Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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A one day vacation & microadventure, sorta

Contrary to my plans – I intended to stay at home and write – tomorrow I have to do some stuff in a couple of offices here in Nizza Monferrato, roughly 12 kilometers from where I live. It will mean spending the whole day out. The bit of bureaucracy I’m taking care of will require probably, say, half an hour, but there’s the small matter of my lack of an automobile.

The local bus might be a little tricky – the service’s been canceled or re-scheduled now that school’s out so that bus runs are not guaranteed.
As a solution, I’ll ask for a lift to a friend on her way to work, and I have already arranged with some other friends for a bite in the evening and then a lift back.
This means having the whole day to play at being a tourist in Nizza – fascinating market town as all readers of BUSCAFUSCO know, but de facto a one horse town, that you can cross on foot in half an hour.

So what?
Well, with my brother we’ve designed the day as a small vacation and microadventure – including street food, window-shopping, maybe some photos. We’ll also bring along thick paperbacks.
We’ll pretend we’re not Italians.
And I’ll have a notebook, to jot down ideas.
After all, what the heck, it’s summer, right?


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Me, Steve Perry, Fritz Leiber and why I won’t write about kids on bikes in the 80s

This is a weird post (maybe the title could have forewarned you) and it is a part of something larger I’ve been trying to put into words these last few months. It has to do with marketing, platforms and brands, and writing for a living – indeed, it is the sort of post I usually write once or twice a month for my Patrons, under the header of Nuts & Bolts.
But I’m doing it open because… well, because.

We were discussing nostalgia and exploitation, yesterday, with some friends that have been binge-watching the third season of Stranger Things. The series has been called exploitative and manipulative by some. It ticks all the right boxes, and it settles in a general trend that builds commercial success on the nostalgia for the ’80s by people that are too young to actually remember them.

And as we were talking, a song started playing in my mind…

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Walking back from the carnage

I was talking about walking and hiking with some friends, today. It all started with the fact that a newspaper published an article claiming “walking is for the middle aged, hiking is cool”.
As I never had a problem with being uncool, and indeed I was not cool back when not being cool was not considered cool yet, I accept my role as a walker, and said as much.
From there we went on talking about how walking (or hiking, if you’re cool) is an excellent way for coping with trauma.
I walked miles and miles after my mother’s death, and after my father.
I find walking a good solution to recharge my batteries, and react to those periodic bouts of depression that sometimes come.

And there’s science behind it!

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Discussing mummy resurrection practices on the devil’s radio

One of the things that will never cease to surprise me about living in a small community, is the way in which news and (mostly) gossip travel fast.
Maybe that’s the reason why you can’t get high-speed internet connections here: they are superfluous, as gossip travels faster than your average fiberoptic cable, and does not need servers of platforms except for the bench outside of the local bar, and the doctor’s waiting room.

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