Sunday, September 30, 2012

A few last pictures from our summer - Ferragosto a l’Aquila

Let’s close our ‘summer 2012’ chapter by posting a few last pictures of our summer: Ferragosto a l’Aquila da Piergiorgio!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

At Einaudi's concert

Our soirèes à deux have become so rare, that when it happens it is always an event. Last Saturday les M&M’s, indifferent to feverish Leo, hired a baby-sitter for the evening and went to the Auditorium to listen to Einaudi’s concert.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Leo’s notebook cover

May I ask you what in your opinion is represented on Leo’s notebook cover?

Because to me it’s rather obvious - but I have been told: ‘Nice, is it a chick?’, and ‘Nice, is it a baby-girl?’.

It’s not a chick, and it’s not a baby-girl…

Thursday, September 27, 2012


For the past three weeks we have been busy with the so called ‘inserimento’, the process to insert a new child in a childcare class. According to this well-tested process, at the beginning parent and child are together in the classroom, and then, day after day, the time in which the parent is present in the classroom progressively diminishes, while the time in which the child is by him or herself in the classroom progressively increases.

At the beginning there were no major problems. On the contrary, it was interesting to observe from a corner in the classroom how your child familiarizes himself with the new environment. But after a while, when the time in which the parents had to wait outside the classroom had significantly increased, it became quite boring to have to wait one-hour/one-hour-and-half outside the classroom, always on the alert, before being called again.

To kill the time the teachers gave us a task: we had to decorate the cover of our children’s notebook - the notebook in which all the pictures and works that our children will carry-out during the year will be collected. We were sent to the childcare workshop, and, armored with scissors, tape and glue, and using all the materials we wanted - coloured papers, paperboard, fabrics, seeds, woods, leaves, buttons, and anything else we could think about - we started our homework.

And have to say it has been great fun: most of us (myself included) have not done anything similar since our times at the primary school, and - in a way - it was as being back children again.

And, to my own surprise, we had plenty of talent and creativity!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Leo at the Nido

Being Leo our first child, we don’t have many benchmarks. We don’t know thus if several of the behaviors we daily observe in him are peculiar of his personality or common to most of the children at his age.
Having him at the Nido is allowing us to discover many characteristics of his personality.
According to the feedback we are receiving from the teachers, Leo is (and here we got a confirmation) rather sociable and independent. At the same time he seems to be rather impatient, and to easily get upset if he doesn’t manage to do something at the first trial.
And, finally and perhaps surprisingly, he seems to be a big eater!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

First day at the Nido

While Matteo was stuffing himself with chinese food and hamburgers across the ocean, Leonardo had his first day at the ‘nido’ (the childcare). 

In line with his personality, he faced the new experience with enthusiasm and with a smile on his lips - breaking immediately off from his mum’ skirt, and starting to discover the new environment with curiosity and interest. The only moment in which he got a bit upset was when another baby stole the toy with which he was playing. But he will soon learn to make himself respected. Or to offer his own cheek.

Leo, the youngest in his class, has already a lover (Matilde), a rival in love (Lorenzo, openly in love with Matilde), and a bunch of new friends (Edoardo, Paolo, Giuseppe, and Francesco).

Another milestone achieved!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A good old habit

One of the things that I remember of my life in DC is that I was travelling like a spinning top. Literally, the Departure Hall of the International Dulles Airport was almost a second home for me.

One of the good habit I had developed was, after having checked-in, to stop at Harry’s Tap Room and order a ‘Harry’s Burger’.

Then, on a full stomach, I was falling in a sound sleep for the entire duration of my flight.

As they say, ‘il lupo perde il pelo ma non il vizio’ (the leopard cannot change its spots).

Monday, September 17, 2012

Old (and new) friends in DC

But of course a city is empty without its people. And although many of the friends we used to have in DC have, for a reason or another, left, I was lucky enough to meet a few old friends.

And to get to know a new (very new) one!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Wandering about DC - two years later

One of the things that struck me while wandering about DC in these days - and perhaps one of the reasons why I felt so at my ease in Washington in these days - is that it seems that nothing has changed since I left. In fact I had the impression I left only the day before yesterday… 

I already mentioned that the flower street vendor in Farragut Square, in front of the Metro, is the same. The Washington Monument is still there, as well as the Jefferson, the Lincoln, the Roosevelt, the World War II, the Vietnamese War and the Korean War memorials. Also the White House is still there. Kramer Books is still there, Tryst and the Diner are still there, as well as Rumba Café, Bossa, and Madam’s Organ. The only place I could not find was Ghana Café, where they used to play good live reggae music - but considering this is the only change I noticed,  I guess I should not be too disappointed.

