I’m Neapolitan

I’m Neapolitan.

I’m chatty, open-minded, honest, caring, appreciating. I’m Neapolitan.

At least so I’ve been told. Too many times. It’s some sort of etiquette people have placed on me that’s probably supposed to define me, my personality, to say who I am just by highlighting this feature: being Neapolitan. Apparently, that explains everything.

This was no choice of mine, I just happened to be born there, in one of the most beautiful and dangerous (so people say) cities in the world; a city where history lays in every street, alley, corner, smell, thought. Yeah, it’s so strong it embraces you, and never lets go. It grows on you blooming some affection, wish, memory — smile. Now do smile, this is what Neapolitans do despite the tragic circumstances. Indeed, drama there is everyday business, it’s how deep people feel, how engaged they are when they either love or hate somebody or something. It’s a never-ending passion that nobody can control, that makes you speak louder and louder and louder because the louder you are the better you express how you feel. Silly, right? Very! Yet, it’s our proper cup of coffee — the strongest you may ever drink. It goes straight into your nerves, awakens thoughts, placates the spirit. However, that spirit is never going to be quiet, not if you’re Neapolitan. That spirit functions continuously and triggers genuine creativity, whether it applies to art, music, food, or dodgy stuff, what us Neapolitans are best known for. Great endeavours are the result, great stories; great sufferings. Believe it or not, this is what Neapolitans do: they suffer. They parade through shame, bad looks, prejudice, through the burdens of having too much to offer and too little to ask in return. And all is veiled with pride, with a sense of belonging we hold on to — to feel just a little better, just a little stronger. To go through another day, and another day. And even when the day is done, we’re not done doing. We’re not done wondering what tomorrow is going to be like. We’re still trying to ease our head on the pillow, close our eyes and accept…that we’re Neapolitans. That tomorrow the sun will shine sharply, that we won’t be finding any parking spot, that we’ll be dealing with chaos, the chaos we have created, the chaos that makes us stand out (or stand down) among other populations, cities — realities.

Because the reality is that we’re never going to be treated as individuals, as single human beings, as people; we’re not to be treated any differently but we actually are: as we are Neapolitans.

So I’ve been told. Too many, one too many times. That sort of etiquette defines me, my personality, it says who I am and apparently that explains why I’m chatty, open-minded, honest, caring, appreciating. And why I’m to be treated differently.

Yeah, I am.

I’m Neapolitan after all.



Jim
The Britalian Post



Text me maybe

I will never understand why relationships have to be so damn complicated.

It’s you and I, we like each other, we want to spend some time together and give it a try.
Done! Easy! Right?

Hell no! No pain, no gain. In this case, no game.

When you’re approaching somebody, you need to weigh every single word and look after any action you take. You need to play that game.

Should I ask for their number?  What should I say and how often should I text?  Will they think I’m going too fast and feel some pressure? And if I don’t, will they feel I don’t care?

Don’t spend too much time overthinking it because, whatever you do, it’s always gonna turn wrong.

And instead of simply being honest, we’ll lose the beauty of seeing each other’s shy expressions, smiling for that funny thought, looking down when recalling that hurtful story, only because we’ll always focus on a game we never know how to play right.

So next time you like somebody and you want to give this thing a try, just keep it cool and safe: go for “Text me…maybe.”

Jim
The Britalian Post

A London bbq

Oh, Britons are so weird!

Their classy and composed speaking, their messy and uneducated eating, their stone cold behaviour and aggressively drunk manners along with their unstable position in relationships – distant, indifferent, uninterested. Sometimes you wonder about what they feel like, if they feel something; how they handle their daily life, their BBC, their afternoon tea, and that thing they call ‘latte(y)’.

LATTE(y)???
Yeah, apparently they’ve discovered some evolution of cappuccino for us still unknown.

