Category Archives: Other languages


Here we are!

Well, the first thing we’ve discovered during this trip is that trying to record and edit a video with an iPad takes the patience of a saint, as our mom would say. But we did it… maybe. Take a look and go easy on us!

Between the tiredness and the jet-lag, coming up with something coherent seemed like an impossible feat, but we’ve decided that we’re not sleeping until we’ve written a post

Let’s start with the flight: 16 hours, crammed in like sardines, good movies, a couple of mishaps with spilled wine – we really liked the idea of free wine, too bad it tasted like two-buck chuck and therefore remained mostly in the glasses on the tray in front of us… before it ended up on our jeans. Both glasses. Both pairs of jeans. We’re really siblings.

The arrival in Buenos Aires went smoothly enough, except for the three customs checks and a moment of panic when my backpack and our aunt’s trolley wouldn’t show up. But then they materialized, and off we went looking for a taxi. Said taxi took us to the supercool flat where we’ll be staying for three weeks, thanks to our aunt’s generosity. It’s smack in the city center, between Plaza de Mayo and Plaza de la República, and as Pablo – the friend who opened the door and showed us around – told us, every demonstration passes right by here. Apart from the location, it’s huge and it’s probably going to be as luxurious as it gets for us for the next year.

During the rest of our first day, we discovered that:

1. grocery shopping is not particularly cheap, unless you’re willing to eat nothing but meat

2. this trip is bound to go well. Five minutes into our first stroll out and about, we found ourselves in an hippy arts & crafts market, sitting around a group of musicians called Pachamanca. The members, hailing from all over Latin America, performed their songs for us, offered us beer and asked a lot of questions about where we were from. Needless to stay, we would have stayed there forever. But Fate had other plans, as a text informed us that the Argentinian cousins were waiting for us at home…

Over a cup of tea, a bit of food and a lot of cigarettes, Adriana, Liliana and Franco told us about the situation in Argentina and expressed their misgivings about Cristina, the ‘Presidenta’. According to them, she’s allowing citizens to shun their responsibilities through a policy of indiscriminate subsidies in exchange for votes. After that, we moved on to family memories and migration stories – all of it mixing Spanish and Italian, on both sides. Adriana promised that we’ll cook something together before we leave Buenos Aires.

***Translated by Beatrice Gechele***

munch APP

Help! I’ve got PTA

Suggested soundtrack to this post: 

PTA, i.e. pre-trip anxiety, is like that chick you meet once, and then – somehow – you just start seeing her everywhere, time and time again: at parties, downtown, even at your place. And while you’re asking yourself how it’s possible and who the heck invited her over, she acts like you’ve been friends forever. She keeps calling you, she’s unrelenting. You, on the other hand, hate her – you can’t stand her, her annoying voice, and what she talks about, but you don’t know how to get rid of her.

PTA is very similar. At first, it’s just a shy little fellow, nagging you about stuff you actually have to do. It’s almost comforting. It would be weird not to have it, we’re not superheroes. It can also be the driving force helping you cut ties with two of your oldest friends, Laziness and Procrastinations. But a few day later, you wake up and anxiety is everywhere. It has taken over your lungs and you can’t breathe, your mouth is dry, you’re experiencing pure terror and you have an overwhelming desire to crawl back into your mom’s womb. It’s not just about little things anymore: like a poisonous plant, it has grown over everything else. The attacks are becoming longer and more frequent, and you know they might come back anytime. PTA is that voice inside your head that, every time you relax, reminds you: ‘Just a few days until you leave! What are you doing?! You’re wasting time, YOU’RE WASTING TIME!!!’

Other ways in which PTA is known to manifest itself:
– HELP. Our international driving licences is never going to get here on time. Yes, the blonde lady said everything’s fine, but something will go awry. If they get here after we’ve left and they mail them to us, they’ll definitely get lost.

– HELP. The guy from the bank didn’t call back about the credit card. There must be something wrong. And because I’m writing a post about it instead of calling him, the credit card will never get here, we won’t be able to withdraw cash abroad and we’ll have to go back after a week. (Relevant to all bureaucratic matters.)

– HELP. We are so going to forget something. And it will be something important. But we’ll only find out when it’s too late.

– HELP. I will not be able to get everything done in time. Everything what? Dunno. But I won’t make it.

– HELP. They’ll forget about us.

– HELP. They won’t forget about us, but we will let them down.

– HELP. The car, the car insurance, the RV, driving in the megalopolis, driving in the countryside, getting lost, wading fords, we’ll never put together an adequate playlist, we’ll run out of gas in the middle on nowhere, the car will get stolen, we won’t be able to resell it.

– HELP. Living with my sibling. Marco doesn’t shower. Irene might have a nervous breakdown when she realizes she can’t use her hair straightener among the natives in the mountains. Irene might go all Nazi on Marco. Marco might hate Irene. Irene might end up surrounded by outlaws. Marco might befriend some drug traffickers, thinking they look like nice people.

