Sabang

A perfect day to disappear in the nature, merge, and feel what the perpetual movement of waters has got to wisper to your ears…
This was my hiding spot in Sabang as I was seeking for a shelter. I found a home where to write in peace, I found this nature ready to hug me.

Hopping throughout the rocks after Sabang main beach I found this “almost” hidden place. A river is passing by, dropping its waters on the sea. Waters are mixing in lakes and other little ponds, giving spectacular and natural roundabouts of wet sand. It was my favourite waterpark in Palawan together with the one of San Vicente.

Philippines offered to my eyes a playful ground where to chill, invent stories and colour my imagination.

Marae in Huahine

Do you know what is a church? A municipal building? Well, for Maori people, the Marae is that place where the community can have a spot for religious, political, social meetings. Also, it offers a reference to each tribe as each human group sooner or later would seek for a membership and a landmark that is common to others sharing same ideology. And that is how, for good or bad it could be, the concept of identity is graven throughout the time.
The Marae in the picture is located in the north of Huahine-Nui, one of the Society Island in French Polynesia that impressed me the most.
This beautiful complex rises in front of the Fa’una Nui lake, which is not exactly a lake when you consider that Huahine is still an atoll, although, as it happens very often, the motus are  not perfectly scattered around the mainland.
It was originally dedicated to Tane, god of fishing and war. His reflection on the sea is believed to be the sea turtle and that is why on his Ava’a, a stone placed as the bed of the God, a turtle is curved.
Huahine has got at least 1000 thousand year history on his back and its actual eight districts division derives from the legend of Hotu Hiva and her eight sons.
Everything in Huahine has this special scent of magic, historical and precious stories. Its shaped seen from above looked to me like a broken heart, as well as the heart of Hotu Hiva when she was brought very young to Ra’iatea, away from her lover.
The sunk part dividing Huahine-Iti and Huahine-Nui is connected by a bridge and the island can be traveled all around by car. Hitchhicking is the best!
Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 12.36.03 pm
Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 12.36.03 pm.png

Reduce food waste while eating what you actually need / 5 rules

Today is 21st of August and I threw in the garbage the first potato after 3 months of been in charge of the kitchen while managing a hostel. I feel proud that my methods worked and I want to share some (maybe well known) tricks but not really followed by the most of the people. That happends beacuse we need to live fast on the end and some advises for washing up or preserve something imply efforts or time. We don’t want to put an effort on the food cause when we come back home we want just to relax and eat something quickly. We don’t take “time” for food cause the last thing we want to do after work is standing up in front of the stove, unless you have a serious passion about it. We can cook for lovers, we can cook for friends but on the end we don’t put this effort for ourselves and even the best intention ends up with lots of side effects such as waste of money, food or time.

Since I hate to spend time cooking I applied some tricks to reduce it while I committed to eat things that are good for my own mental and fisical health.

Rule number one : Don’t buy compulsively.

Some of us, once in a market or super market get the fever of stocking up. This is dangerous for our wallet and for our time. Going in a supermarket to watch around and buy chips or drinks with friends has nothing to do with a proper shopping. I love to do both and I love to go shopping with a plan. I observe myself or those who I’m cooking for and I have a clear idea of what I want every time I’m shopping. Maybe you can get wrong once, but twice is hard if you just do yourself the favour of having a “quite” specific diet. Doing this mistake is intolerable especially when you end up in a supermarket and you spend 3hours there, watching the emptyness most of the time. As I said, it’s fun, when you step into it just for fun. Leave the stocking up issue for stuff on sale and that can’t expire, soaps or shampoos but not for food. Observe what you need in one week and go at the market with a clear vew once per week. If you do so, It takes no more than 15 minutes to check out.

Rule number two: being aware.

As long as it might seem boring, tidying up makes yourself aware of what is going on in your fridge and when you do it frequently you will notice it is not that hard. Put the new stuff at the end and the old ones ready to be used as first. In This way you won’t deal with stinky, sticky, messy crap. By the time your going to have the next shopping you’ll realize things have been shifting in the fridge with a meaning and this organization is clear in your mind and you won’t feel the panic of not knowing what’s going on behind.

Rule number three: Don’t cook following recipes

This is a tough one, because it touches our feelings or perhaps our wickenesses.

Following a recipe is the first step through a organic bag full of waste and the impossibility of learning the properties and the behavior of some foods. If your mind, eyes and hands stick always at the plan, soon or later your dishes will become boring and static and you will never see the beauty and risk of acting “outlow”. Some food just need to be handled differently by different people. I’ve eaten more creepy things coming out from recipe then from creativity.

