mentale, un’attitudine alle cose, l’essere curiosa e avere voglia di provare, esplorare, scoprire, mettermi alla prova. Un viaggio parte sempre da un atto pratico: prenotare il biglietto, preparare la valigia, prendere l’autobus per l’aeroporto. Ma dopo che queste azioni meccaniche si sono concluse, nel momento in cui si arriva a destinazione, è lì che la parte interiore comincia a mettersi in cammino per andare più lontano, è quello il momento in cui gli occhi si spalancano, l’udito si affina, in cui tutti i sensi hanno finalmente la possibilità di liberarsi e si può respirare appieno l’aria di una nuova città e si inizia davvero a rendersi conto del processo di spostamento che si è appena compiuto.
Mantenere questo atteggiamento verso ogni esperienza quotidiana, anche la più banale, si traduce per me nell’aver sempre voglia di fare passeggiate, di prendere un treno e visitare il paesino accanto al mio durante il weekend, di vedere un film appena uscito al cinema, di continuare sempre ad imparare cose nuove, in una frase direi un naturale opporsi ad una routine predefinita e sempre uguale a se stessa.

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E per l’appunto la scorsa settimana, in occasione delle vacanze pasquali, avevo in calendario un viaggio verso la Turchia, per visitare Istanbul e le sue moschee, per vedere il Bosforo con i miei occhi. Dopo aver appreso che tutto ciò sarebbe rimasto solamente un sogno, una delusione cocente mi ha colpita, per quanto comprendessi perfettamente le cause, ma dalla premessa a questo paragrafo si può facilmente intuire come io senta il viaggio come un bisogno e che anche solo il pensiero mi porti felicità come poche altre cose. Da quell’istante hanno iniziato a salire a galla i ricordi dei viaggi passati, recenti e lontani, e la consapevolezza di quanto sia stata finora fortunata a poterli intraprendere tutti, dal primo all’ultimo. Questa presa di coscienza ha mitigato lievemente la tristezza che la presente rinuncia portava con sé, sempre accanto alla speranza di poter ricominciare a viaggiare presto, con ogni mezzo. Al momento l’unico che mi è rimasto a disposizione è con la mente, e tanto mi basta. Forse.

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Senza lasciarsi andare a sentimentalismi auguro sempre a chi è arrivato alla fine di questo articolo di trovarsi in ottima salute e vi lascio con la speranza di salire presto su un autobus, treno, aereo e continuare a scoprire il mondo per com’è: sempre nuovo.

A prestissimo,

Federica

Quarantine diaries: What to watch now?

And the ”Quarantine diaries” project continues…

Last week I wrote about ”What to do” during this lock-down and I added to each particular activity a chilling atmosphere and a slower way to live your everyday life inside the house. Today, first I forgot that I have to write a blog- sorry, I’m so influenced from the chill way to live- and then I couldn’t find a subject. Finally, it came to me… What I do like a boss? What am I good at?

The answer is easy, I’m really good at watching movies, series, documentaries, all kinds of stuff that you can take the opportunity of the lock-down and watch now that you have plenty of time. So, for this week I decided to recommend you some TV series that you can start watching during this quarantine and who knows (?) maybe you’ll manage to finish them until the summer that maybe we’ll be out again.

*For the story, I decided to share with you some series and not movies simply because I prefer them. Usually I’m tired to stay and watch a whole movie and I’m falling asleep at the middle of it.

  1. When They See Us” (2019)

One of my personal favorites of all times. ”When They See Us” it’s a Netflix production -even though usually I don’t like Netflix productions- and it’s an American drama mini-series based on a true story.  It is based on events of the 1989 ”Central Park jogger case” and explores the lives and families of the five male suspects who were falsely accused then prosecuted on charges related to the rape and assault of a woman in Central Park, New York City. The five suspects were children of color that were wrongfully accused for a crime that they never did. The TV series is following the trials and the stories of each particular protagonist and it successfully makes you a part of the events. The ’80s atmosphere, the discrimination of people in color and the poverty of the American society of these times are visible and well displayed.