Speaking of which, our friends threw a bbq a couple of days ago to celebrate a mate’s bday.
With the rare fantastic weather being the perfect background – steaks, burgers, sausages and much more flipping on the grill, diffusing a drooling flavour that accompanied the entertaining tunes played through the Bluetooth speaker – 30ish people were swallowing cans of beer like they were nuts.
And sure thing, they were really nuts!

Among the number of countries that showed up on that day, I can recall Spain, Brazil, Austria, Germany, Peru, Slovakia, Italy and, well well well, England. Yes, one of the sophisticated Britons had honoured us with his presence. And whether it was for the alcohol making them sociable or the folks there just being naturally friendly, all went along with each other – judging by the loud Spanish-blasted laughter and the Italians-led group dancing.

You know London itself is practically a huge bbq – a place where different types of meats are cooked on the same irons creating a unique taste.

With a closer look though, I realised that we strangers were the ones who were grouping up per country/language, setting the others aside. The English dude instead was the only one who was ping-ponging from group to group to socialise with everybody.

Wait a minute.
We often talk about Brexit, about being left apart from a number of Britons who are segregating us for being immigrants. Whereas, sometimes I feel like it’s us who are exiting them – taking ownership of a space that doesn’t belong to us and we should appreciate more, and not being excluding individuals who are giving us the opportunity to remain.

So while I was totally zoned out having this random thought, I turned towards him and he was sitting there choking himself with a stripe of steak he hadn’t cut.

“Oh, dude, I can’t take you anywhere.”

Jim
The Britalian Post

Same old story

“She ain’t listening, J.”
(Chuckling) “They never fucking do, Ed!”

Yeah, same old story.

Earlier that Saturday, I met with Edward in Holloway Road to do some jamming at the music studio. As we had still an hour before the studio let us in, we made a stop at The Coronet for some pints on the terrace out the back – just a chat and some beer before jamming.

Edward and I talk a lot, and when we’re not offending each other, we talk so much crap: frustrations about work, inconstant ambitions, questionable people, troubled relationships. Life. Oh, and of course, music and the latest concerts. Then he always ends up mentioning something about Metallica and wanting to hustle me into one of their concerts – which I would only attend for the company. 

“Fuck off you phat ass! I’m not gonna go see that shit!” – yelled I.
“You are shit, you disgusting cunt!” – Ed said back.
Yeah, we kinda love each other.

At times, it takes me a while to understand what that motherfucker is saying because of his baritone voice and that articulated West Midlands accent. Other times, my vocabulary just sucks and I’m missing his words. Not that me being Italian makes it any easier for either of us – like, me getting lost in my own concepts, him trying to shape words out of my mouth. 

All in all, no matter the context, the culture, the language, we seem to really understand each other. And pretty well. He’s a good listener, and I think so am I. Maybe boys got it easy, or maybe we have natural empathy and we feel we can figure each other out at our deepest. Unless he starts speaking some undecodable slang that OF COURSE I’M NOT GOING TO UNDERSTAND, YOU PUNK-ASS!

So after the studio session, we dropped the music equipment at my place and headed to The Finsbury pub – the one right opposite Manor House station. Good company, live music, beer. 

Nobody can ever say that we are not social people and up for partying, so as the bands were done, we started dancing to the DJ’s music and interacting with the other folks around. Actually, Edward was the one who bumped into an interesting conversation, that went more or less like this:

Edward: “Did you like the bands?”
Girl: “I’m Dutch.”

E: “What are you doing in London?”
G: “My sister is here with her boyfriend, but she’s Swedish.”

E: Are you enjoying the DJ?”
G: “I love this venue!”

E: “?????????”
G: “@..%<~#\$!)”

“So, how did it go?” – I asked thinking he got somehow lucky.
“She ain’t listening, J!” – said Ed, visibly disappointed.
(Chuckling) “They never fucking do, Ed!”

Folks, same old story. No matter the context, the culture, the language: boys and girls will never understand each other.

Jim
The Britalian Post

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