I stopped to follow recipe when I started to understand the food better and how I like it, but, most important, I always found recipes something you can afford to follow when you can afford to buy all the ingredients from the scratch. I Never really got the chance to afford it, while other kind of food is dying in the fridge. It turned up that this was an essential skill, travelling and especially sailing wild. I still love sometimes to make some beautiful cake or tiramisú especially when I’m cooking with my friends.

Rool number four: Cook on forehand.

One thing I hate doing while I’m starving is cooking. When I’m hungry I want to eat, not to cook. I guess this is one of the main reasons why we end up eating junk food. Well, I admit I love junk food too but I try to keep it for fun not to feed myself with it. So, instead of feeling guilty because I put rubbish on my body I’ll feel good because I did my job and I fullfilled that need of crashing it sometimes. And here is how I fullfill my duties: I cook when I have time to do it and when I’m not hungry yet. I noticed that when I do this I’m focused on what I need/want to put on my dish. I also multitask instead of praying in front of the pan, because I can’t wait to eat. We have a proverb for this in Sicily : “pignata taliata un vugghi mae” that means “pan is never going to boil if you watch it”, so make sure you get busy with some other stuff while you cook. Cooking is also multistasking and being patient. I love to have the food ready when I’m hungry, I don’t like that feeling of not being hungry anymore when I cook for a long time and somehow I feel full just by the smell. I love instead to prepare several dishes to share or save for the next meal. I even love more when I take care of the leftover because I know that next meal, than, is going to be various.

Rule number five: make a choice

Don’t go out for dinner if your salad is going to die in the fridge. Or don’t buy the salad if you are lucky enough to know when it’s going to be a busy week. If it is totally unexpected and I can’t help with it, I prefer to leave the food cooked so I can give it an other chance the day after (boiling eggs up to expire, using the yogurt for cakes or desserts, cutting fruits and turn them in a salad, baking veggies)

Greek Ruins

No matter how crazy living in Sicily drives me, during this fake “modern” times I take always my time to appreciate places where I grew up, once again, beautiful thanks to the long time ago facts.

Segesta is one of the biggest archeological site in Sicily, a place of interest for those who wants to approach sicilian ancient history.

Segesta can be reached by the highway A29 (PA-Mazzara).

These big area includes a Temple (still not known if to worship Cerere or Diana) an Agora, a majestic and panoramic Theatre (it lays on the slopes of mount Barbaro) with a stunning vew on the Castellammare gulf and Mount Inici, and other finds from classic age. Not to mention that still in the same area there are hot springs, little fresh water rivers and canyons to be visited.

I always considered my education with a lot of passion. I loved to study what I wanted to study and the feeling that I couldn’t trust what was told to me at the school had his big proof the first time I went to have a look to my (literally) “backyard”. Segesta is not even half of hour driving from where I used to live with my family. The very first time I was there I couldn’t enjoy like I wanted to. I was feeling overwhelmed by my own ignorance about sicilian history. In school they were teaching stories of far away things and skipping the very closest ones in time, for the sake of the bloody unification of Italy and consequent rising of poverty and rebels movement in the south, and in miles, I suppose, to improve a feeling of modesty and awe in the southern people to eventually become a subservient colony. There is indeed a whole hidden history on how the rich south became poor and got rubbed to make the unification wished by the Savoy kindom possible but I won’t talk about it in this article. I wanted just to mention the great feeling of ignorance I experienced And how miserable I thought my studies of “great things in Rome and elsewere I maybe see one day” were.

That’s how I started to build my personal knowledge about my history, throughout books and frequent visits everytime I was around Trapani.

VHF and Radio things / connections when crossing an Ocean

The VhF was an important tool for my new life abroad. So it was that I started my “official” and “public” talking in English. At that time I remember it was an issue because even if I could communicate quite well with this foreign language I was still in doubt about my “listening” skills. Imagine when the skills needed are related to safety during sailing, approaching harbours, decks and having infos about weather, coordinates and communications with other boats. I really thought I could mess a lot with this tool in my hands, but everything went right in the end. First time using it was in the Caribbean Sea, Virgin Islands. Everybody on board thought it was my duty to do that, cause nobody was able to say anything in English. After this time that I remember with a bit of fear, this job was quite different…

When I started to travel with a more diversified provenience travellers everything become more “democratic” and the use of the vhf wasn’t a big deal anymore.