P.S: Grab some tissues if you easily get emotional and watch this masterpiece ASAP…

2. ”This is Us” (2016-…)

Ready for some family time? ”This is Us” it’s a diversity series even for its category, it’s a drama/ comedy family series. How is it possible, right? The story follows three siblings (known as the ”Big Three”), two brothers and one sister, all born in the same day. One of the most interesting parts of the series is the changing of the timeline once in a while; you see the protagonists in various ages and aspects of their lives. Each one of them has its own problems, joys and obstacles to overcome, but they are all connected with a family drama that follows them the most of their lives. The variety of the protagonists and the diversity of each particular life and story keeps your interest in high levels in every episode.

P.S: In this series you’ll find the best father figure ever played in TV. I love him!

3. ”Shameless” (2011-…)

**Providing this last -for today- TV series I wanted to highlight the difference between ”This is Us” and ”Shameless” and it has to do with the father figures. On the first one you see an emotional father figure, a made for family guy that loves his wife and its perfect in its own, realistic and particular way that makes you fall in love with him instantly. But in ”Shameless” you have a totally different person…

The series depicts the poor, dysfunctional family of Frank Gallagher, a single father raising six children. He spends his days drunk or in search of misadventures, and his children learn to take care of themselves. The show’s producers sought to distinguish this production from previous American working-class shows by highlighting how Frank’s alcoholism affects his family. Through the season of the series you’ll see the children growing up and changing while they’re becoming more responsible than their own father or sometimes irresponsible throwing the blame to the difficulty growing up in this family.

P.S: It might seems depressing as a concept, but the american black comedy atmosphere that follows the series is making everything more entertaining and realistic.

So, that’s it for this week, I might share with some more next week if I find a difficulty thinking of a different subject.

Danai, Greece

Quarantine Diaries: And now what to do?

Hello, Hello again from the beautiful Faenza that I’m currently see only for the window of my room. Sounds a bit depressing isn’t it?

The truth is that the situation is depressing and boring and sometimes so frustrating, but you can’t do anything to change it. I mean you can do a lot and we all heard plenty of things that will help improve the current situation and all of them end up pretty much in the same way, ”I’m staying home”, ”Resto a casa” and ”Μένουμε σπίτι” -I had to write something in Greek after all this time-. So, we have to stay in and find new activities every day to do. Okay, to be honest there is no need to change activities every single day, but if there is anyone out there that is as much active as I am could understand that I need to change activities frequently because either I’m finishing everything really fast, either I’m getting bored after a while…

After almost a month in ”quarantine mode: ON” I arrived to one and only conclusion, you have to chill. Yes, it’s the only way, it’s easier and you have to do this. You can combine ”chilling” with plenty of activities, for example the well known ”Netflix’n’Chill” or ”Working’n’Chill” -recommended more for ESC volunteers all around Europe, that the work isn’t so much and not so obligatory-, ”Studying’n’Chill”- especially for university that even though the online courses have started still you don’t know how is gonna be this semester’s exams-, ”Eating’n’chill” -because all of us, guys, we eat a lot these days, so let’s just chill while eating so will metabolize it better” and last but not least ”Exercise’n’Chill”-because with the quarantine a new, profound love for gymnastics started, but if you’re like me that all my life I wanted to join the gym and I never did, you certainly have to chill and exercise otherwise next morning the only you could do is ”Bed’n’Chill”-.

In conclusion, Chill, Chill and Chill and everything would be all right!

