How to start reading books in Italian?

The answer to this question is easy: you just have to get a book in Italian and start reading it. And what is the best way to get a book in Italian? WIN IT!

This at least what I did, in a situation of pure coincidence though.

So, I have been quite sick in the last days. You know, end of February, spring is coming and all this stuff. First my flatmate, then my girlfriend, so obviously I was next in line. Anyways, I came back to work this morning, still with some sore throat and a bit of running nose… Well, let’s just say that the day didn’t seem like a good one at all. While on break, I went on Facebook (which is the modern way of having a snack I guess) and I saw that my girlfriend is taking part in a contest where you can win a book by sharing a photo on your timeline. Another way was to share the same post on Twitter. So, since she doesn’t have Twitter and I do, I thought I’ll double her chances (I’m that nice, yes) and retweet it.

And it didn’t take long when a response arrived:

To put it short, I won and they are going to send me the book by post.

And only later I discovered that A. wanted to simply help promote this book, because one of her friends works for the publishing house that published it and he translated it from English. Now she’ll have to bear me while I read it, cause she will become my official translator from Italian to English when I have problems in understanding.

St. Valentine’s weekend

Yes, it was St. Valentine’s Day last Saturday. As we know, it’s a general celebration of florists and chocolate sellers. But I don’t want to talk about the fact that I’m not a fan of this day and I generally don’t celebrate it, at least not in the socially-expected way.

And don’t worry, I didn’t also this time. But I did go out and I did spend this day in an unusual way (okay, in the afternoon/evening I had a marathon of American Horror Story, which is not so unusual, but still).lostessosi

What I really wanted to say is that I attended a very nice flash mob/happening on Saturday in Piazza Maggiore. The goal was to support equal marriage opportunities for everyone and since it’s a carnival period the idea was to gather with your partner (no matter which gender) in a specific point of the square with carnival masks on, kiss, then show the symbol of the campaign, take the masks off revealing your identity and then kiss again and go away.

As you can see in the picture and also in THIS VIDEO, we were not a very big crowd, but a significant one I would say.

Free haircut

Ok, I already mentioned that there are many hairdressers in Bologna (and probably in Italy in general) and as confusing as it may be (where to go, which one is the best, where do they serve you also coffee…), there are certain advantages of this excess.

I went to have a haircut today and it was free. Yes, you read that right, it was absolutely free, I paid nothing. Why? Because there is a promotion in February at this hairdresser’s school in Bologna where you can get a haircut/dye your hair free of charge. Where’s the catch? Well, it’s a school, so the people who actually work on you are students, not professionals.

I know what you think: it’s a risk. They are only learning how to be a hairdresser, they can f*ck up your hair and then you’ll have to shave your head or something. Well, I have short hair that don’t really require much work, so I thought I’ll take that risk. Also, when I went there I noticed that the students have a supervisor who helps them, teaches them and just generally supervises their work at all times. And they can’t do anything without his consent. Of course the downside here is that it all takes ages, cause they are around 10-12 people and the teacher is only one, but at least one can feel fairly safe.

Also, let’s remember that I don’t speak Italian at a level that would allow me to explain everything in detail, so it was twice as tricky with me. But the girl that cut my hair was very cautious and I think in the end she did a good job considering my indecision and a general lack of idea about what I want to do with my hair.

All in all, I had a fairly good haircut absolutely for free, so I can’t complain. And in case you are in Bologna this month and you’d like to cut or dye your hair, check out this Facebook event to get more info on how to take an appointment and reach the place.

Walk the walk

You know how you only really notice things when you’re walking? Cycling, going by bus or by bus only makes you miss things in the surroundings.

Lately I have been walking much more often than in October or November. Mostly because the weather is not really in our favour, it rains or it’s just cold and let’s be honest: cycling around Bologna in this period is not very comfortable, especially if you have to carry a computer (+/- 4 kg) with you and/or go very far.

It’s weird, cause I cycled almost everyday when I was in Finland. In winter. And it REALLY was a winter there. With at least -15 degrees and 80 cm of snow. And still I cycled each day. But of course, Finland – the wonderful country that it is – was making it easy for me.

Anyways, walking makes you see more things. For example recently I have noticed that around my place there are at least 6 different hairdresser’s. Within 300m reach! It’s really strange how many hair saloons there are in Bologna (or maybe in Italy in general). It is almost impossible to find a flower shop around, but hair saloons are everywhere. They are like churches in Poland: on every corner.