Another death, another italian trip
Renato, my older cousin, was kind enough to fetch me at the airport and to drive me home. Seeing again my sister, my dog Bart, older but still barking like there is no tomorrow, was a great feeling.
So it was seeing my dad, a little sadder, a little older, and a little more alone.
It was a strange week. Usually I would try to spend at least a weekend in Canegrate, but the lack of time, tickets and money prevented me to achieve it.
The funeral ended up on the local papers. My uncle was the main guy behind one of the most famous cross country races, the Cinque Mulini (the Five Windmill), one of the oldest and most famous appointments in the international calendar. It was all his life for the past 10 years or so.
This is why the church was full, and a lot of personalities from the athletic association were there.
My cousin Davide read a letter than my dad wrote to his deceased brother. He said that he couldn’t sleep for 3 nights and ended up writing what he felt about him on a piece of paper.
It was short, but totally my dad.
We Olgiati are quite notorious for not being able to express any emotions (unless there is an Italian Anthem playing in the background of some medal ceremony), and so we always end up writing stuff.
I visited my auntie for a lunch session that same week and we spent time discussing, well, the past. The same happened with every single member of my family. The past is a tricky thing. Everything looks just, well, better.
Comparing what we have now with what we lost is always unfair.
I guess it’s just how life goes.
Every evening not spent with my dad was spent with my friends. They were all eager to show me their new houses and we were invited to a dinner (pasta & beer) at Mera & Luciana’s house, my beer drinking, nature loving, left winged friends.
The night was great and very relaxing, maybe a bit too much for poor Max, who, after working long hours, spent the rest of it on the sofa.
The next night was spent at Beppe and Claudia, now living together maybe 80 meters from my family’s house.
This time the occasion was Italy-Bulgaria, for the 2010 world cup, when finally the Azzurri played like world champions for at least 20 minutes. Unfortunately the same evening I destroyed their mosquito nets (just installed) by walking into it...
(By the way the secret that I was told the last time is now public so I can congratulate them here: well done Beppe’s sperm on working so well!)
I also visited Paolo and Verusca, with their three kids, for another round of pasta.
Yes, for once it was nice to actually sit down and eat home cooked food instead of rushing to restaurants before the usual stop at my usual pub.
It seems just last year when for all of us dinner at home meant to buy some take away pizzas, drink some coke (and later alcohol), and watch rented movies.
But time has passed quite quickly. The last time I watched I rented movie with popcorns and drinks in Italy was maybe 10 years ago.
Everyone moved on. Suddenly. While I was in London nothing much happened, and now, 10000km away, everyone decided that is time to make some commitment and stop simply surviving the day.
It’s a strange feeling, since I wasn’t involved in any of those changes, and finding the same guys now with mortgages, kids or wives, well, it’s weird.
The week of perfectly planned meetings got even busier when I met my good old friend Ian who, with incredibly good timing, decided to come to Italy with wife and mum for a 2 weeks holiday. He even landed in Malpensa, 20 minutes from my house.
I promised I would take him in some nice bar for a breakfast, but unfortunately I got lost on the motorway.
I know, I lived in the area for pretty much my whole life and I managed to get lost driving back home (more precisely by being the co-pilot with the map while Ian was driving).
It was a bit embarrassing when we crossed the river Ticino and ended up in a totally different region (Piemonte instead of Lombardia), 50km away from my original destination.
Luckily Ian and family was way too tired to beat me up, and we ended up in some random bar which gave us great coffee’ and a decent breakfast.
It was sad to see him going away again, after only maybe 2 hours passed together. I still remember when we used to live in London , and my trip to New York , and his trip to South Afric a… great memories.
The same evening I visited my old football team mates at A.C. Canegrate, training in the evening. Few of them are still playing, and now one of them is the main manager…
You see? This is what happens when you go back. You end up in a strange place between memories from a time that now seems to be great and perfect, and a future in which you don’t have any place.
Death sucks, true, but hey, memories are great.
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