Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I am cycling through the streets of Utrecht when my glance is caught by a second hand store. It is the first time after the Queen's Night that I come back to Hopakker, the road where my dealing with the Dutches began and finished in a hour.

The shop sells old clothes, creased books, cumbersome ornaments, deluxe coffee machines and any sort of odds and ends.
The owner of the second hand store is a gracious woman in her fifties. She moves fleetly among the stacks of stuff that fill every corner of her small shop.
When a customer forgets a plastic bag on a wood wormed chair, the woman runs after her on the sidewalk gently yelling "Missen! Missen!"

Then she puts a vinyl record on a dusty gramophone. It's Kilo by The Nits. And it's the first time I listen to what I assumed to be the most famous Dutch band since I have come in these Lowlands. I smile. She smiles.
I am going to pay a couple of two € priced books. Cosmopolis by Don De Lillo and a selection of short stories called Worst Journeys edited by the Picador Book of Travel. The woman notices they are both English written and asks me.

"Where do you come from?
"Italy - I have to admit.
"Oh, poor you! - she says as patting sympathetically on my shoulder.
"Don't worry! I'm not really into football and I had a great time on that night.
"Yes, but...
"And now I am a supporter of the Dutch team. Don't you see? I am wearing an orange t-shirt!
"I see, but...
"It's so amazing the way in which you celebrate the victories here! You, crazy people.
"Hup Holland Hup!
"Ehm, actually I was referring to your political situation. Why don't you sack that Berlusconi?

Hit and sunk. What a fool I am.
Three days after the 3-0 another humiliating defeat for Italy while facing the Netherlands.

And it is going to be worse and worse.

1 comment:

Ande said...

Hi Lorenzo,

As my wife pointed out to me, your blog is great! About "camouflages", when humiliation piles on you (why is defeat always followed by defeat?)I have noticed that it's great to have places to retreat to.

Those small places where no one can follow with pestering questions. On the whole, who cares about large world happenings as long as it is a place left to hide :)