20 Aug Summer Nights in Turin
Sometimes (i.e. when I spend an awful lot of time and effort trying to get a job and end up tired and angry and still unemployed) I wonder why I bothered moving to Italy, rather than getting a nice, stable graduate job in London.
Other times though, I want to give myself a big pat on the back for embarking on this ridiculous adventure of mine.
Last night was one of those times.
It’s not an exciting story, but I just had one of those moments that made me think, “Yes, moving to Italy was a super idea”.
Every Sunday night of the summer, there are film screenings at one of the bars in the Parco del Valentino (conveniently a no more than 15 minute walk from my house. There’s a big screen at the bottom of a grassy bank, and people (mainly hippy-types with wide-leg pants, one dreadlock, no shoes, and a scruffy dog) come and sit on blankets, drink beer and watch variations on the theme of artsy world cinema.
Seeing as I enjoy not wearing shoes myself, this kind of thing is actually right up my street. So, last night I talked one of my housemates into an evening of movie culture and headed down to the park.
The film (don’t worry, I’m not going to pretend I know anything about cinema) was City of God, a Brazilian movie set in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, following a few characters through a couple of decades of often drug-based violent gang crime, all based on real events. Pretty heavy stuff, but also funny, and engaging, and surprisingly enjoyable despite my general aversion to all things violent and perilous. It was all dubbed into Italian, so I didn’t have to worry about peering around strangers’ dreadlocks to see the subtitles, and best of all I managed to understand everything, including the jokes, meaning that maybe – just maybe – I’m learning something and this isn’t all a bad idea after all.
And sitting there on the grass with the night sky and the very warm summer air and the faint smell of illicit substances and mosquito repellant wafting past my nostrils as I concentrated awfully hard on understanding what the film was about, there’s really nowhere else I’d have rather been.
And that’s nice, isn’t it?