As for me, I pretty much do these kinds of chilling that I gave as examples above. The first weeks I was hooked to Netflix and I was ready to finish it all. This was my first hint to start ”Chilling”. Now, I’m only watching Netflix after dinner and it works for me. Next activity is the association’s work that isn’t a lot, but it helps the time to pass. I’m currently working and elaborating with other volunteers to write an International Mobility project (Youth Exchange), I’m always thinking new stuff to add in our social media and I’m working on things that I want to implement after the lock-down -when I will feel the sun in my skin and I will dance in the rain like the influenced by movies girl I wound become-. After, I’m cooking and cleaning, but always in a chill mood because you really can’t cook all you fridge in one day and then need to go to the supermarket the next one and the same with cleaning, if you clean all the apartment once the next day you’ll have nothing to do. I also discovered Playstation lately and I can assure you that is a good way to spent some meaningless time. Last, I’m trying to study a bit for my exams, but in this case I was chilling before the lock-down and I’m still doing it -after all these years I grew up wiser and I realized that I’m a last minute kind of person regarding studying, so I’m respecting and loving my self, no need to push me-.

Currently chilling

My beloved readers -if you exist- I think we’re done for today. The lock-down lifestyle isn’t the fancier but it’s necessary. To avoid mental break-downs my advise as I told and retold above is to ”Chill”, in any case and with any activity of yours.

Until the next chilling time,

Danai, Greece

ESC experience, the Pandemic and some ”blue” thoughts…

The subject of this week’s article is pretty obvious and easy to think about it. CoronaVirus, Covid-19 or SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that influenced millions of people worldwide, killed a lot of them, closed borders and set the world in a Quarantine mood. I’m not going to give you general information about the virus, to present you the current situation or give you numbers of cases and deaths. I’m only here, blogging and speaking about my EVS experience in Italy as always…

So, I stayed… It’s over a month now that the situation in Italy became serious. First, the schools closed and with them our EVS activities that were pretty much related to schools and kids, as I described in my previous blogs. For around two weeks I had almost nothing to do and I had to stay in the house as much as possible. I can say that at this point I hadn’t really realized the seriousness of the situation; the numbers were still low and the people seemed cool, even though they were staying more at home and bars and restaurants weren’t so full as usual. At this point I had the chance to go back in Greece and spend some time in quarantine, but yet I would be with my family and it would be easier. I decided to stay in Faenza for several reasons, but the main one was that I didn’t want to risk get infected neither infect other people without even knowing it. Also, I didn’t know when this situation will end…

Supermarket reality the first days…

The next week the association start giving as activities to do from home and helping us to deal with the quarantine situation. I didn’t realize before now that it is really hard to live a global crisis like that so far from home and from people that you’re counting on. So, as you could easily understand I had my ”blue” moments, too. Actually the majority of the moments at this point are ”blue” given that each time that I open articles to see the numbers of cases always are bigger and bigger and you’re just feeling far and far from home.

Leaving a bit apart the plethora of thoughts that I have, I manage to feel better through work and activities that the organization gave me. I started some yoga lessons and I did workout from YouTube -like everybody at this point- and I tried to study a bit for my exams. Of course, the house like any other house in the world is cleaner that has ever been and I am cooking like crazy, because I’m running out of things to do in the house pretty easy.

Supermarket lines with 1 meter distance from each other

The latest lock-down found me in the position that I already was, it wasn’t for me a big surprise that we should stay home, we should stop going to the supermarket every day and we should be careful. The only change was that I stopped cooking so much and start a diet for the 5th or 6th time this year.

Reading again all these that I wrote above I just realized that I wasn’t funny at all at this new blog -eh, it doesn’t matter, we aren’t always funny.

Two of the reasons that I miss Greece…

I want to leave you with some food for though this time. I read a lot about solidarity, social awareness and new profound respects for human lives and I strongly believe that everybody should take a moment and think about all of these regarding what’s happening in the world and the new needs and issues that are created. Anyway, one of my results and I really want to spread the word about it, is to cancel 2020 and start using 2021, it will just take the stress out of my shoulders…

Until the next time-that I promise I will be funnier-,

Danai, Greece