Colori, mercanti e viaggiatori
Torshavn, Isole Faroe 21/04/2007
Padre e figli
Reykjavik 10/04/2007
Uomini e cose
New York 06/04/2007
Lettera all’Europa, lettera dall’Europa
Milwaukee 31/03/2007
Fuga da Fargo
Fargo 30/03/2007
I necessari cattivi della storia
Miles City 22/03/2007
Cose dell’altro mondo!
Missoula 19/03/2007
Tutto è bene quel che finisce male
Moses Lake 14/03/2007
Gunga e Din
Vancouver 13/03/2007
Ricordi senza rimpianti
Vancouver 09/03/2007
Lettere dal golfo
Jeneau 05/03/2007
Il tappo di Bering
Anchorage 25/02/2007
Quelli del mondo come allora
Petropavlovsk 21/02/2007
Arrivederci - Dasvidania
Vladivostok 18/02/2007
Lhasa 10/02/2007
Ti ricordi di Ciu Ciu Mpai?
Pechino 06/02/2007
Mission impossible
Ulan Bator 02/02/2007
Una giornata particolare
Irkutsk 26/01/2007
Pizza connection
Ekaterimburg 21/01/2007
In viaggio con la zia
Alanaesk 20/01/2007
Una pallottola spuntata
Mosca 17/01/2007
Irina è andata via
San Pietroburgo 14/01/2007
Copenaghen: Wonderful?
Copenhagen 11/01/2007


Travels with My Aunt

Alanaesk, 20 Jannuary 2007

Alanaesk, 29/1/ 2007

My dear and unbearable Aunt Nathalie,

I have followed you to these remote places only because I was moved by my deep affection for you, and certainly not because I was driven by self-interest as your sole heir, as some would have you believe. I know your quirks and I can even picture the wicked smile of Notary Vatel when he tells me that you have left your entire estate to some charity ...
By the way, what was the young Tchaikovsky doing around here? I think his father must have been a government official who fell into disgrace. Indeed, one must have done something really bad to get sent to a place like this, both now and in the past. No wonder he became a musician: the cold winter forced him to say home, and then came the thaw with its muddy streets, followed by the summer with its terrible mosquitoes. And so, what else could a young man trapped inside the house with a piano in front of him do? Talent often springs from the need to “survive”, or at least from the lack of alternatives ...
I think it will take at least a week of intense living amidst Parisian amenities to restore my good humour. In any case, I embrace you.

Your patient nephew,

P.S. Don’t be upset if I decide to return on an aeroplane (faster), skipping the “charm” of the Trans-Siberian Railway, whose famous restaurant cars, praised by tour operators, are as crowded as a mortuary chamber in an Israeli leper hospital at Ramallah.


Novosibirsk, 25 January 2007

Beloved Misha,

It’s snowing outside and the magic of this countryside is indescribable. I spent all day yesterday moving about like a sleepwalker, enchanted by streets, squares and gardens whose hedges have momentarily been replaced by imaginative ice sculptures that each person evaluates in kopecks according to their appeal. I breathed the air of the ...
Another negative thing is the cuisine. You can’t find any of the old-style dishes anymore, except for corned tongue. This is a real shame, because a population’s identity is born in its marketplaces and historicised in its cuisine, and certainly not on battlefields or in the shade of its flags, as some petty politicians would have us believe. What would French grandeur be without foie gras or camembert, or – worse yet – without its formidable cakes and pastries? Nothing, my dear. Nothing at all. Remember, Misha, that kingdoms and empires rise and fall, but goulash and paella survive.
I must go now, ...

God bless you. A kiss from your
Aunt Natasha