The only thing that was completely new to me was the Martin Luther King Memorial, built on the Tidal Basin nearby the Roosevelt Memorial and opposite the Jefferson Memorial, opened to the public in August last year when we had already left. Perhaps a bit too ‘monumental’ for my tastes, but well, very happy that Martin Luther King (one of my favourite heroes) is symbolically placed beside the fathers of this nation.

And now, considering we are in the middle of the electoral campaing, ‘forza Obama!’

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Back in DC

After the Chino-Japa-Vietnamese wedding in LA, I went to DC for a week for work.

You all know how attached we were to DC - and in fact returning here after more than two years had the same pleasent feeling of returning home.

Here there are a few of the things that made me feel home in these days…

- Glimpsing the Washington Monument from the Memorial Bridge arriving from the airport*
- “How are you today?!”
- “Single or double?” (at the bar, referred to the espresso)
- Discovering that my Smart-trip card (my metro card) is still functioning (and still has credit on it!)
- Managing not to get lost while driving in town (thanks Carito for lending me your car!)
- Lunch at Cosi, brunch at The Diner, ice-cream at Pitango
- Grocery at Whole Food
- To meet deer while jogging along the Potomac at the sunset
- Squirrels in the parks
- Finding the same flower street vendor in Farragut Square

I still have difficulties in identifying which place I should call home. But certainly, even if it is not home anymore, even if I think it won’t be home anymore, a piece of our heart is here in DC…

(*) Cfr. this picture with the last picture I took in DC two years ago.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Foto per le mamme

The Marchisio Brothers 2012 ®

Photo booth

At American weddings it is now very fashionable to have a ‘photo booth’, exactly as those you usually find in train stations to get an ID picture.

You enter in it, and a series of four pictures is taken: one strip remains to the newlyweds; a copy is immediately developed for you to keep it as a souvenir.

Brilliant, isn’t it???

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pre-wedding dinner

It is a Chinese tradition to invite the families and the closest friends of the weds-to-be to a dinner the night before the wedding.

It was a sumptuous eight course Chinese dinner. Do I need to add anything to these pictures?...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Family reunion

But, above all, Rex and Hoai’s wedding has been an opportunity for the Chinese branches of our families to meet again, after almost 15 years from our first meeting, in 1997, in San Francisco.

And to do something together with our uncles and cousins: we (used to) live not more than 400 m from each other, and this trip is the first thing we do together in a long long time. Perhaps exactly since that trip to San Francisco 15 years ago…

(Ps: a little thought to Auntie Cora, our grandmother’ sister. For health reasons she could not travel to LA, but she would have loved to see the families together. She was there with us in our hearts…)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Wedding in LA

We went to LA to celebrate Rex and Hoai’s marriage (Rex is our Chinese cousin: the son of the daughter of our Chinese grandmother’ sister).

A marriage that joint together families of four different nationalities and cultures, as Rex is half-Chinese and half-Japanese, Hoai is Vietnamese - and, well, although we were affiliated to the Chinese branch of the family, we are Italian.

And I don’t know why, perhaps because I married a person of a different country
myself, I always feel particularly touched when I see the love of two persons bringing together families of different nationalities and cultures.

Best wishes, Rex and Hoai: the world is yours!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Los Angeles, CA

More in the next few days...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

In partenza

This time (for once) towards west…

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Gemelli separati alla nascita (Twins divided at birth)

Mi approprio di due foto di Riccardo scattate alla Festa di Ivrea per concludere il resoconto sul mio blitz alla Festa.

Ivrea è stata per me soprattutto l’occasione per rivedere Emanuele, dopo più di due anni. E nonostante attraverso i nostri Blog, qualche chiamata su Skype, e qualche email ogni tanto ci si mantenga in contatto, se non ci si riesce a rivedere di tanto in tanto, queste amicizie ‘a distanza’, come tutti i rapporti, corrono il rischio di diluirsi - forti sì di tanti ricordi e condivisione passata, ma incapaci di alimentarsi e rigenerarsi con nuove esperienze e nuove condivisioni.

I nostri lettori più assidui dovrebbero già conoscere Emanuele. Per chi non lo conoscesse ancora, posso semplicemente dire che lo ritengo il mio alter ego. Le nostre vite hanno percorso strade parallele, che qualche volta si sono intrecciate e sovrapposte. Ma è soprattutto una strana (sorprendente) affinità su tantissime altre cose che mi ha più volte portato a pensare che non potessimo essere altro che gemelli separati alla nascita.

E quando, dopo più di due anni, l’ho rivisto a Ivrea vestito uguale a me (la camicia in realtà era leggermente diversa), ma soprattutto con la stessa identica custodia della macchina fotografica, ho avuto nuovamente la conferma che sì, siamo proprio gemelli separati alla nascita.

E, senza parole, senza nient’altro, i due anni di distanza sono stati immediatamente colmati…