– HELP. We’ll be kidnapped. We’ll be robbed. We’ll be arrested. And they’ll stuff our dead bodies with cocaine to cross the border.

– HELP. Southern American police.

– HELP. No hablo español. Sí un poco, per no de verdad.

– HELP. Não falo português. Even though it’s the most beautiful language in the world.

– HELP. (Irene’s existential anxiety) What if this the biggest mistake of my life? What if I can’t make it? What if I can’t keep the commitments we made? What if I’m not credible? What if I let myself down, and I let down everybody who believed in us? What if I can’t write? What if I can’t draw up questionnaires? What if I can’t do research? What if I can’t, period?

– HELP. A whole year without having my friends within reach.

– HELP. Wi-fi. Updating the blog. Twitter. Facebook. Translating.

I think our new friend PTA will be more and more present, that she’ll transform over time, but one day we’ll find a way to contain it, or at least coexist peacefully.

Today is not that day.

***Translated by Beatrice Gechele***

irene ingredienti 1

Un delantal muy especial

Encontramos el delantal que nos acompañará en el viaje! Es hermoso, como pueden ver, con sus gallitos diseñados, las cintas rojas y su sombrero de cocinero que hace juego. Y también tiene una historia, que merece ser contada. Llega desde Madrid, lo encontramos por casualidad, la semana pasada deambulando por la zona de la Gran Calle, una de las calles principales de la ciudad, llena de negocios, luces y autos. Pero si de la Gran Calle se toma una de las callecitas perpendiculares el paisaje cambia y los lugares enseguida se muestran más auténticos. Las callecitas recuerdan ciudades mediterraneas y hacen que nosotros, los italianos, nos sentamos un poquito mas a casa. Y en una de estas callecitas, donde algunas mujeres ejercitaban el oficio más antiguo del mundo, ecco! que encontramos un negocio con delantales para cocinar, todos en la vidriera, uno más hermosos que el otro. Y visto que el viaje ya está a las puertas y que además tendrá una fuerte connotación culinaria, decidimos entrar para echar un vistazo.

Nos acogen dos señores gentiles que nos explican que nos encontramos en una cooperativa de modistas, una empresa solidaria que trata de ofrecerles alternativas a las mujeres que se prostituyen en los callejones de los alrededores. Hacen cursos de costura y producen delantales y vestidos a medida. Entonces, teníamos solo que escoger el delantal, porque cuando uno encuentra algo tan perfecto, justo y adecuado no se puede decir que no. La asociacion se llama Apramp y esta es su pagina web:

Y si alguien se encuntra por Madrid, la tienda solidaria se encuentra en Calle Ballesta, 9, en Malasaña.

stack of pancakes on the plate

¿Por qué las recetas?

Uno de los recuerdos màs lindos de cuando eramos pequeos, es de esas tardes en la que nos mirabamos entre hermanos y compenzaban las propuestas alocadas: y si hacemos las crêpes? Quizas las crêpes del sabado a la tarde son uno de los segretos de nuestra armonìa. Quizas uno de los motivos por los cuales la coicna es mi ambiente preferido. Yo no tenia mas de 15 anos las primeras veces, Marco 7, Emanuele 3. Recuerdo el amor incondicionado y la luz en sus ojos cuando comenzabamos, la busqueda de los ingredientes, el caos para hacer la mezcla, que quedaba obviamente pegada en los bordes, el placer de derretir el chocolate con la manteca. Y cauando orgullosos llamabamos a mamà y papà y comìamos todos juntos.

Recuerdo tambien cuando esperabamos a mamà, que llegara del trabajo a las nieve de la noche, cocinando y charlando, con Marco que era el encargado al “corte” de las verdudas y que a cada corte preguntaba si estaba bien hecho.

La cocina no podìa no ser un elemento fundamental de este viaje.

Decidimos pedir para realizar las entrevistas en la cocinam preparando juntos el plato preferido del entrevistado. Por eso, a lado de la entrevista oficial, en la seccion “ricette” (recetas) encontraràn aquello que hemos cocinado juntos!

stack of pancakes on the plate

Why the recipes?

One of my favourite childhood memories is when, in the afternoon, us siblings would look at each other and utter the indecent proposal: shall we make crêpes? Maybe saturday afternoon crêpes are the secret to our harmony. Maybe they’re one of the reasons why the kitchen is my favourite place. I must have been 15 when we started doing that, Marco was 7, Emanuele 3. I remember the unconditional love and the light in their eyes when somebody pitched the idea, I remember looking for the ingredients, the mess we would make preparing the batter – which regularly ended up all over the walls –, the pure bliss of melting the dark chocolate with butter. And when we’d finally call mom and dad and eat together.

I also remember waiting for mom, who used to get home from work at 9 in the evening, cooking and chatting together. Marco was in charge of cutting the vegetables, and he’d ask for our approval on every single piece he cut.

Cooking just had to be a key element of this journey.

We are going to interview people in the kitchen, while we cook something together. So, along with the official interviews, look for the recipes in the dedicated section!

*** Translated by Beatrice Gechele***