During my sailing trip I discover that the SSB Radio (single side band) was a great tool to communicate. In every area you can ask for the frequencies were independent volunteers advise you about everything related to the sea at least twice per day, at a certain time. I found it interesting, especially because you can communicate your position when you leave and people are taking notes of it. That means that they will look for you when you are aspected to come somewhere, somehow. This might sound a bit “too much” but is actually a very useful way to stay safe and “together” even when far apart from each other. Sometimes you meet new sailors because you hear their story on the radio and maybe you even talked, and the day after they are anchoring just besides you.

On those radio “rendez-vous”, there is normally a boat crew who is volunteering. They normally start to call people that were “in” during the last transmission. If you are signing for the first time you go on the queue waiting for the call for anybody else to join. After giving your name and position you can just keep silent and listen to the others or asking your questions and express your doubts on the end. I loved this system, I loved to hear from other people. I loved that we weren’t alone in a little boat in the vastity of the ocean. There were other sailors, many of them.

In Ritme, I was using the SSB radio also for sending very concise mails. We had the SailMail account provider connected with a Modem to the SSB Radio (it’s something like 280 $ per year, a pretty fair price for being connected with the world and being able to get the forecast wherever you are). It was quite a funny game for me to look for the best station with the most of the chance to get an email through, unless the Ocean was rough and throwing me up, down and left and right onto the desk. This system is actually very basic: you send a little email to a computer that is always connected on one of those radio stations offered (that is why you need to check the favourite one), that computer will eventually send it for you. Quite often “Niue” or “Honolulu” were the best options. One -few words (10) – email from the Ocean could take from two minutes to half of hour to go through. But, yes, I could tell my sister that I was still alive after many days of silence. It’s a great tool.

Highlights on Pipa beach in 5 points

This stunning place is about 80 km south from Natal, capital of the State Rio Grande do norte. It’s a cute village with many restaurants and hospitality facilities due to his recent growing in tourism. Pipa is actracting people for surfing and kite surfing, but the truth is that this place is just one of the most beautiful in Brazil. To get there by car it’s quite easy (even by bus). Just need to go off from the highway at the Goianinha little town and you will be right in the Tibau do Sul municipality.

1 Coming from the village you’ll reach the beach from above. Little colourful buildings around you are houses, shops and restaurants. During the low tide, the beach unveils rocky spots that create little lakes and sandy lagoons in wich you can chill sitting in the clear waters.

     I loved to take a photo shoot in there. The place is so various that looks like a water park where people are passing by looking for their own “lake” among the rocks. Water is calm due to the reef that protects the seafront from the big waves of the Ocean.

2 The village is tiny but fervent. There is a high presence of Argentinians business and tourists. It looks almost like an argentinian enclave. It’s very common to hear spanish speakers in Pipa because of that. Night life is nice especially thanks to the live concerts offered by Taipa, restaurant and bar.

     I was there during the low season and I was quite surprise that during those (just) three months of low season there was still a lot going on.

3 On the side of Pipa beach there is a big, long and gorgeous cliff at least 10 meters high. Its colours vary from red to yellow passing by pink and orange. The rocky wall is coverd by a forest, and some of this vegetation is part of the Santuario Ecologico.

     I loved to appretiate the differences in between the tides in this place cause the cliff seems higher when the sea is going almost against it and lower and some sort of smoky or smooth when you see the moisty air on the seafront space when the sea is less pushy!

4 Praia do Golfinhos lays straight after Pipa beach (heading north). It is just superb and when you are pacient enough you can even spot some dolphins around. The shore was so huge and flat that people where arranging football fields and games in the wet sand during the low tide. The cliff here looks even more majestic. Swimming in there can be a bit rough because of the waves: in this part of the cost the reef is missing.

     By the time I came back from the walking to praia do Golfinhos what it was a diversified space with ponds, sand and rocks has become a whole normal beach. The sea (the tide) took over.

5 Chapadão. At 15 minutes walking from the village (heading south) there is a very special lookout: a big system of terraces going flat but steep to the sea.

     I went there to enjoy a nice sunset watching the ocean. Obviously, the sun is going to set behind your shoulders but this is the little compromise you need to accept when special places in the world are facing Est.

