Monday, August 04, 2003


This evening Navin and family came over to say goodbye. Thet'll be leaving for canada early this morning. Tomorrow Tony and Dima leave for Singapore, Hristo will be staying around for some time, scrounging accomodation from friends.
Tomorrow our air conditioning and phone line will reach their old friend, the satellite cable, at the new house. My father's stuff will also be sent to chile tomorrow, and hopefully some big strong people will come and pick up my mom's 7 boxes of books and notes and dump them in her new, 2m x 2m office.

Needless to say, our time here is running out. We're supposed to be moving out of pala between friday and saturday.
I'm already looking for some mercury to burn in the corners of the living room in the last three days. Hopefully the house will be haunted afterwards.

I know it's very cozy to say so now that everything's almost done, but i had seen all this coming.
Some months ago, i was in Gorizia for the official opening of a photography exposition, one covering over 20 years of output from some of the most talented photographers who've studied in the college here in Duino. And as you may have noticed, we've had quite a few of those. Very talented ones, too.
And there i was surrounded by then-current students and ex-students who had come especially for the event (not to mention a cousin of mine who was visiting at the time, and who popped by much to my surprise. Hola leo!), just after listening to the great Angelo Friolo, one of the most dedicated people i've ever met, deliver a wonderful speech, when a large bespectacled man stood up for the following speech. His name is Zanetti, but most students call him Il Porco, for reasons quite distant from our topic. He's supposed to be the president of this establishment, but his speech made it obvious that he had little or no idea not only of what goes on in the college, but even of what the college looks like. That, or he was trying to convince everyone that the college actually had buildings and courses that don't actually exist in real life.

So instead of just wondering what we've come to, i simply realized: it's over.

The college as we've always known it is over. New, strange people have replaced familiar faces in the highest places of the Administration, and none of these knows what exactly they're doing there, but they're trying to get the best of profits out of it while they can. And, as the saying goes, the fish stinks from the head. Things would never be the same here.

I didn't immediately realize this. I just had one mental image, which i promptly wrote down on the one piece of paper i had handy.
I wrote:
The Grandfather is tied to the tree, and the newborn is being taken away by the ants.

And i envisioned the house being pulled off the ground, and blown away by the wind. And i understood all this would happen soon.

Hardly a month after that, we heard from a cleaning lady that we would be thrown out of pala. One week later we were officially informed of this.
Around the same time,(slightly earlier, come to think of it) the administration started looking for a new Head Of Economics. So it was quite obvious my father's contract was not going to be renewed. And after this, many petty conflicts occurred between my family and the administration, not to mention the conflicts of another family who was inexplicably being moved out of their house, and of yet another who had done nothing more than questioning this behaviour. This brings us to these days, when we're filling boxes of stuff to be sent to old offices, my father's in Chile looking for somebody to finance his research(it looks like he's found something-good news at last), my mother's here in duino organizing the move, and seriously risking a nervous breakdown any minute now. Myself, i'm being occasionally accused of ridiculous things by people who work for the college, not to mention the fact that i'm occasionally finding my mail already opened in the staffroom, and personal data lying around in the photocopy room. Of course, i may just be paranoid about these last two things, but i guess my paranoia would be more than justified by the environment i'm living in.

And the college? Always changing. This beginning year, students will have ten-day weeks. No, i'm not joking. And once again, no project week etc etc.
I think i'm quite safe to say that the United World College of the Adriatic is also approaching its inevitable conclusion, when it will have officially morphed into something completely opposite to its original commitments.

But all this doesn't worry me anymore. Of course, the move is stressful and most of all saddening. But i have my ways of cheering up.
For example, i can listen to Milton Nascimento, and close my eyes, and feel a single tear go down my face as the music reaches my soul.
And smile wickedly as i realize that the people responsible for our current situation will never be able to appreciate something so beautiful.

After all, they have no soul to be reached.