|Drancy Town Centre with statue of Charles de Gaulle|
Monday, June 13, 2016
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
We're paying our own fares, but we need to raise some money for general operations while we're there. If you have any extra money lying around, please consider putting a bit into our crowdfunding. Any extra will be given as direct aid. Thanks!
Sunday, June 14, 2015
I already knew the man's name was Biondo, because he'd been on the same train as me from Milan, drinking from a 75 cl bottle of Peroni and discoursing to some German Expo workers in English about freedom. When they got off the train they gave him a round of applause, but although the train was full no one else came to sit in the four seats around him.
However he wasn't blond but black, probably from Senegal I guess. He had a small rucksack and looked like he'd been sleeping rough. At Gallarate he stayed around the station, chatting to a couple of Moroccan boys smoking out the front.
'I'm a Musltian,' he said in Italian. 'I'm a Muslim and a Christian and a Jew. I come from Egypt but one day I will be freed, w'Allah.'
I didn't hear the response but when he got on the ground to pray Muslim-style, calling out to Jesus and Mohammed, they seemed to become a bit uncomfortable and moved off calling back 'Salaam, brother, good night.'
Biondo disappeared for a few minutes and when he came back he had a new bottle of beer. He stood in the middle of the road and shouted in English. 'Africa is coming back! Africa! Europe you be careful, one day you will pay for what you did to Africa!'
He walked in furious circles, trying to catch people's eyes. An Italian teenager waiting for a bus put his arm around his young girlfriend and drew her to him protectively.
'Curses on Libya!' cried Biondo. 'Libya is the devil's nation. Six months I wait in Libya.'
Next to me the taxi drivers were saying we should throw them all in prison for six months before sending them back to Africa.
'Europe you are racist!' Now he was speaking Italian again. 'But Italians are the most racist of all. You are all racists but Africa is coming back to you!'
Across the road from Gallarate station is a late night café/bar. The manager, a tall man of Egyptian origin, came out and called to Biondo, telling him. to calm down, to go home. I had the feeling this was not the first time this had happened.
Biondo hurled a stream of obscenity in Egyptian Arabic at the man. Everyone is the square watches them. This continued for a while but Biondo must have gone too far in calling the bar manager's mother a whore, and suddenly the Egyptian began chasing him furiously around the square. Biondo was laughing, running, dodging, hiding behind clusters of kids on their way home.
Finally a couple of other guys from the bar succeeded in calming the tall Egyptian down, taking him back across the road. Biondo picked up his beer again, laughing and shouting, now in a language I didn't know.
The bar manager turned back from the doorstep. 'You know what's wrong with you, Biondo? TU NON RISPETTI LE REGOLE!'
Gallarate station is not a particularly attractive place at any time, and after the last train at 12.45 is utterly without charm.
I was waiting for the bus home to Varese, and smoking with two men in their fifties, taxi drivers on their way home from work.
'You shouldn't be waiting here alone. There's a lot of ugly people around at this time of night.' When people say this to me I always wonder what evidence there could possibly be that THEY are not among the ugly ones.
We talked about the bus schedule. Why, I asked, did the night bus need to leave 45 minutes after the last train? 'Well, you see, the bus before leaves at 12.30, and if this one was any earlier it wouldn't have time to get back from Varese.'
The other man looked me up and down in the dim streetlight. 'Say, do you have blonde hair or white hair?'
'Something between the two, I guess.'
'Because it's like an illness with me. I'm like a crazy man. I love- tanti, tanti, tantissimo- anche con la faccia bruta - I love women with white hair.'
(Even with an ugly face- Gwen there's a good example of a backhanded compliment)
Tuesday, June 02, 2015
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Thursday, April 23, 2015
|The Grapes of Wrath- Large scale waves migration is a recurring phenomenon within the capitalist system.|