I turn 30 and I’m free (some lines I wrote for my birthday, the 25th of November)

The last decade has begun with two mourners that have struck me deeply. I’ve being followed by that cloud of bad feelings during my whole twenties. I can’t say they were horrible; better than the teens, for sure. Many things had happened, including moves, delusions, achievements, and doors slammed in my face. At the beginning of my young life I was a teacher of righteousness. I was good at being in advance in everything, especially in time, in reasoning, in reaching a goal. The ambition that always moved me did not even allow me to be competitive, to look around and compare myself to others: there was no time for these stupid things. I was good at doing many things and I expected the world and its inhabitants to reward me with their graces. This has never happened, especially from its inhabitants, who, despite having studied them long and wide, continue to cause me an immense discomfort and make me feel the need to go to lick my wounds in solitude more often than expected. I remember the times when I used to say that hard work would be rewarded. I have a word for those who still believe in it: “bullshit”. Just bullshit. What is rewarded is when you decide to fuck it all and decide to break through the door that has always been slammed in your face or write on it “Fuck you”, turn and walk away. Those are the finest satisfactions I have ever taken: me, my personal growth and the times when even if the world shows me how unjust it is, I look at him with my glittering eyes and tell him: sooner or later everyone slams the useless baby toe into the useless corner somewhere, somehow. 8d927b37392659.5606670fa529dI grew up in a wonderful place where despite the people I love are always there to wait and show me their affection they often have been the ones to make me suffer the most, with their prejudices and their biases. My mother is the exception. Despite her atavistic negativity, that is the result of ages of watching corruption, bad politics, mafia, and all kind of usurper exploiting us since many centuries, I believe she comes from a parallel universe: her mercy has always misguided me. She can do something I’m trying to do since a longtime now: “Do not bring rancor.” When I was little, except for my closest relatives (which are very special in this) every time I was curious about something, I was answered: “What’s for?” That, translating intonation and Sicilian sarcasm, means “let it go, it’s hard, you’ll probably won’t make it, this is not for you. ” Honestly, I think it is a miracle that I came out as I am from such an ineffective environment, devoted to the impossibility and poor ambition. I am astonished less and less, because in the rest of the world it does not work that way and, since I’ve lived in the rest of the world, I tend to forget the bitterness of an uncle or a relative who “stifles” your abilities. I promise myself that I will smile every time that this will happen in the future rather than get angry. As far as I am concerned, it is ten years that I’m getting all that I want, for terribly contorted and disgraced ways, and I do not think many can say the same. I can, aloud. I have always had very few money and earned with a lot of effort, but this did not stop me from appreciating the slowness of real travels, the struggle for survival and the “barefoot” conquest of what freedom, happiness, knowledge were for me. The difficulties did not stop me from pointing my finger on a globe and saying “I’ll go there” and do it in reality. In my homeland it is always said “no”. It’s an interlayer! Even when we agree with someone we say “no” to intervene. It is amazing how much this attitude for years transmitted makes you become an exile if you do not want to accept it or one of the many “sad” being if you accept it. This mystical impossibility (which in Sicily makes people answer to you questions “no, it can’t be done” and even if you ask why it is not possible to solve that problem, especially bureaucracy related, they answere “because it is so”) made me so angry that I started to denounce my hometown problems with complains that nobody has ever listened to. I started to cure myself with travels, music and moving in a very special city like Turin, which has given me friendships I can swear will last forever. Thos special human beings took me by the hand when my anarchy began to overwhelm the bigots around me, they taught me the beauty of the “blurred edge” while my “sunny” attitude was only admiring the “bright” side of things, they showed me that it is not necessary to hide myself only because I’m a bit different. cropped-fotor_145369593632151Then, It comes about the international friends who have helped me understand that the world is mine, and that love has infinite shapes, apple-shaped, home-shaped, sometimes grave-shaped, sometimes shapeless. Since then, since I only know how to make shabby shapes and chaotic things, I decided that I would have given so much love, free love, row love, fine love, in fact, inform love. Whenever I am tempted to judge a behavior or a choice of life I will ask myself a thousand times if it is not the case to learn again and to accept a new existence shape among my limits. I wish everyone to be free, to love without being “choked”, to be gentle and to send what makes you sufferto the hell, like I did yesterday that I quit my job! I’m going to build new dreams for the next decade, I know already they will be a million …

Liqueurs: a rustic, yet fine way to produce them at home

Every year I have a very important appointment: going to collect fruits and herbs to make my own liqueurs.

In some countries this process is forbidden, and this is something that I do miss when I’m abroad.

Since, little by little, I started to have some customers, what was an home-made activity became also a funny job.

What I love the most is the beginning and the end of the process, also because in the middle there is nothing (which is actually the “whole” thing) or just waiting patiently that the alcohol has absorbed all the flavours from leaves and/or peels.

IMG-20180117-WA0006.jpg
Enter a caption

The beginning is collecting the ingredients. Most of the time I go for fruity digestives so I collect tangerines, oranges, lemons around. I often find people who support me offering their trees since I haven’t been so lucky to have a piece of land and have my own resources.

Some people do understand the meaning of sharing, especially when they know that they can’t use most of the product of those prolific trees, unless they have a farm, and in the end some of the fruit would be wasted.

