In Calabria – Flowers

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A sharp ticking against the window of the door woke me up. I was not caught in a dream. There was daylight already, but it was still early. My first thought was that Dani had arrived, as he had told me he might drive down from Massa the night before. Maybe he didn’t have the keys to his apartment with him. I got out of my bed as the ticking continued.

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A big man stood at the other side of the door. The door is made out of vertical and horizontal metal strips that enclose little windows from top to bottom. Behind him I saw four or five more men, two of them holding a gun. They didn’t point the gun at me; the men were quite relaxed, the guns pointed at the tiles of the terrace. 

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He showed me his id card. I opened the door. “Were you still sleeping?” was his first question. He spoke to me as if we had known each other for years. What I was facing was an anti-mafia brigade. “Do you have any weapons, ammunition hidden in your house?”

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“No.” Somehow I was too amused by the whole situation to feel uncomfortable. He went on to explain they wanted to do a house search. I had the right to call a lawyer, so that the house search would be done in his presence. It was 6:30 in the morning. “Do come in,” I said. I walked to the other room, with an other door made out of windows and metal strips and behind it, another broad smiling man with a gun, who asked politely if I could open the door for him.

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Five men were looking at my desk with cassette players and cassettes. I left them looking at it in peace, and waited in the kitchen until they were ready.

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We made a round and ended up downstairs in the restaurant zone. There we were joined by five or six more men. In fact I saw new faces arrive all the time. I answered their questions about the identity of the place. And then I answered questions about the nature of my cassettabouts. “You are on youtube?” Instead of leading them to my noise set in San Francisco I directed them to ‘field recordings.’ They listened to Chris Watson. “Do you record birds?”

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They shook hands when they went away. The leader of the operation smiled a very friendly smile. “Did you ever meet such nice policemen?” Must admit, never did. They even wanted to offer me a breakfast at a bar, were it not that the next bar was at a 45 minutes walk.

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Part of my morning ritual is to follow the news in the East of Ukraine. A lot of tweets come in. A lot of these tweets show evidence of the Kremlin lies.

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Historians still try to find out how it came about that so many Germans supported Hitler. They could find an answer if they study the attitude shown by the German population in the current Ukraine crisis. Nothing has really changed.

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2 responses to “In Calabria – Flowers

  1. 3 things
    1) wish I could smell all those flowers
    2) the German attitude towards the Ukraine situation is no different than the attitude shown by Dutch, Belgians or Danes i.e.; too many people still support Hitler-like ideas (because they care to inform themselves?)
    3) not every Ukrainian tells the truth either

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