IMG_20180112_181027.jpg
bmd

When I finish this part I rinse everything with a sponge and I start to peel in a fine way. Lemons are the hardest in terms of stress for your fingers but tangerines are the worse because it is very important to avoid the white part of the peel which is always very attached to the peel itself talking about tangerines.

I won’t tell how important is that every fruit, after been washed, is clean and dry, cause I believe is obvious. Once this thing is ready to go in a jar with the alcohol, all you need to do is just wait (for some liqueurs 40 days, some 30 days and some others a week or a couple).

IMG-20180117-WA0005.jpg

After the maceration I’m ready to prepare the syrup which is normally just water and sugar, boiled, cooled and finally rejoined with the alcohol. The filtration is also a sensitive process: it’s nice to find some imperfections (brown dusty dots) in a home-made liqueur, but it’s better to avoid most of the impurities released by the macerations. To do that I just use a funnel with a little linen sheet on top. It slows down the filtration but the result is remarkable.

This year my specialties will be

Finocchietto (Funnel Liqueur)

Arancello (digestive based on oranges)

Limoncello (digestive based on lemons)

Aurum (citrus fruits mix)

Mandarinetto (digestive based on tangerines)

Allorino (digestive with laurel leaves)

[text me for recipes]

Week thirtyseven in Australia

During this week I’ve been getting familiar with my new job and get to know my collegues. Good bunch of people that I couldn’t really talk to while working. Work is really fast going. I don’t get even thirty seconds to breath or drink my water. I do feel this pressure. I love to run at work but I sencerely don’t like “pushy” enviroment that undermines human relationships.

I didn’t think I could last long since the very beginning. But this job had also some positive aspects: once I started my shift, I felt confortable. I guess because of my experience in hospitality jobs. Learning “nothing” sometimes makes me chilled, luke you do when you switch off your brain, because everything omes authomatically. Some other times I ‘m really nervous about theidea of getting stuck sonewhere just because if money. Stuck with my mind and with my body…

It would be nice to be more appretiate, but I also understand that if it is about money I also deserve to start from the bottom over and over, since I never held on enough in a work position to rise my level.

Apart from this personal ideas about jobs I’m doing, I find Cairns very nice: it’s cozy on the end, the tropical weather is sweet and there are so many people from everywherepassing by here thatyou can’tget bored meeting and listening to so many interesting points of vew.

I’ve heard that Australia is very strict about collecting and carrying fossils, but look at this car: isn’t it the perfect place to “place” some skulls?

Week thirtyfive in Australia 

Last week I did a gardening work. It was hard but fun! I like to take care of the “landscape” even when this belongs to a very rich family and not to the land anymore. The vew from that property was stunning. Cairns is stunning.

At that time I didn’t know I would have had a lot of troubles working for this family. I still haven’t got the money they owe me. I needed to put Fairwork system in the middle, which is a very useful platform as well, offered by the government.

At firework.com.au you can find also how much you need to get payed for a certain  job. Thanks to this website I understood that anyway I would have get paid less then the minimal wage of Queensland according to what the “boss” said when we first met and that I can claim for my right to be respected.

They are still working on my case, but I’m happy that after ignoring me for many months, finally the Ex-boss had to respond to my complain.

Week thirty in Australia

Finally I made a decision. Time to move somewhere else. Last week in Sydney was pretty sad. Even if I’m really excited about going in Darwin it wasn’t easy to say goodbye to everybody especially to some special collegues. 

It seems that nobody would go to Darwin unless me. Everybody thinks it’s too warm, or too “away” from everything. Well that depends on what you believe is everything. For sure it is going to be different.


Goodbye Sydney

Week twentyseven in Australia

Working in a market makes you discover a variety of things about the place you are living in. Food habits are one of the main cultural trait of every group of humans. And seing what they like and what they buy is always extremely interesting. In Australia, vegetables, especially the ones coming from local farms are very good. Imported ones that you find around (even if the label says they are australian) are not so good  and you can recognize them because they have a huge size and they don’t last so long. A juicy, tasty orange of ours compared to the 10cm-diamater of aldi orange looks really tiny, as well as good avocados compared to the giant coles avocados. At the market people tell you their tastes or they confess that cooking is not their cup of tea.

Sometimes they don’t want to try new veggies because they don’t imagine how to cook them or they don’t want to be engaged in a endless experiment. People actually love vegetables but sometimes they get stuck in their bad habbits and forget that the “new” is not their enemy (actually it isn’t new at all). The market is a place for sharing stories , heritage, problems and often solutions.